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By 1920 the Red Army fielded an overwhelming array of armored cars and armored trains, while tank detachments had begun forming in earnest. These armored units played an important part in consolidating the newly won Bolshevik empire in the early 1920s; as a consequence of the fact that railways were the strategic arteries that essentially controlled Russia, armored trains have never played such a significant role in military history as they did in the Russian Civil War. This title details their management, construction and repair, personnel and training and combat on all fronts, as well as discussing Trotsky's armored train, in which he conducted 36 tours.
The Russian BMP infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) was one of the most significant innovations in infantry tactics in the latter half of the 20th century. Built in response to the threat of nuclear warfare, it was the world's first IFV, providing the infantry squad with unprecedented firepower, mobility and protection. With over 55,000 manufactured since 1966, the BMP is also numerically one of the most important armoured vehicles ever built. This richly illustrated book examines the development and design of the BMP, detailing its armaments, performance in combat and variants.
The concept of the Main Battle Tank emerged from the Centurion Universal tank that was developed at the end of World War II. Development of its successor began as early as 1951. The Chieftain incorporated significant innovations including a reclining driver position and two-piece ammunition for greater survivability. The tank entered service in 1967 and was the heaviest armed and armoured MBT within the NATO alliance. The Chieftain saw combat during the Iran-Iraq War, with the Kuwaitis during the 1990 Iraqi invasion and with the British Army during the Gulf War of 1990-91 as special-purpose variants. This book explores the design, development and operation of one of the most influential vehicles used in modern warfare.
For most of World War II, British tank development remained faithful to the design philosophy inaugurated during World War I. Experiences in North Africa highlighted flaws in this basic design, however, and the General Staff identified the need for a new heavy cruiser that could combine speed and manoeuvrability with increased armour and armament. The Cromwell Cruiser tank was designed as a result and soon proved itself one of the fastest and most successful tanks deployed by the Allies during World War II. This book details the design and development of the Cromwell and its many variants, from its introduction at D-Day, through its many successes in the final year of World War II and beyond.
The Covenanter (which never saw active service) and Crusader Cruiser tanks were developed between 1939 and 1940. The Crusader first saw action in the North African desert in June 1941: its speed and sleek design made it a hard target to hit, and the tank was well-respected by the Afrikakorps for its velocity in combat. But its hurried development prior to World War II also made it prone to mechanical failure. This book examines the Covenanter and the many variants of the Crusader tank, detailing the designs, developments and disappointments of these infamous World War II tanks.
The Iosef Stalin tanks were the ultimate heavy tanks developed by the Soviet Union and were popularly called 'Victory tanks' due to their close association with the defeat of Germany in 1945. Yet in spite of their reputation, the Stalin tanks emerged from a troubled design, had a brief moment of glory in 1944 and 1945, and disappeared in ignominy after 1960. This title covers the events contributing to the Soviet Union's need to design the new series, with particular reference to the unsuccessful KV series and the advent of a new generation of heavy German tanks including the Tiger. It also covers their development, operational history and myriad variants. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Named after Klimenti Voroshilov, the People's Commissar for Defence, the KVs proved a nasty surprise for German tank crews during the early days of Operation Barbarossa. Although slow, they were extremely heavily armoured. This volume examines the transition from multi-turreted tanks to heavy single-turret vehicles, consisting of the KV-1 and 2, and the increased favour given to the heavy single-turret after the Germans began to develop ammunition capable of penetrating even the thickest armour, whilst detailing the design, development and operational history of the Soviet Union's monstrous KV series of tanks.
Development of the Leopard 1 can be traced back to November 1956, when the operational requirement for a new battle tank was formulated by the Federal German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). Originally a Franco-German project, the tank under design was named the 'Standard-Panzer'. The French later dropped out, however, and on 1 October 1963 the 'Standard' tank was officially named 'Leopard', an appropriate choice considering Germany's wartime pedigree with the formidable Tiger and Panther. This book traces the development and service record of the Leopard 1, detailing its control systems, modifications and variants.
The US Army had a unique tactical doctrine during World War II, placing the emphasis for tank fighting on its Tank Destroyer Command whose main early-war vehicle was the M10 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage, based on the reliable M4A2 Sherman tank chassis. This durable and versatile vehicle saw combat service from the North Africa campaign in 1943. By 1944, its gun was not powerful enough and it was rearmed with the new 90 mm gun, becoming the M36 90mm Gun Motor Carriage. This book details one of the only US armoured vehicles capable of dealing with the Panther and Tiger during the Battle of the Bulge.
As armoured warfare tactics matured, mechanised infantry became a key ingredient in what is now called 'combined arms' doctrine. For the US Army of World War 2, the most important technical aspect of infantry mechanisation was the development of the M3 half-track personnel carrier. Steven Zaloga guides the reader through the early 1930s development of the half-track, its first deployment in action in the Philippines in 1941 and its varied and vital role in international deployments since World War 2. This authoritative text also examines the operators of half-tracks and the troops that they carried.
The Matilda was the principal British infantry tank in the early years of World War II. It served with the BEF in France and later in North Africa, where it earned the title 'Queen of the Desert'. Outclassed by increasingly powerful German anti-tank weapons, it still remained a power in the South-East Pacific, and was kept in service until the end of the war by Australian forces. In this title, David Fletcher deals with Marks I to V. Development and operational history are discussed, along with service in other countries, including Germany and Russia. Numerous variants are also covered, including the prototype 'Hedgehog' bunker-busting weapon.
The T-34 was the most influential tank design of World War 2. When first introduced into combat in the summer of 1941, it represented a revolutionary leap forward in tank design. Its firepower, armour protection and mobility were superior to that of any other medium tank of the period. This superiority did not last long. While the T-34 underwent a series of incremental improvements during 1943, it was being surpassed by new German tank designs, most notably the Panther. This title traces the life of the original T-34 through all its difficulties to eventual success.
The T-34-85 tank is one of those rare weapons that have remained in service for more than half a century. First introduced in 1944, it has seen combat in nearly every corner of the globe. Steven Zaloga and Jim Kinnear look at this long-serving tank at length. Although long obsolete in Europe, it has proven a reliable and potent weapon in many Third World conflicts, and is still in service with more than a dozen armies around the world.
The Russian T-72 Ural tank is the most widely-deployed main battle tank of the current generation. Used by the armies of the former Warsaw pact and Soviet Union, it has also been exported in large numbers to many of the states in the Middle East. This book reveals the previously secret history behind the tank. Steven J Zaloga examines the conditions under which the T-72 was designed and produced. Technical aspects of the weapon are also discussed, including its EDZ reactive armour which, when it first appeared in December 1984, gave NATO a nasty shock.