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M1 Abrams (Paperback)

The US's Main Battle Tank in American and Foreign Service, 1981–2019

WWII Tanks Modelling Photographic Books WWII Photographic Books Weaponry Military

By David Grummitt
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Tank Craft
Pages: 64
Illustrations: 200
ISBN: 9781526749758
Published: 4th November 2019


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Since its introduction in 1981, at the height of the Cold War, the Abrams main battle tank has been one of the most visible and iconic symbols of American military power, and it is the fascinating subject of this heavily illustrated historical and modelling guide in the TankCraft series by David Grummitt.

Designed to meet head-on the massed tank forces of the Warsaw Pact, its combat debut in fact came in a different scenario in 1991 during the First Gulf War. Since then it has served in the peace-keeping role in the former Yugoslavia and seen combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. It has gone through a series of modifications and modernizations that see it set to remain the backbone of the US Army until at least 2050.

As well as charting the development and combat history of the vehicle, the book is illustrated throughout with colour photos and specially commissioned colour profiles. Seven different models, covering the service history of the Abrams, are featured, as is a modellers' guide to the existing kits and accessories in all the popular scales.

This is the first one of these books that I have read from the Tank Craft series. The book looks impressive from the outside and it’s a pleasure to say that it is impressive on the inside. This is like one of those Haynes Manuals for cars, only for military vehicles. This book looks at the main American battle tank the M1 Abrams, The book looks at the specifications of the tank, and it also looks at the various camouflage schemes it has gone through the different theatres of war it has served in. Not only do we get the text of a bit of history of what it went through but also how the soldiers were able to adapt to the situations and the possible future developments of the tank. There are lots of photographs of the tanks in the environment from the Balkans, to the Gulf, to all around the world, especially as it is used by a number of allied countries.

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UK Historian

64 pages that condense a very interesting documentation that will delight vehicle modelers, historians and military researchers.

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Miniaturas JM

Volume 17 in Pen and Sword’s “Tank Craft” range looks at the M1 Abrams Tank in American and Foreign Service between 1981 and 2019. This volume follows the format of the other books in the series by combining a well-illustrated history of the real tank with six model builds and eight pages of colour illustrations of this tank.
The book starts by examining American tank evolution after World War II and then looks at how the development of US armour stalled in the 1960s and early 1970s. However, by 1973 in response to the new tanks being produced by the Soviets the US Congress had approved the development of the next generation of US armour. The result was the M1 Abrams. The rest of this section is a comprehensive guide to the different versions of the M1 that have been developed since 1980. The history section continues by examining the M1 in the Cold War as well as the significant contribution the tank made in the First Gulf War, operations in Bosnia and Kosovo and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. This part concludes with looking at the M1 in use today and concludes with examining the Abrams in US Marine Corps and Foreign Service.
Sandwiched between the text about the history of the real vehicle are colour side illustrations of camouflage schemes carried by a variety of M1s. There are then six model builds; four in 1/35 scale; one in 1/72 scale and one in 1/48 scale. As you would expect the standard of model making is very high and there is even a vehicle built and finished by the author. There then follows a comprehensive guide to the full kits and after-market parts and tracks that are available. Author David Grummitt is the editor of Military Modelcraft International magazine and whilst his knowledge of all things model related shines through here, he clearly knows his subject well and the text is both very informative and easily readable.
This book will prove invaluable for model makers building almost any version of the M1 Abrams. Lavishly illustrated throughout with very comprehensive captions this book is essential reading for those interested in modern armour. The Tank Craft series is well established as providing a history of the subject as well as comprehensive information for model makers. This is one of the best in the series and is highly recommended to model makers and military historians interested in the M1 Abrams.


The M1 Abrams tank and its improved variants are the spearhead of the US armored forces, Grummitt's book, like all those in the TankCraft series, is a fantastic introduction to what is a fantastic tank, an introduction that will benefit model makers as well as historians, and we can say that even this TankCraft volume cannot be missing on your shelves.

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Old Barbed Wire Blog

Intended as a guide for military vehicle modellers, this highly detailed look at the M1 Abrams tank is as much a history of the vehicle as a modellers' aid.

Books Monthly

This title is a cracking first port of call for any scale modeller interested in creating a miniature version of the M1 Abrams, Main Battle Tank (MBT). The scale modelling section is full colour with some very high quality modelling on offer.

Highly recommended.

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Scale Modelling Now

Well illustrated throughout, not just the modellers showcase, but with plenty of archive photos of the real thing in service. The Abrams is a regular modellers subject, so this one is sure to be popular.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

Designed for armoured warfare in Europe during the Cold War, the Abrams has spent its combat exposure in the Middle East both as a Main Battle Tank engaged in fighting armour and in asymmetric warfare against insurgents. This is a book aimed primarily at the modelling community, but the high standard of illustration makes it applicable to anyone with an interest in armour and modern combat environments. – Very Highly Recommended.

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The model section is very well written when it comes to models and after market options and should enable the modeller to make an informed choice to a degree. The finished models are really well done and stunning builds.

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Featured ON THE BOOK SHELF with Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, November 2019

About David Grummitt

David Grummitt is editor of Military Modelcraft International with more than a decade of building models and writing articles for publication. As well as being editor of MMI since 2009, he is a professional historian who has written several books on fifteenth- and sixteenth-century military and political history. His most recent book in the TankCraft series is M1 Abrams: The US's Main Battle Tank in American and Foreign Service, 1981-2019.

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