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Tank Battles of the Cold War, 1948–1991 (Hardback)

Tanks 20th Century Cold War Military

By Anthony Tucker-Jones
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 70 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526778017
Published: 12th April 2021

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As Anthony Tucker-Jones shows in this highly illustrated, wide-ranging history, for most of the Cold War the tank retained its pre-eminence on the battlefield. The Arab-Israeli wars witnessed some of the biggest tank battles of all time, and tanks played key roles in conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan as well as in the Iran-Iraq War and the wars fought between India and Pakistan. But then in the mid-1960s anti-tank weapons became ever deadlier and the Mechanised Infantry Fighting Vehicle (MIFV), which was designed to support infantry and fight tanks, emerged and the heyday of the tank was over.

Chapters cover each major phase in the evolution of the tank and of tank warfare during the period, from the battles fought in the late 1940s and 1950s with Second World War armoured vehicles like the T-34 and the Sherman, through to the designs common in the 1960s and 1970s like the T-55, Centurion, Challenger and M60 Patton, to the confrontation between the M1 Abrams and the T-72 during the Gulf War in 1991. Technical and design developments are important elements throughout the story, but so are dramatic changes in tactics and armaments which mean the tank has an increasingly uncertain role in modern warfare.

In 18 chapters he provides some very concise and readable summaries of various smaller wars, some better known than others I'd suggest. In each one he focuses on the involvement of the tanks and armoured units, and their impact on the assorted scenarios. They include Indo-China, Korea, the various Arab-Israeli wars, Vietnam, and the Gulf War to mention a few, along with less well remembered fights, such as in Angola, Ethiopia, Libya, the Suez Crisis, the Soviets in Afghanistan and more. Left over designs from WW2 such as the T-34/85 were involved, along with the P-54/55 and many more. The whole thing is rounded off with a summary to consider if the era of the MBT has actually passed on by. There are many different aspects to the use of tanks, well illustrated in these assorted chapters, in open desert terrain, in towns/cities etc, along with which countries can not only manufacture/sell them, but what are the costs involved and how well trained are their crews. The final element of the book are a series of 7 appendices which hold much more information about the tanks and other vehicles that are featured.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene

When one thinks about tank battles, one automatically thinks of the Second World War. In this excellent book, Anthony Tucker-Jones reminds us that, in reality, there never was a cold war, but simply a period after WW2 when things slowed down a bit whilst there were still armed conflicts going on in the Middle East and elsewhere. Brilliantly illustrated.

Books Monthly

About Anthony Tucker-Jones

Anthony Tucker-Jones, a former intelligence officer, is an author and commentator who specialises in military history, with more than 50 books to his name. His work has also been published in an array of magazines and online. He regularly appears on television and radio programmes commenting on current and historical military matters. His books include Stalin’s RevengeSlaughter on the Eastern Front, Kursk 1943The Eastern Front Air WarArmoured Warfare on the Eastern FrontD-Day 1944 and The Devil’s Bridge.

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