Book Review: AMX-30 by M.P. Robinson

AMX 30 RobinsonIt’s fair to say that as far as cold war era tanks go, the AMX-30 has never received as much attention as vehicles like the British Centurion and Chieftain, the US Patton series, and the German Leopards.  In fact, the only thing published specifically on the AMX-30 in English (as far as we can tell) is AFV Weapons Profile #63 by R.M. Ogorkiewicz way back in the early 70’s!  Clearly, this is a vehicle that deserves better than one book in 50 years, so it was a welcome development when Polish publisher Kagero released this new two volume set on the AMX-30.  The author of the book, M.P. Robinson remains a bit of a mystery.   The book does not include an “about the author” section and a quick google search does not reveal any other books written by Mr.  Robinson.   Fortunately,  Mr. Robinson is more than up to the task given him.

The books are a bit larger than the Osprey New Vanguard series most tank fans are familiar with.  The paper is quite nice quality and glossy and each book is just under 80 pages.  The two volumes have a similar layout, the first 50 -60 pages contain most of the text, detailing the history and development of the vehicle while also including a considerable number of photos, charts and diagrams.  The remaining pages in each book are a photo gallery of various up close photos of the vehicle.  This section of the book will be of most value to model builders while people interested in the history of the tank will find more of value in the first half of the book.  The quality of the photos is quite good, although only about two pages of the second book contain any interior shots of the vehicle.

The text is well written and contains plenty of information without becoming unduly dry.  Frankly, so little has been published in English on the AMX-30 that there is little available for this reviewer to compare the text of the books against.  This set is easily the most detailed history of the AMX-30 in English to date.  For anyone interested in post-war tanks, these volumes will be a welcome addition.

Kagero provides a very nice preview of the book on their website.  Vol. 1  Vol. 2

Note: There is a third volume in this series titled “AMX Family” which looks at other vehicles based on the AMX chassis.  Tank and AFV News have not had a chance to examine this volume yet. 

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