People familiar with Osprey’s New Vanguard series and with Steven Zaloga will know exactly what to expect from this title; a well written, well researched book with quality photos and illustrations. Mr. Zaloga also wrote the New Vanguard series books on the Soviet T-62, T-72 and T-80, so this volume completes the set nicely. That the T-64 is the last of the Soviet Cold War MBT’s to get its own New Vanguard book is indicative of how this vehicle has been overshadowed by its more well known stablemates. Ironically, the T-64 was perhaps the most important of the Cold War Soviet designs, setting the template for all the Soviet tanks that followed. Zaloga does a very nice job in describing the internal politics that led to the development of the T-64, a tale with more than a few characters and plot twists. It is perhaps appropriate that this book came out now, as it’s only been in the last year that the T-64 has seen combat, being used extensively in the fighting in Ukraine.
The only complaint regarding this book is the length. As with all the Osprey New Vanguard titles, the book is only 48 pages. Considering the number of photos and illustrations, the space available for text is rather limited and one gets the impression that Mr. Zaloga could easily fill a larger volume with his knowledge of this topic. The “Further Reading” section at the end of the book shows that a good deal of information is available regarding the T-64, but it is almost exclusively in Russian language sources. We can only hope that a publisher offers Mr. Zaloga a chance to write a more detailed hard cover book on Soviet post war tank development, perhaps an updated version of his classic “Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles: 1946 to Present” published back in 1987. That said, this New Vanguard T-64 book is at present the best (and one of the few) volumes out there dedicated specifically to this essential battle tank of the cold war.