Book News: WoT Ad for the Hunnicutt “Firepower” Reprint

We don’t usually post ads here, but we will make an exception for this one.

Book Alert: South African Armour of the Border War 1975-89

A new entry in the Osprey New Vanguard series is scheduled for release on Thursday, Feb 23.  South African Armour of the Border War 1975-89 (New Vanguard) by Kyle Harmse and Simon Dunstan is the first New Vanguard title to explore armor in Sub-Saharan Africa.  As with other books in this series, this is a softcover book of 48 pages with numerous black and white and color photos and plates.  While Kyle Harmse is a new name to us, Simon Dunstan is quite familiar, having written over 50 books on military history as well as appearing in several TV documentaries.

Publisher’s Description:

The Border War saw the biggest armoured battles in Africa since World War II. Starting as a counter-insurgency operation by the South African Defence Force (SADF) against the South West Africa People’s Organisation, South Africa became embroiled in the complex Angolan Civil War, where they came up against enemies well supplied with equipment and armoured vehicles from the Soviet Union.

With the aid of stunning illustrations and photographs, this study details the characteristics, capabilities and performance of the wide variety of armoured vehicles deployed by the SADF, from the Eland armoured car to the Ratel infantry combat vehicle and the Olifant tank. Designed for the unique conditions of the region, South Africa’s armour was distinctive and innovative, and has influenced the design of counterinsurgency armoured vehicles around the world.

Frequently requested by Osprey readers, and written by two renowned experts on armoured vehicles, this will appeal to all those interested in modern armour and the Cold War proxy wars.

eBook Alert: T-34 and SU-152

World of Tanks has announced that the Russian language books on the T-34 and SU-152 put out by Tactical Press books a couple years ago are now available in English language ebook versions.  Hardcover versions of these books are planned, although not available yet.  For those wishing to purchase the ebook version, click here.

Publisher’s description:

2-booksThe World of Tanks series books are now available for the first time in English! They include never-before-seen photos, diagrams, and documents from Soviet archives—which is why we distinguish each volume as “The Russian View.”

In “The SU-152 and Related Vehicles,” you will learn about the design and evolution of the legendary self-propelled gun on the KV chassis, including many little-known prototypes and proposed alternate models. “The T-34 Goes to War” chronicles the real story of the celebrated medium tank, from its troubled conception to its first, desperate combat actions in the cauldron of Barbarossa. Both books are richly illustrated with photos, blueprints, and cutaway diagrams.

Comments on the series from Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran:

Those of you around for a while will recall the release of the Tactical Press books in Russian a couple of years ago. Sadly, my enjoyment and the utility of my autographed copies has been limited somewhat by the minor detail that I don’t read any Russian, hence the idea that these books be translated into English, and I wholeheartedly approve.

The entire series covers vehicles that have already been addressed in English. However, these are based on the research of Russian authors who were able to take advantage of the more open Russian archives. Until now, we have been limited pretty much to the work of folks like Zaloga or Warford — well-regarded authors, but ultimately Americans at a distance from the source. I’ll guarantee that the information published hasn’t been available in English before now.

Hey Haynes, you might want to fix this…

We regularly check Amazon to see what books are coming out related to tanks and AFVs.  One that caught our eye is a Haynes Manual for the M1 Abrams MBT due out in June 10.  The book cover struck us as a bit odd…

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We think the issue with this cover is fairly obvious (wrong tank).  All kidding aside, we understand this book is still a few months from publication and this version of the cover is probably something that was thrown together quickly as a place holder.  We own several of the Haynes manuals on tanks, finding them to be worth while references.  We will most likely be buying this new book as well when it comes out.   That said, we couldn’t resist poking a little fun at this cover.

Update (2/21/2017) – Well, it looks like they finally got the right tank on the cover.  Now if Amazon would just fix the title in the listing….

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Book Alert: Panzergrenadier vs US Armored Infantryman: European Theater of Operations 1944 (Combat)

Osprey released a new entry in their “Combat” series this past month titled Panzergrenadier vs US Armored Infantryman: European Theater of Operations 1944 (Combat). For those familiar with the Osprey Duel series, the Combat series is of a similar format but deals with infantry rather than vehicles/planes/ships. While we don’t normally post book alerts for this particular Opsrey series, we included this title since it deals with mechanized infantry and because it is authored by Steven Zaloga, one of the most prolific and well respected historians of AFV history.  This is a softcover book of 80 pages, well illustrated with black and white and color images.

Publisher’s Description:

During World War II, the two preeminent mechanized infantry forces of the conflict, the German Panzergrenadier arm and the U.S. Army’s armored infantrymen clashed in France and Belgium after the Normandy landings. These engagements went on to profoundly influence the use of mechanized infantry in the postwar world. Drawing upon a variety of sources, this book focuses on three key encounters between July and December of 1944 including during Operation Cobra and the Battle of the Bulge, and examines the origins, equipment, doctrine, and combat record of both forces.

With specially commissioned full-color artwork and maps, this study casts light on the evolving nature of mechanized warfare at the height of World War II

Book Alert: Hunnicutt “Firepower” Reprint Edition

Echo Point books has announced that they are releasing a limited edition reprint of Richard Hunnicutt’s classic book on US heavy tanks, “Firepower.”  This edition of the book differs from the other Echo Point Hunnicutt reprints in that it is done in partnership with World of Tanks.  Nicholas Moran, researcher for Wargaming NA has provided a new forward for this edition as well as providing improved images scanned from the National Archives.  This edition is available for pre-order from the Echo Point website for $52.95.  This is a hardcover edition and is listed to ship in April.

Here is an excerpt from the new edition written by World of Tanks researcher Nicholas Moran.

firepower_cvr_web“It was in the early 2000s that I had the honor of meeting Mr Hunnicutt at a gathering of tank enthusiasts at the then-Littlefield Collection. Had I known then what I know now, I would have paid much more attention to the genial old chap who seemed to have near-celebrity status amongst my companions, and less to the tanks. Over time, as my interest in the history of armoured vehicles developed, I began to understand why he was the focus of such attention. “Hunnicutt” has become synonymous with being the last word of recorded US armored vehicle development, and until now his works have commanded very high prices on the used-book market, with good reason.

It has been only after I have started to do my own research into AFV development, digging in the various archives, that I have truly understood the special nature of his books. To begin with, there is the task of collating all the data, of which there are massive amounts, and, worse, sadly not always well organized in the archives. Part of the credit for preservation of the data goes to folks who violated process and protocol, keeping collections and copies which may otherwise have been destroyed to save space, or remained classified simply because nobody bothered to de-classify old documents. I have personally recently encountered 1950s documents which appear in this volume in the classified section of the National Archives (Since de-classified). Even the mechanics of collecting the data is worthy of a raised eyebrow: I have several hundred rolls of film he used to make copies for his records in the days before good-quality photo-copiers or scanners, which must have taken notable time and expense, all done with no guarantee of repayment. Then, once collected, the data has to be sorted and the information to be published extracted, itself a time-consuming process. And, finally, the book itself has to be written.

Firepower is a book of particular interest. That the United States Army had a significant heavy tank program seems to have been a fact almost lost to history were it not for this book, and perhaps the occasional curiosity of someone in Fort Knox wondering what those big tanks sitting as monuments around post were, or maybe of people driving past the Mile of Tanks at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Firepower thus became in effect the public guardian of the knowledge, and the primary source document for the appropriate vehicles incorporated into World of Tanks.

World of Tanks itself seems to have been the impetus for a renewed public interest in the history of US tank development, with likely millions of people becoming aware of many of these experimental heavy tanks through the game. However the opportunities to learn more about them were limited due to the scarcity and cost of used copies of Firepower. Copies were hoarded like manuscripts at a monastery during the dark ages of tank ignorance, with possession of one being a matter of pride as an indicator of being a serious tank enthusiast. It seems perhaps fitting, then, that we can help repay the service that Mr Hunnicutt gave us at Wargaming with Firepower by helping make Firepower more accessible to those people who want to learn more about the real-world history of the vehicles. After all, the more people who know the real history, the better.”

 

Book Alert: Tigers In Combat: Volume III: Operation, Training, Tactics

Amazon is listing a January 19 release date for Tigers In Combat: Volume III: Operation, Training, Tactics by Wolfgang Schneider.  This book is a follow-up to his popular volumes Tigers in Combat I and Tigers in Combat II.  This is a substantial book, being a hardcover of 520 pages.  For those interested in the big German cats of WWII, this is probably a must have item.

Publisher’s Description:

Tigers in Combat Vol 3 closes the gap between the unit histories of volumes 1 and 2 and the technical descriptions in the Jentz and Spielberger books. For the first time, efforts are described in detail of what was taken to create units and what was required to keep the Tiger tank in action regarding handling and operating the vehicle. Other chapters deal with crew training and specific tactical aspects to employ such a heavy tank under all fighting conditions. Further aspects are covered, such as the protection level of the Tiger and reasons for losses – as well as propaganda work with this famous beast. Due to the usage of more than 1,200 photos and drawings, even complex crew tasks and procedures are illustrated in a way that non-Tiger crewmen will be able to comprehend.