Book Alert: A13 Cruiser Mk.V Covenanter Tank A Technical History

British author and researcher P.M. Knight has released a new and massively updated version of this book on the A13 “Covenanter” Cruiser tank.  This is a significantly larger edition than the previous edition, coming in at a substantial 220 pages.  It is fair to say that this is the most comprehensive coverage of the Covenanter tank ever put down on paper.

Publisher’s Description:

product_thumbnailThe Covenanter was intended to be the main equipment of the Armoured Divisions during the early years of the Second World War, and was a generally reliable tank that was well suited to its primary task of home defence. Due to a rather convoluted series of events, mainly involving material shortages, it would not see service overseas, and as Britain’s strategic circumstances evolved it would increasingly be used as a training tank. If the Covenanter’s active service was relatively uneventful, its development life was the very opposite, with two drastically different variants of the original machine being created, and constant refinement being undertaken while it was in the hands of its users. The Covenanter was reflective of the many blind spots in the British Army’s pre-war thinking as regards Armoured Fighting Vehicles, and from its travails much practical experience was gained that benefited subsequent tank designs.

Available from Lulu.com.

Book Alert: German Heavy Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War: From Tiger to E-100

Fonthill Media has released a new title by author Ken Estes titled German Heavy Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War: From Tiger to E-100.  This is a 180 page softcover book.

Publisher’s Description:

The German army faced tanks of superior size, armor and firepower from the outset of World War II. Although their Panzerwaffen handled the Polish campaign, war with France meant confronting superior heavy and medium tanks like the Char B and Somua, with 47 mm high velocity cannon that penetrated German tank armor with ease. French infantry disposed of effective antitank weapons and a portion of their 75 mm field guns were detailed as antitank guns. Even greater challenges emerged with the Russo-German War, for the Germans had no initial answer to the KV-1 heavy tank and T-34 medium.

The successive technical shocks of superior tanks introduced by each side produced a gun-armor race that continued in some manner even after the war’s end. The Germans placed a premium on technological quality and superiority over mass production, for which their industry (and, arguably, their regime) remained rather unsuited. Not satisfied with the advantage they obtained with the Tiger and Panther series tanks, the army leadership and Adolf Hitler himself pushed for larger and more powerful tanks than had ever been built.

Available from Amazon here.

Book Alert: Armor Camouflage & Markings of the British Expeditionary Force, France 1939–1940

A new entry in the Armor Color Gallery series has been released, titled Armor Camouflage & Markings of the British Expeditionary Force, France 1939–1940: Part 1: 1st Army Tank Brigade (Armor Color Gallery) by Robert Gregory.  This is an 80 page softcover book.

Publisher’s description:

During the inter war period, the British army decided upon two tank designs: the Infantry Tank, which featured thick armor and slow speed to attack defensive positions, and the Cruiser Tank, with thin armor and fast speed to exploit any breakthrough. The Infantry Tank would equip an Army Tank Brigade and the Cruisers would equip the Armored Brigades. These designs were based on the theory that any new war would resemble the static warfare of 1914–1918.

Early in the 1940 campaign in France and Flanders, the British Expeditionary Force, along with the Belgian army and the best French divisions, were encircled north of the Somme. Futile attempts were made to break the encirclement. One such attempt was made by the 1st Army Tank Brigade, launched south of the town of Arras. The appearance of these Infantry Tanks stunned the German commander, who did not realize how few tanks there actually were, which caused the Germans to slow their advance, thus buying valuable time for the Dunkirk evacuation. The only British tanks north of the Somme that were capable of fighting other tanks were the Infantry Tanks of the 1st Army Tank Brigade. The Brigade had only two of its three Battalions and only one Battalion with its full complement of the larger A12.

Part 1 of Armor Camouflage & Markings of the British Expeditionary Force, France 1939–1940 examines the tanks of the 1st Army Tank Brigade. For security reasons, photography by British soldiers was strictly forbidden but encouraged on the German side. These after-the-battle photographs taken by German soldiers are valuable in examining what the tanks looked like during the 1940 campaign. Included are 157 b&w photographs and 26 full-color plates. Using war diaries, training pamphlets and other documents, the camouflage and markings of these armored vehicles are described. A brief description of the three types of tanks used, and the movements of the Brigade during the campaign are also covered. The photo captions point out the differences in the three types of A11, the modifications made specifically to the A12s and other information when known, such as the vehicle’s location and tank crew. The color plates depict the Light Tanks, the A11 and A12 Infantry Tanks, and show the camouflage and markings on several of each type. This book is the best-captioned reference to date, companioned with charts, rare unpublished photographs and color plates. It is a valuable resource for the armor enthusiast and military modeler.

Available from Amazon here.

Video Book Review: The Battle of Kursk

In this video we take a look at The Battle of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects by Valeriy Zamulin.

Video: Four books we don’t like

In this video we rant a bit about some of our least favorite tank books.

Video: New Osprey Titles from Steven Zaloga

We take a look at a few new titles from Osprey books by Steven Zaloga.  This is the first of our videos produced in-house.  It’s been a while since we did any video production, so forgive the quality on this one.

Book Alert: T-90 Standard Tank: The First Tank of the New Russia

Osprey books has released a new entry in the New Vanguard series.  This one is titled T-90 Standard Tank: The First Tank of the New Russia (New Vanguard) and is authored by Steven Zaloga.  It follows the standard New Vanguard pattern, being a softcover of 48 pages with color photos and illustrations.

Publisher’s Description:

In the wake of the T-72 tank’s poor performance in the 1991 Gulf War, the Kremlin instructed the Russian tank industry to drop the discredited T-72 designation in favour of the T-90 Vladimir. The T-90 was in fact a further evolution of the T-72 family, but the name change represented an important break in Russian/Soviet tank design history. The T-90 has become the principal export tank of Russia, and is in service in large numbers in many countries including Algeria, India, and many of the former Soviet republics. Using detailed illustrations and full colour artwork, this book will also describe the evolution of the T-90s many failed successors including the little known Bokser, Molot, and T-95, as well as its likely successor, the new T-14 Armata, and the wide range of specialized vehicles based on the T-90 chassis such as the formidable Terminator tank support vehicle.

Available from Amazon here.