Soviet T-10: Q&A with Stephen “Cookie” Sewell

Stephen Sewell croppedTank and AFV News corresponded recently with Stephen “Cookie” Sewell, co-author of the new book Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants published by Osprey.  Mr. Sewell was born in New York and is a retired US Army chief warrant officer and Department of the Army intelligence analyst.  Trained in both the Vietnamese and Russian languages, Mr. Sewell has written numerous intelligence articles as well as many pieces on American and Russian armor.  He is an enthusiastic scale model builder and the founder of the Armor Model Preservation Society in 1992.  He is also a prolific reviewer of model kits and books.

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Can you give us a description of your career in the US Army and US government?

I entered the Army in September 1968 and was trained as a Vietnamese linguist. After a short tour in Vietnam and then at NSA was retrained as a Russian linguist in 1973. Spent a total of nine years on strategic intelligence assignments and nine years tactical ones. Retired in 1990 as a Chief Warrant officer. Due to expertise hired back three months later into same job I retired from and arrived two weeks before Desert Shield/Desert Storm started. Changed to the National Ground Intelligence Center predecessor in 1991 and then to that organization when created in 1994. Retired from there in 2011

How did you get the nickname Cookie?

I came back from Vietnam in 1971 and my brother wanted me to see a new kids’ show on PBS called “Sesame Street”. First Muppet I saw was the Cookie Monster, who in the space of two minutes ate an entire box of cookies, the box, and a telephone. My kind of guy! When I got to NSA I started drawing him doing stuff like eating MiG-21s and people in my office started referring to me as “Cookie Monster”. Stuffed my desk with chocolate [Read more…]

From the Editor: War is Boring blog on Russian tank history

In the last couple weeks, a couple articles on Soviet tank history have appeared on the War is Boring blog.  One is a somewhat critical look at the WWII era KV tank while the other is a brief examination of post war Soviet heavy tank development.  By themselves, we didn’t really feel they merited posting about, but since they keep showing up in our daily searches for tank related articles, we did want to raise one point concerning them.

It seems both articles are based in part on an old ARMOR magazine article by Stephen “Cookie” Sewell titled Red Star – White Elephant.  As part of our “From the Vault” series of posts, we posted that particular article, as well as another ARMOR article by Sewell called Why Three Tanks?  in 2015.  Sewell is a well known figure in the AFV model building community, being the founder and first president of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society.  He is also known for his model kit and book reviews which have appeared in Fine Scale Modeler magazine or online at the missing-lynx.com forum.

It is worth noting that Amazon has listed for release next summer a new book by Sewell on the Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants.  All we know about the book at this point is that it will be published by Osprey and will be a 144 page hardcover.

 

From the Vault: Why Three Tanks?

Today we present an article from the July-August 1998 issue of ARMOR titled “Why Three Tanks” by Stephen “Cookie” Sewell.  This article gives a nice overview of Soviet tank development from WW2 through the cold war seeking to explain why the USSR ended up with three similar main battle tanks, the T-64, T-72 and T-80.  Mr. Sewell wrote several articles for Armor and is an avid model builder, being the founder and first president of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society.

From the Vault: ARMOR article on Soviet Heavy Tanks

IS-3Today we present an article from the July-August 2002 issue of ARMOR magazine titled “Red Star – White Elephant?”  This article, written by Stephen “Cookie” Sewell, casts a critical eye on post WW2 Soviet heavy tank design, in particular the IS-3 and T-10.  Sewell notes that much of the information he is basing his conclusions on comes from research done after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  In the 1990s, access to the Soviet era archives opened up, allowing a new generation of Soviet armor authors to research and write.  Many of these names show up in the bibliography of this article, including Svirin, Baryatinskiy, and Kolomiets.  Unfortunately for western audiences, these Russian author’s works have not, for the most part,  been published in English.