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

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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.”


Hunnicutt’s Abrams and Pershing Books Reprinted

51kvxIYQoHL._SX385_BO1,204,203,200_Echo Point Books & Media have released a reprints of Abrams: A History of the American Main Battle Tank, Vol. 2 and Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series by R. P. Hunnicutt.  The Abrams book is available in either softcover for $45 or hardcover for $55 while the Pershing book is $40 for the softcover or $50 for hardcover .  With the reprinting of Abrams and Pershing, Echo Point has now reprinted six of the ten books that Hunnicutt wrote documenting the history of US Armor.  Hunnicutt’s book ‘Firepower: the history of US Heavy Tanks”, is believed to be reprinted soon by the folks over at World of Tanks.  That leaves only Sheridan, Armored Car, and Bradley as available only in the original editions.  Fortunately, these three were later books in the series and generally can be found for under $100 on the used book market

51Xp1KKyCEL._SX385_BO1,204,203,200_It’s fair to say that the works of R. P. Hunnicutt are essential items in the collection of anyone serious about learning about US Armor history.  The Abrams book covers not only the development of the Abrams, but also earlier attempts at developing a new MBT during the cold war, such as the T-95 and the MBT-70.  The book was published in 1990, so it does not include any information on Abrams variants past that date.  Pershing covers the development of the T-20 series through to the M26 Pershing.  Used copies of the original hardcover editions of these books are long out of print and command $100+ prices on the used book market, so these affordable reprints are most certainly a welcome development for tank and AFV aficionados.

Book Alert: Reprint of ‘Firepower” by Hunnicut is planned

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted on his facebook account that his employer WarGaming is planning a World of Tanks reprint edition of the book “Firepower” by R. P.  Hunnicutt.  This book is long out of print and typically commands several hundred dollars for used copies in good condition.  Here is the post:

11755787_988543301185451_5192717826878223814_nOK, so we’re suffering from a bit of a dilemma. We’re hoping to release a WoT Edition of a book. Improved on the original a bit, we’ve sent them recent scans of photos from the archives, foreword and some addenda by myself, and so on.

The idea is that we do a single print run, and pass on the economy of scale to you guys. So, the more that are sold, the cheaper it is for everyone. (We also don’t care much about the book profit, so that’s a cost reduction too. The bottom line is that it’ll never be cheaper). Fine in theory. The catch: Usually these low-volume books are made ‘print-on-demand’, which may be a slightly lesser quality, is certainly more expensive in volume, but is decidedly faster.To do this right, highest quality printing, lowest cost, etc, has a long turnaround time from the printer. In theory, if we went by “Announce on Day 1. Close orders Day 30. Tally number of orders. Print that many”, it could take up to three months between when someone clicks “Checkout, take my credit card info” to when the book is shipped. I don’t understand the technology/process, that’s just what the publisher has told me. In effect, it’s a pre-order. For ease, we may go with a fixed price, and then add gold codes of a value to make up the difference.

The alternative is that we take a wild guess as to how many might be sold, order that many in advance, and hope not too many people get disappointed (and that we didn’t wildly over-estimate). Those X many people will get their books pretty much immediately. We have absolutely no idea how big a number “X” should be, we don’t really have a basis for comparison.

So, on the basis that we want to get the most people to benefit for the least cost, the question becomes “Just how patient are you guys? Are you willing to wait several months for this?” My personal opinion is that anyone who’s willing to pay dollars for this particular book is also willing to wait, but you never know, especially when our customers are used to clicking ‘purchase’ and having their goods deposited in their account within a few minutes.

Photo is prototype. Expect the final product to look a little different (Author’s name on spine, etc)

Reprints of “Patton” and “Half-Track” by Hunnicutt released

PattonEcho Point Books has released reprints of R. P. Hunnicutt’s books “Patton” and “Half-Track.”  Earlier this year they also released reprint editions of “Stuart” and “Sherman” by Hunnicutt.  Unlike the Stuart and Sherman books which are priced at $69.95 softcover and 499.95 hardcover, the Patton book is $59.95/$79.95 while the Half-Track book is $39.95/$49.95.  Reviews of these reprints have generally been mixed, with purchasers commenting that the paper quality is not the high quality glossy paper found in the original editions.  It has also been noted that these reprints appear to be based on scans of the original works.  According to ‘The Chieftain” Nicholas Moran, the publisher will be changing their printing mechanism for future print runs.

Book Alert: Hunnicutt’s Sherman and Stuart reprinted

Sherman-600x600As of March 26, Richard Hunnicutt’s books “Stuart” and “Sherman” have been reprinted are and available in both hardcover and softcover.  These books have long been out of print and are highly prized by fans of American armor history.  Prices on the original editions range from 200-300 dollars so while this reprint edition is not cheap, it is a welcome alternative to the rather pricey original copies.  These editions have been published by Echo Point Books & Media, an outfit probably unfamiliar to most tank book readers.  According to their website, Echo Point Books specializes in republishing out of print books.

Publisher’s Description for “Sherman”:

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