Book Alert: A34 Comet Tank A Technical History

Earlier this month British tank researcher P.M. Knight published his new book A34 Comet Tank A Technical History on Lulu.  This book follows his previous works on British Cruiser tanks such as the Covenanter, Crusader and the Challenger.  This is a softcover book of 240 pages with black and white illustrations.

Publisher’s Description:

The A34 Comet was the ultimate iteration of the Cruiser series of fast, mobile tanks, and built on the hard lessons that had been learned with earlier designs. However, it was also brought into being at a time when British industrial capacity was nearing exhaustion, and when officialdom already had one eye on the transition to more profitable peacetime production. As such, the Comet saga was one of the husbanding of the scarce, and declining, resources available to the tank programme against the backdrop of a conflict whose end was already in sight. As this book demonstrates in depth, the result was a well-balanced design that optimised the possibilities presented by the previous Cruisers. However, it would be outshone by its ubiquitous successor, the A41 Centurion.

Book Alert: A30 Challenger Tank A Technical History

A new book by British researcher P.M. Knight is now available from  This new volume looks at the history and development of the WW2 era British A30 Challenger tank (not to be confused with the modern Challenger MBT).  This is the third book that Mr. Knight has written on British WW2 armor, having also published volumes on the Covenanter and Crusader Cruiser tanks.  The book is available at and should be available through Amazon in a few weeks.

Publishers Description:

product_thumbnailThe A30 Challenger was devised during 1942 as a means of mounting the powerful 17 pounder anti-tank gun on the chassis of what was intended to be the British Army’s next Cruiser tank, the Cromwell. The subsequent development programme was subject to a degree of controversy as to the role and efficacy of such a vehicle, and, in the event, only 200 machines were ordered. The first examples did not see action until August 1944, and even then they were often viewed only as “stop-gaps” until the arrival of the A34 Comet. However, there were those, especially among its design team at Rolls-Royce in Belper, Derbyshire, who came to believe that the Challenger represented a missed opportunity to provide the Army with an unprecedented combination of firepower and mobility. This book examines the story of what would be an innovative and successful, if somewhat rarefied, tank and its subsequent development as a self-propelled anti-tank gun.

Book Alert: A15 Cruiser Mk. VI Crusader Tank – A Technical History

product_thumbnailA new book on the British Crusader tank by P. M. Knight has been released.  Titled “A15 Cruiser Mk. VI Crusader Tank – A Technical History”, this is a paperback volume of 199 pages.  This is the second book by P. M. Knight on British armor, his first book examined the Covenanter Cruiser tank.  At almost 200 pages, this book promises to be one of the most in-depth examinations of this much-maligned vehicle and should prove to be an indispensable addition to the library of any British armor enthusiast. Currently it is available for order through although the author has informed us that it will be available through Amazon in 4-6 weeks.

Publisher’s Description:

There can be few tanks that have proved as controversial in their deployment as the Crusader, a tank that was invested with high hopes on its entry into service in 1941. This book investigates in unprecedented detail the issues that impinged on its service life. Drawing extensively on original archive sources, a new perspective is drawn on both the employment of the tank itself, and on British tank development of the era. The complex story that unfolds encompasses many interwoven and sometimes contradictory threads, allowing the author to reach both perceptive and surprising conclusions.

Book Review: A13 Cruiser Mk.V Covenanter A Technical History by P.M. Knight

Not much attention has been paid to the Covenanter tank other than as a footnote in the sad story of British WW2 tank design. P.M. Knight decided to change that situation, paying a great deal of attention to the Covenanter in A13 Cruiser Mk.V Covenanter A Technical History, a well researched and written book. The Covenanter never saw combat, being relegated to training duty due to issues concerning reliability. Therefore, the book is primarily concerned with the technical and developmental history of the Covenanter rather than its service history. [Read more…]