Book Review: Armored Champion by Steven Zaloga

index“Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II” is the latest installment in the “Armored” series of hardcover books written by Steven Zaloga, published by Stackpole Books.  While the first three of Zaloga’s “Armored” books focus on US armor of World War II, this latest book takes a broader look at the tanks used in that conflict, examining and declaring “the top tanks of World War II.”  The idea of declaring the top tanks of the war is a bit of a departure from the authors previous works.  At first glance it reminds one of the  innumerable “top ten” cable TV documentaries and internet forum threads dedicated to such a premise.  However, if anyone is qualified for the task of putting together such a list, Steven Zaloga must be at the top of the list due to his 40 years of research in the field and prodigious output as a writer.

It’s fair to say that this is the first book of his that seems intended to generate controversy  based on its premise and title.  One has to wonder if this book is intended as Zaloga’s response to the internet generation’s predilection with lists and rankings.  As far as this reviewer can tell, this is the first work by Zaloga in which he references online games such as “World of Tanks” and he also at one point uses the internet idiom of “Nazi fanboys” to describe admirers of SS Panzer ace Michael Wittman!

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