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Tanks reference books

Chieftain

By Robert Jackson

British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WW II – Vol IDescription:
The British Chieftain – designed in the late 1950s as the replacement for the Centurion – was perhaps the best main battle tank in service with Nato during the 1960s and 1970s. Its 120mm rifled main gun and advanced armour made it one of the most formidable tanks of its time, and Robert Jackson’s book is an authoritative introduction to it.

Although it was intended to fight Soviet armour on the plains of northern Germany, it was in the heat and sand of the Middle East that the Chieftain fought its major battles during the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s, and it proved to be very effective during the Gulf War of 1991. Variants of the Chieftain were exported to Iran, Oman, India, Kenya and Nigeria, and its chassis was adapted to fulfil a variety of tasks, including armoured recovery and bridge-laying.

As well as tracing the history of the Chieftain, Robert Jackson's work provides an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available kits and photographs of award-winning models, together with artworks showing the colour schemes applied to these tanks. Each section of the book is supported by a wealth of archive photographs.

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Churchill Tanks

By Dennis Oliver

Churchill TanksDescription:
Designed as a heavily armoured tank which could accompany infantry formations, the Churchill's ability to cross rough ground and climb seemingly unassailable hills became legendary. The tank first saw action in 1942 and the basic design was constantly re-worked and upgunned, culminating in the Mark VII version which was capable of taking on the heaviest German tanks.

In his fourth book in the TankCraft series, Dennis Oliver uses archive photographs and thoroughly researched, vividly presented colour profiles to tell the story of these iconic British tanks. As readers have come to expect from the TankCraft series, the large full colour section of this book features available model kits and accessories as well as aftermarket products. In addition to the colour profiles there is a gallery of expertly constructed and painted models. A separate section explains technical details and production modifications giving the modeller all the information and knowledge required to recreate an authentic reproduction of one of the tanks that contributed so much to the British effort in the battles for Normandy.

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Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer

By Dennis Oliver

Jagdpanther Tank DestroyerDescription:
Combining the destructive firepower of the 88mm gun with the outstanding mobility of the Panther series, the Jagdpanther is quite probably the best-known tank destroyer of the Second World War. In the vehicle's first action on 30 July 1944, three Jagdpanthers managed to destroy eleven British tanks in a vicious two minute firefight near the village of Les Loges in Normandy, cementing the Jagdpanther's reputation as a potent tank killer. In his fifth book in the TankCraft series, Dennis Oliver uses contemporary photographs and meticulously researched, superbly presented colour and monochrome illustrations to tell the story of these heavy self-propelled anti-tank guns and the units which operated them in the German defence of the Western Front. As with all the books in the TankCraft series, a large part of this work showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of expertly constructed and painted models. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also explained giving the modeller all the information and knowledge required.

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Panther Tanks

By Dennis Oliver

Panther TanksDescription:
Central to the German strategy of dealing with an Allied landing in France was the availability of a strong, mobile armoured reserve. In June 1944, as part of this force, the Army in the West was able to deploy over 300 Panther tanks, perhaps the best armoured fighting vehicle produced by Germany during the Second World War. British and American tank crews found to their horror that the Panthers could often survive numerous hits while a single round from one of their 75mm guns was enough to destroy any enemy tank. In his book, his third in the Tank Craft series, Dennis Oliver uses archive photographs and painstakingly researched, exquisitely presented colour illustrations to examine the part these powerful tanks played in the Normandy battles and also the battalions that operated them. As with previous titles in the Tank Craft series, a large part of this book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products and accessories, complemented by a gallery of skilfully constructed and painted models.

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Panzer IV

By Paul Thomas

Panzer IVDescription:
The Panzer IV – Panzerkampfwagen IV – was one the foremost German fighting vehicles of the Second World War, and this volume in the TankCraft series is an ideal introduction to it. With detailed captions, text and illustrations the book tells the story of the technical development of the Panzer IV and the numerous variants that went into production, and it describes how it evolved from an infantry support vehicle to become the backbone of the Panzer units. It was modified and upgunned to face the ever-increasing enemy threat, and it proved to be so diverse and effective that it earned a unique tactical role on the battlefield.

A large part of the book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined in order to provide everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of the only Panzer that stayed in production throughout the war.

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M2/M3

By Robert Jackson

M2/M3Description:
Among the most successful armoured vehicles produced by American industry – known as the Arsenal of Democracy – during the Second World War were the M2 and M3 half-tracks. They served on every battlefront and were as recognizable as other famous American wartime vehicles like the Sherman and the Jeep, and around 40,000 were produced between 1941 and 1945. They were easy to assemble, operate and maintain, and their versatility allowed them to fulfil a variety of purposes. This volume in Pen & Sword’s LandCraft series traces the design, development and manufacturing history of the M2/M3 and describes its operational role within the Allied armies.

A selection of archive photographs showing the M2/M3 in action gives a graphic impression of how adaptable these vehicles were and records the range of equipment they could carry. The book is an excellent source for the modeller, providing details of available kits, together with specially commissioned colour profiles demonstrating how the M2/M3 used by different units and armies appeared.

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Sherman Tanks of the British Army and Royal Marines

By Dennis Oliver

Sherman Tanks of the British Army and Royal MarinesDescription:
With production in excess of 55,000 the Sherman tank was eventually in service with most Allied armies of the Second World War and by the time of the Normandy landings was the mainstay of Britain's armoured battalions. In his second book in the TankCraft series, Dennis Oliver uses wartime photos and extensively researched, exquisitely presented colour illustrations to cover the Sherman tanks used by the units of the Royal Armoured Corps and the Royal Marines during the fighting in northern France.

As with all the books in the TankCraft series, a large part of this work showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also explained as is the complex system of markings employed by British armoured regiments.

This book will give the modeller all the information and knowledge required to recreate an authentic miniature representation of the tanks that fought from the beaches of Normandy, through the battles for Caen and on to killing fields of Falaise.

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T-54/55

By Robert Jackson

T-54/55Description:
During the Cold War, the T-54/55 series of tanks represented the most serious threat to Nato land forces in Europe. Available in huge quantities, it formed the core of the Warsaw Pact armoured warfare doctrine, which envisaged massed tank attacks against the weakest point in Nato’s front-line defences.

Yet the T-54/55 could be stopped by smaller numbers of tanks which had the benefit of better technology and training, as was demonstrated during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 when Israeli tanks dealt out appalling punishment to T-55s of the Syrian army. Despite these limitations, the T-54/55 was one of the most successful tanks ever produced, and this volume in the TankCraft series by Robert Jackson is the ideal introduction to it.

As well as tracing the history of the T-54/55, his book is an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available kits and photographs of award-winning models, together with artworks showing the colour schemes applied to these tanks. Each section of the book is supported by a wealth of archive photographs.

Vintage Airfix Review:
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Tank Destroyer

By Dennis Oliver

Tank DestroyerDescription:
In this heavily illustrated volume in the TankCraft series Dennis Oliver focuses on the Achilles – the British variant of the American M10 – which was one of the most important Allied tank destroyers of the Second World War. It played a key role in the armoured battles fought on the Western Front, in particular in France, the Low Countries, Germany and Italy.

Built on an adapted Sherman chassis, with sloped armour, an open-topped turret and powerful 17-pounder gun, it was designed to counter the threat posed by the formidable panzers deployed by the German army towards the end of the conflict, in particular the Panther and Tiger tanks.

The book covers the design and operational history of the Achilles in close detail, using rare archive photographs and meticulously researched colour illustrations, as well as a detailed, authoritative text.

A key section displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic armoured fighting vehicles.

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Tiger I

By Dennis Oliver

Tiger IDescription:
When at Hitler’s insistence the first Tiger I tanks went into action in Tunisia in December 1942 they rapidly gained a formidable fighting reputation despite their lack of reliability and the small number deployed. With its heavy armour and 88mm gun, it outclassed all the Allied tanks then in service and forced the Allies to accelerate the introduction of improved anti-tank guns and tanks that could match the Tiger in terms of firepower and protection.

In this, his second volume in the TankCraft series on the Tiger, Dennis Oliver uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the Tiger tanks and German army units that first took them into combat in North Africa and then operated them as they fell back through Sicily and Italy between 1943 and 1945.

A large part of the book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of the tanks that made such an immediate impact on the southern front during the Second World War.

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Tiger I and Tiger II: Tanks of the German Army and Waffen-SS

By Dennis Oliver

Tiger I and Tiger II: Tanks of the German Army and Waffen-SSDescription:
In spite of the relatively small numbers produced, the Tiger I and Tiger II tanks are arguably the most famous armoured fighting vehicles of the Second World War. This book, the first in the TankCraft series, uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the tanks and units of the German Army and Waffen-SS heavy panzer battalions that attempted to hold back the Red Army during 1944.

A large part of the book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of the tanks that fought from the snow covered fields of Byelorussia and the Ukraine, through the Baltic States and into Poland and Hungary.

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Panzer III at War 1939-1945

By Paul Thomas

Panzer III at War 1939-1945Description:
With comprehensive captions and text this superb book is the latest in the best selling Images of War Series and the second instalment of the Author’s pictorial history of the German Panzers in the Second World War. The Panzer III saw almost continuous action from the the annexation of Czechoslovakia, the invasion of Poland and then France and the Low countries, in North Africa, Italy, the Eastern Front and, finally, the retreat back into Germany.

Between 1936 and 1945, many thousands of Panzer III’s were built. It quickly demonstrated its superiority on the battlefield and, for most of the war, remained a match for its opponents’ heavy tanks.

The superb collection of images show how these formidable tanks were adapted and up-gunned to face the ever increasing enemy threat. The expert commentary describes how the Germans carefully utilized all available reserves and resources into building numerous production variants and how they coped on the battlefield. This is a splendid description of the one of the Nazis’ foremost fighting machines and a worthy successor volume to the acclaimed Panzer IV at War.

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