Chinese Tanks & AFVs...

…1950 - Present, from Amber Books

Title:  Chinese Tanks & AFVs

Author: Martin J. Dougherty

Publisher:  Amber Books

ISBN:  978-1-78274-868-7

his new addition to Amber Books series of 'Technical Guides' is an excellent companion to their other recent release covering modern Russian tanks and AFVs. My knowledge of modern Chines armour is limited, perhaps due to a greater focus on Russian and other countries which have a greater potential role in Europe, where I live. China is on the other side of the world and I will guess would be a more regular interest for those Far Eastern countries such as Japan, South Korea, India and others. Some of their earlier AFVs were based around Russian designs, such as the Type 59 MBT, based around the T-54/55 and used in the Vietnam war.

The book is split into three main sections, covering Main Battle Tanks: Armoured Personnel Carriers & Infantry Fighting Vehicles: and Self-Propelled Guns (which includes Anti Aircraft weapons). Each entry has background with the development and service story of the equipment, and those which have had a successful export history. Each one also has a set of basic statistics giving dimensions, armament, weight etc.  A number of vehicles in each of the categories show clear links to original Russian designs, but since a 'parting of the ways' between Russia and China military vehicle development, the Chinese military have clearly put a lot of effort in to developing their own, modern designs.  These days they have a series of designs which compare well to equipment from other countries. Like many other military forces, they include some modern 6 and 8 wheel armoured vehicle types, not just tracked AFVs.

As well as informative text, the featured vehicles also include good colour artwork, and in many cases, pictures of the real thing. In these are another element of the book which could attract military modellers, as they display an interesting variety of multi-colour camouflage patterns, including a number of angular 'digital' designs. There are a growing number of model kits on the market these days, which feature these modern Chinese types, so this book may well encourage a lot of European modellers to try something a bit different.

Thanks to Amber Books, who kindly provided my review copy.