Tank Hunter, World War One...

...a new book from The History Press

Title:  Tank Hunter, World War One

Author:  Craig Moore

Publisher:  The History Press

ISBN No:  978-0-7509-8246-7

A recent book from The History Press, and one I feel is well worth getting for the historian interested in the tanks of WW1, and for modellers.  The first half of the book takes you through every tank of WW1, including some that never made it past the prototype stage, along with supply tanks, gun carriers, light tanks and even self-propelled anti-aircraft gun platforms, from each nationality.  So British, French and German as well as Russian and American.

It starts with Little Willie and progresses through all the marks of British Gun tanks (Male and Female), from the Mark I through to the Mk VIII and even the Mk IX Infantry Carrier.  Each one is detailed with the development details, specifications and notes telling if there are any surviving examples and where they can be found.  They are all neatly illustrated with some useful colour profiles plus photos of some of the surviving examples where these are available.  This is then repeated for the French tanks, the Schneider, St.Chamond and Renault light tank plus the German A7V (the only surviving example of which remains in Australia) and their LKII light tank, based very much on the British Whippet and which were supplied to Sweden.  Then some even rarer machines, such as the German A&V based Uberlandwagen load carrier, Uberlandwagen Flakpanzer, British Supply Tanks and French Schneider CD load carrier/artillery tractor.  The Americans had experimental machines such as the Holt Gas-Electric tank, a Steam tank, the 1918 Ford 3-ton light tank and a Skeleton tank, among others.  For the Russians there is the unwieldy Tsar tank.  All are also illustrated with colour profiles.

The second half of the book looks at the various battles involving the tank during the war and how the forces of the different nationalities got on with them.  There are also additional development that were used to help the tanks cope with the conditions of the Western Front, just one example being the use of fascines.  The battles at Cambrai, the Nivelle Offensive, Amiens, Tank v. Tank battles, the use of Beutepanzer (captured tanks).  More colour profiles show the various camouflages seen on the tanks in action and I am sure modellers who are building the variety of WW1 tank models now available will like these for ideas/reference.  The final piece covers the disposal of some of the excess tanks after the war was over.  They were given to various towns of Presentation tanks, and while most were scrapped in later years, a few have survived and these are described.

I liked this one and am happy to suggest it as a good guide to the variety of tanks developed during WW1, and where you can find surviving examples to this day.

Thanks to The History Press for our review copy.

Robin