Walker Bulldog vs T-54...

...Laos and Vietnam 1971-75, from Osprey Publishing

Title: Walker Bulldog vs T-54

Author: Chris McNab

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-3612-0

Number 94 in their Dual series from Osprey, and one which looks at two Cold War era tanks which went into combat, in this case in the later stages of the Vietnam War. The book follows the usual style and format for this series, with an Introduction leading into a Chronolgy of events, the Design & Development of both tanks, along with their Technical Specifications. Then it gets into the specifics of the Strategic Situation in the last few years of the Vietnam War, and when US support was being greatly reduced compared to earlier years. Next it looks at the Combatants, the ARVN of the South and the PAVN of the North. These lead to the final two sections with Statistics and Analysis along with the Aftermath.

The book illustrates the differences between the lighter M41 Walker Bulldog provided to the ARVN from the US, and the T54 of the PAVN, supplied by both Russia and China. Comparisons include the different ammunition types for each tank, the 76mm of the M41 and the 100mm of the T54. There is plenty of Ospreys excellent artwork, including cutaways of both turrets and the comparative views through the gun sights. Add maps and archive photos plus some more modern images showing rusting hulks still to be found in Vietnam many years after the war was over. This period of the war had become more of a fight between two conventional armies, rather than the irregulars of the Viet Cong, and the North Vietnamese used heavy equipment such as tanks in large numbers. As the book explains, there were success and failures on both sides, though the heavier Russian tank did prove the more successful in the end. Certainly an interesting comparison, nicely presented.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.