Forgotten Tanks & Guns...
...of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, from Pen and Sword
Title: Forgotten Tanks & Guns
Author: David Lister
Publisher: Pen and Sword
A 128-page hardback this new book from Pen & Sword and author David Lister makes for some fascinating reading. Split across 12 chapters it collects together a variety of individual stories which shine a light on a variety of armour development projects which turned out to be blind alleys. There is the detail of a Japanese heavy tank, information gleaned from intelligence reports, though not one that became a problem. It goes on to include a whole variety of British armour developments which blossomed after WW1 as ideas of what should be needed by the military were still very much 'up in the air'.
There is discussion on the question of definition of classifications such as Infantry, light, medium and heavy Cruisers (centred around the naval equivalents). There is also the matter of Tankettes, which also include some interesting designs. Add the story of the gun choices, the experiment of the Camal Gun, multi-turret designs and even the development of new suspension and tracks. Mixed in throughout are associated archive photos and/or plans. One photo in particular I felt opens up the potential for a separate debate, as the remains of the hull of the one experimental A.16E1 was found on the range back in 1985, sadly way beyond the point where there could be any hope of restoration. Today we might look back and wish it had been preserved, though at the time it would have been viewed quite differently so that use as a range target would have been a perfectly logical option.
At the back of the book the author has listed his sources for each chapter, and it shows a wide variety in addition to the Tank Museum and the UK National Archives. He has clearly put a lot of work into tracking down much long forgotten information, demonstrating his clear enthusiasm for the topic of armour development.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.