TankCraft 15, Chieftain..


...British Cold War Main Battle Tank, from Pen and Sword



Title: TankCraft 15, Chieftain

Author: Robert Jackson

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-52674-142-4


Number 15 in the TankCraft series from Pen & Sword is another that looks at a post-WW2 subject, the British Chieftain. The structure of the book follows the usual pattern for this series. It opens with a short Introduction and then gets into the Development and Design story.  This includes the infamous L60 engine, which was one of the more unreliable features of the Chieftain, and which I hadn't realised was a development of a German WW2 Junkers Jumo design. Next it moves on to look at the Chieftain in Detail, with the differences between the variants through to the Mk 11. The Chieftain got to a point where the Mk V was the main variant, but went through a number of upgrades which included the fitting of Still Brew armour, that changed the shape of the turret, and finally the fitting of the TOGS sight on the left hand side, rather than the original, large, searchlight housing.

Then it moves on dealing with the Chieftain in Service, and then Allies and Adversaries, for its' years in service alongside early German Leopard variants, French AMX 30 and the US Army M60A3, when the NATO forces of the Cold War prepared to fight Russian T-54 and T-62 in Central Europe. That is followed by 8 pages of colour artwork, showing a mix of camouflage and marking schemes. The next section is a Model Showcase, with 4 different models, 3 featuring the Mark 5, 1 with the old Tamiya kit and 2 using the newer Takom model and finally another Takom model, the Mk 11 with Stillbrew and TOGS. That leads neatly into a section considering the various Modelling Products that are on the market, including 1/35 kits and even the small scale resin models by Cromwell Models and Matador Models.

The final element takes on In Service and In Action. The Chieftain never did go to war with NATO in Central Europe, but it did get a number of export customers in the Middle East and did see action in the Iran-Iraq War and later in the Gulf War in Kuwait.  As ever with this series, very much a book for modellers.


Thanks to Pen and Sword for this copy.