TankCraft 16, T-54/55...


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



Title: TankCraft 16, T-54/55

Author: Robert Jackson

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-52674-138-7


Book No 16 in the TankCraft series from Pen and Sword, and another in this series by author Robert Jackson. It is a series quite clearly aimed at the modeller as well as providing some basic background for the armour historian.  This one follows the now established pattern for the series. It starts with an Introduction to give the general background and then a couple of pages on the T-54/55 in Detail, outlining each element of the tank, driving and fighting compartments, engine, turret, hull, armament and armour.

This is followed by a section looking at all the T-54/55 variants over the years and the many operators, within the Warsaw Pact and beyond, in the Middle East and Asia. There is a break at page 22 to allow for 8 pages of good colour profiles, and examples of disruptive camouflage that they have not all been plain Russian green. Then we get to the Modellers Showcase, with 4 very nicely done 1/35 models, an Iraqi T-55 Enigma, a Soviet T-55A, an Israeli Tiran 4 and finally a Finnish T-54. Then a useful survey of the various model kits that are on the market, in different scales.

Then we return to the service history of the real thing, now turning to the users in Africa and Latin America. Next we get to Specialist Variants, such as AA weapons, bridgelayers, SP guns and the Chinese built copies, the T-59 and -69. The final section looks at the T-54/55 in action, and various conflicts where they have seen combat, such as Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Middle East, Vietnam, the Middle East, the Balkans, Gulf War and more. Throughout the book there are lots of archive photos, all with helpful captions illustrating the long career of this tank which has been so widely used, and built in such large numbers.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.