TankCraft 17, M1 Abrams...
...The US's Main Battle Tank, In American and Foreign Service, 1981-2019, from Pen and Sword
Title: TankCraft 17, M1 Abrams
Author: David Grummitt
Publisher: Pen and Sword Books
Number 17 is another addition to the excellent TankCraft series from Pen & Sword, and this one focuses on the M1 Abrams, the current US MBT of both the Army and Marines. This one has been written by David Grummitt, editor of Military Modelcraft International magazine, and as you might expect, he has done a very nice job with this one.
The 64-page card cover book follows the usual format for the TankCraft series. So it begins with the development story from the first XM1 prototypes, a tank designed for a Cold War conflict in Central Europe against the massed tanks of the Warsaw Pact. In practice, the Abrams has had much more involvement with so-called 'low intensity' conflicts. It tells us of the early deployment, when the first M1s were armed with a 105mm main gun, though this was later replaced with a larger 120mm weapon, which remains in use today. The results of the other conflicts the tank has been drawn into has led to many other changes however. In particular it has resulted in the additional armour protection both underneath the hull, and with extras armour packages along the sides and frontal aspect of both hull and turret. The various improvement programs are each explained, as well as some of the planned developments. The development and service story is broken up with 8 pages of excellent colour profiles that illustrate a good mix of colour and marking schemes. Then the usual Modellers Showcase, with 1/35 builds by John Murphy, Chris Jerrett, Mark Chisholm, Vorya Heidaryan and David Grummitt, a 1/48 model from Joaquin Garcia Gazguez plus a 1/72 example from Artur Walachowski.
These are then followed by a comprehensive look at the various models of the Abrams that are available on the market, including accessories and detailing sets. Then we go back to the story of the real thing, with combat in the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Peacekeeping in Bosnia and Kosovo. The final section looks at various export customers, including the Australian Army. Well illustrated throughout, not just the modellers showcase, but with plenty of archive photos of the real thing in service. The Abrams is a regular modellers subject, so this one is sure to be popular.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this copy.