TankCraft 22, M48 Patton...
...America's Cold War Battle Tank, from Pen and Sword
Title: TankCraft 22, M48 Patton
Author: Rob Griffin
Publisher: Pen and Sword Books
This brings the TankCraft series up to number 22, and it features another post-war subject, the American M48 Patton MBT. This is proving to be an excellent series of books for the modeller, what I would describe as 'just my cup of tea'. In this case the author is Rob Griffin, well known for his other excellent books on other Cold War MBTs. It provides historical background to the real thing, along with colour and marking options, a comprehensive selection of available model products plus showcasing some fine models.
The book follows the usual pattern, starting with the background that led from the WW2 M26 and on through the M47 and then the M48, which they named after one of their most famous Generals, Patton. That leads into 'The M48 in Detail', which describes the details of the Hull with the engine, Turret with armament, the crew layout and accompanied by a useful selection of photos which do include internal details. That is followed by a guide to the M48 Variants, from the M48A1 with a petrol engine, and on through the A2 and A3 versions with diesel engines instead. It was the M48A3 that was the main version which was used in Vietnam. Next comes 8 pages of artwork, illustrating camouflage and markings of the M48 in service with different operators, including Jordan, the US Army, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Israel.
The first of the modelling elements showcases four 1/35 builds, all by different modellers and all choosing Vietnam themed machines. The following section on Modelling Products is compiled by Ben Skipper, and features kits and accessories that are available relating to the M48 series, focussing on 1/35 scale. Sadly it misses out the older 1/72 models that ESCI (now with Italeri) did some years ago, and the very recent release by Dragon models of their 1/35 Bridgelayer. Then the book returns to the history of the real thing, covering both the Specialised Variants and then the M48 in Action. The M48 fought in Vietnam and was also used by the Israelis in the Middle East and in Asia by Pakistan. Again, plenty of archive images are used to illustrate the text, so plenty to give useful references for modellers.
Another excellent addition to the TankCraft series, and any modeller interested in this Cold War MBT, one which was built in large numbers.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this copy.