TankCraft 9, T-34...

 

...Russia's Armoured Spearhead, new from Pen and Sword

 

Title: TankCraft 9, T-34

Author: Robert Jackson

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-52671-132-8

 

Book No 9 in their TankCraft series from Pen and Sword, and another by author Robert Jackson.  The subject is one of the most influential  tank designs of all.  As it points out in the opening pages of the book, the preceding Russian tank designs proved to be inadequate when it came to the fighting war of 1941.  On the other hand, their new design, the T34 used a suspension based on the designs of Christie in the USA, and well sloped armour.  Starting with the early 76mm armed turrets at first, it could also take the larger 85mm gun turret as well.

Following a format common to the Tankcraft series, it follows the introduction with the Design and Development story and then the T-34 in Detail, looking at the armour protection, armament, driver and fighting compartments, the engine and the transmission, the one element of the early T-34 which proved unreliable.  Then it moves on to the central part of the book, which is very much a reference for modellers.  This starts with 9 pages of excellent colour profiles, which include extra detail on particular markings, then a Modellers Showcase, which has a 1/16 T-34/76: 2 examples of the T-34/76 and one t-34/85 all in 1/35.  The modellers section is rounded off with a few pages looking at various T-34 models that are on the market in various scales, and including the AFV Club T-34/85 which includes full internal detail and clear plastic hull parts so all that detail can be seen.  It gives a reasonable overview of what is on the market, though shouldn't be seen as a comprehensive list.

Back then to the final sections of the book, which deals with the T-34 Into Service and Into Action, plus the last couple of pages which look at the widespread use of the T-34 after the end of WW2, including the SP variants.  In addition to the text there are plenty of archive photos which illustrate the tanks in action.  This is another useful addition to the Tankcraft series from Pen and Sword, a series they are developing rather nicely.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin