Challenger 2, British Main Battle Tank of the Gulf War

...Tank Craft 23, from Pen & Sword

Title: Challenger 2 British Main Battle Tank in the Gulf War
Author: Rob Griffin
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52675-657-9

The Challenger 2 forms the subject for Tank Craft 23 from Pen & Sword, a book very much for the modeller. A 64-page softcover book, and written by one of our best experts on post-war armour, Rob Griffin.
The basic format of these Tank Craft books is now well established and this one fits well into the series. Following a brief Introduction we get into The Challenger 2 in Detail, covering the hull, engine, turret and weapons in detail. Notable that while the accompanying images show us the externa details, engine and such, the interior of the fighting compartment is restricted to those of the training simulators. Even after all these years it seems the army is still sensitive over photos of the internal details of Challenger 2. Then a short piece on Other Versions, as the Challenger 2 was not a great export success, just some to Oman. This is followed by 8 -pages of colour profiles to illustrate Camouflage & Markings. Next the Modellers Showcase, with 5 expertly built models, 3 in 1/35 (by Steve Abbey, Brian Richardson, and Kirk Ashley-Morgan) and one in 1/72 by Tim Neate. This lead naturally into the Model Products section, going from simple Airfix Quick-builds, through 1/35 and 1/72 scale kits from various manufacturers plus extra detailing sets such as tracks and etch brass detailing packs. Then back to the real thing, and coverage of the Special Purpose Variants, such as Titan (bridgelayer), Trojan (Engineer vehicle) and driver trainer. Finally, Into Service and In Action, the service story of Challenger 2, including operations in Iraq, and closing with the questions over what will happen regarding upgrades for future service. Since it was printed we have seen very recent news about the possibility of us disposing of all our remaining tanks (!) so we shall have to wait and see what the future actually holds.
A fine addition to the Tank Craft series and from an author who genuinely 'knows his stuff'. A real boon for fans of modern tank models.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our sample copy.

Robin