Soviet T-62 Main Battle Tank
...from Osprey Publishing
Title: Soviet T-62 MBT
Author: James Kinnear & Stephen L. Sewell
Publisher: Osprey Books
Another in a series of books on Soviet/Russian tanks by authors James Kinnear & Stephen L. Sewell ('Cookie'), and this new 224-page hardback from Osprey turns our attention to another Cold War classic, the T-62. I think I should say at the outset that I am a fan of both authors, having featured a number of articles by James within Tankette, the long running magazine for members of MAFVA (Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicle Association) for which I am the current editor, while I have also known 'Cookie' Sewell for many years, when he was a regular fellow contributor to Military Modelling magazine as well. So even before starting on the book itself, I was confident in just how good this would be.
Following the initial Introduction, the main part of the book is split across 5 chapters which go through the conflicting ideas over the idea of Revolutionary versus Evolutionary of what was intended to be an interim design (between T-55 and T-64). Then the development of the T-62 itself, which still shared a number of parts with the T-55 but had a bigger 115mm main gun, was capable of firing new APFSDS ammunition and had a distinctive shell ejection hatch on the back of the frying-pan shaped turret. Next is a detailed description of the T-62 MBT and this is also broken down into sub-sections with the different variants over the years. Then Derivative Vehicles and Foreign Copies before getting into the Service & Combat use of the T-62, which details perhaps more combat use than you might have imagined. All these elements are accompanied by a huge selection of over 400 photos, both archive images and many highly detailed pictures of preserved examples now on display in various collections around the world. Added to that are plenty of diagrams taken from user manuals plus some specially drawn artwork profiles as well. Then if all that wasn't enough, there are no less than 11 Appendices giving even more detailed facts and figures about the tank.
As we are told in the Introduction, there are still restrictions on Western authors having direct access to post-war Russian archives, so all this is assembled from public sources and help from other armour enthusiasts. It is a fascinating book, just packed with information backed up with very detailed images of a famous Cold War MBT which went through all sorts of changes over many years to keep it operational against new technological threats. I can't imagine a better reference on the T-62, this would be very hard to beat. Highly recommended.
Thanks to Osprey for our review copy.