Tank Battles of the Cold War 1948-1991

...from Pen & Sword

Title: Tank Battles of the Cold War 1948-1991
Author: Anthony Tucker-Jones
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52677-801-7

The tank came into being in WW1, and came to even greater prominence in WW2. In this recent 233-page hardback, author Anthony Tucker-Jones looks at the continuing story of the tank, from 1948 through to1991 and the First Gulf War. It considers the various conflicts around the world during this period, a time when the greatest fear was the Cold War, between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. That direct conflict never happened (thank goodness) but there were plenty of smaller where the various bits of kit did come into combat.
In 18 chapters he provides some very concise and readable summaries of various smaller wars, some better known than others I'd suggest. In each one he focuses on the involvement of the tanks and armoured units, and their impact on the assorted scenarios. They include Indo-China, Korea, the various Arab-Israeli wars, Vietnam, and the Gulf War to mention a few, along with less well remembered fights, such as in Angola, Ethiopia, Libya, the Suez Crisis, the Soviets in Afghanistan and more. Left over designs from WW2 such as the T-34/85 were involved, along with the P-54/55 and many more. The whole thing is rounded off with a summary to consider if the era of the MBT has actually passed on by. There are many different aspects to the use of tanks, well illustrated in these assorted chapters, in open desert terrain, in towns/cities etc, along with which countries can not only manufacture/sell them, but what are the costs involved and how well trained are their crews. The final element of the book are a series of 7 appendices which hold much more information about the tanks and other vehicles that are featured.
Technology has changed over the post-war years, and the battlefields vary, as does the quality of the training of the crews and the maintenance of the machines. Anti-tank weapons have become much more sophisticated over the years, but whether we have reached the end of the line for the significance of the tank in any war around the world. Certainly thought provoking and well worth a read.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.

Robin