Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1960-75
...New Vanguard 308 from Osprey Publishing
Title: Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1960-75
Author: Steven J. Zaloga
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
New Vanguard 308, this is the second of three planned books by author Steve Zaloga, looking at the opposing tank types that faced each other in Europe over the course of the Cold War, the so-called Iron Curtain. This one focuses on the period of 1960 to 1975, a 48-page book in the usual Osprey style, and with more fine artwork, this time by Filipe Rodna, who always does some excellent work.
After the short Introduction, the book is divided into 3 main parts, and two of these are then split into sub-sections. The first main section considers The Tanks, Doctrine and Organisation, which is divided across the various nations involved on both sides of the curtain. The middle section looks at Tanks in Battle, which never did happen in Western Europe despite all the threat, but in other parts of the world the opposing equipments did come up against each other, albeit in the hands of other countries. Among the points in here is the appearance of the guided anti-tank missile on the battlefield, particularly the Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger) in the Middle East in 1973. The final section looks in more detail at the Technical Analysis, covering Firepower, Fire Control, Protection, Mobility and Tank Comparisons. This last item includes an interesting table I hadn't seen before, a Soviet comparison produced in 1977, based on their T-55, and rating all the other tanks against that base point. One or two unusual results, but still very interesting.
There are plenty of archive images, fine artwork, some useful data tables and an interesting text from a very knowledgeable author. One of the things that did strike me was the natural inclusion of the Russian T-62, yet in just the past couple of weeks, these are the tanks we have seen being re-activated for use in the war in Ukraine. This looks back to the Cold War era and speaking for myself, bringing back memories of an era I lived through, the fears of a potential war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. An interesting little book for any tank historian/modeller.
Thanks to Osprey for our review copy.