Amber's Red Army Tanks of World War II

Author/Artists: Tim Bean & Ray Fowler


Amber Publishing


$29.98 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 176 pages, paperback, 7.5 x 9.75 inches.
ISBN 978-1-78274-492-2

Touted as a guide to Red Army AFVs, this book covers both your standard 'tanks' as well as self-propelled guns (SPGs). It also includes AFVs that were supplied by the UK and the US, during WWII. A nice thing about this book is that it provides enough information to qualify as an excellent primer on the subject. In this way, those wanting to know more about a specific vehicle will know enough to make a search for a more in depth book on the subject of their choice. To me, that is a perfect combination.

The book starts with a brief introduction to the subject. It is then divided into major sections covering light tanks, medium tanks and heavy tanks. There is a section on the Soviet concept of Deep Battle, which basically means breaking through enemy lines, travelling as fast as possible deep behind their lines and totally disrupting their supply and transportation. In addition, there is a complete section on the most famous Red Army tank, the T-34. Then we get into late war tanks. Unlike similar books, this one does not segregate SPGs into their own, but includes them based on the chassis they used.  the SPGs and finally those tanks supplied by Lend-Lease (for which neither the US nor the UK have ever been repaid). Finally a look at how Stalin shaped the Soviet armored force over the course of its development and use.

I have a real fondness for light tanks and this book helps me to be able to tell the difference between sub-variants, a real help when choosing a kit. This same level of depth is provided for all the other vehicles covered in the book. There is a specifications and data sections that contains things like drawings of all the various sub-variants, production information, a comparison of the specs of all the vehicles covered in the book, losses and so on.

In addition to all this info, you have a rather large number of nicely chosen period photographs. Aside from the cover, there are no color profiles, but there are a lot of superb drawings of the various tanks and variants.  I would have to say that for those who know little about the subject and want to know more, this is the book to get. For those who know more but want all the salient information in one source, it is well worth picking up. I enjoyed reading the book and learned quite a bit from it. Highly recommended.

June 2017

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Review book courtesy of  Casemate Publishing, where you can order your copy at this link

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