Osprey's Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank & Variants
|James Kinnear & Stephen Sewell|
232 pages, hardbound.
In the years just after WWII, the heavy tank was still considered a viable weapon of war. The US developed the M-103, the British the Conqueror, and the Soviets the T-10. All of them were obsolescent a few years after they entered service. What happened was the development of the MBT or Main Battle Tank. In the case of the Soviets it was the T-62/64 series that signed the end of the heavy in Soviet service.
During and just after WWII, the Soviets developed the IS-2 and IS-3 heavies and were working on other versions of the IS series tanks. With the death of Stalin, all IS tanks ceased to exist and were given new designations. The IS-10 became the T-10. Its development was relatively long as, like almost all weapons systems, it had issues that had to be ironed out. There was also a great deal of political drama surrounding the development of the new heavy tank. Many of the Red Army's top brass were not sure that a heavy tank was the answer. It was expensive to build, complex to maintain, limited to the sort of surfaces that would handle its weight, and they were slow in terms of maneuverability. With the onset of the MBT and its more powerful gun (as well as Khrushchev's love of missiles), the number built was limited (by Soviet standards). The type's only 'combat' was a small regiment used during the 1968 Hungarian invasion.
Still, the type was kept in ready reserve until the 1990s. It automotive section was actually quite useful and was continually upgraded and later modified to provide a chassis and running gear for a rather extensive number of SPGs and mobile missile/rocket systems just to name a few. Many of these systems are still in service.
The authors have provided what has to be the best book yet done on the subject. Many non-AFV folks have never heard of this tank, yet it had a considerable lineage. The book basically covers the history of Soviet heavy tanks as a preamble into the development of the T-10. There were several predecessors to the T-10 that were never fully developed, but were important in the T-10s final fit.
The book is full of great photos and a considerable number of design and engineering drawings to help show the differences between the various modifications made to the original tank. Thankfully, many of these tanks survive with many of them being driven from the ready reserve right into museums. This has allowed the authors to put a considerable number of photos of these extant vehicles into the book. It is obvious that the authors put a great deal of work into research for this one and it shows in the way the history of this vehicle flows. It makes for a superbly done history and a book I am certain you will enjoy.
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