Book Review
US Cold War Armour
US Cold War Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering US Cold War Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subject matter mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.

The following portion of the review is as provided by Pen and Sword:
To counter the Soviet threat and that of their client States during the Cold War years 1949-1991, the American military deployed an impressive range of main battle tanks (MBTs) and armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).

The Patton series of medium MBTs (including the M46, M47 and M48) supplemented by the M103s Heavy Tank initially formed the core of the US tank fleet. In 1960 the M60 MBT with its British designed 105mm gun entered service and, in turn, was replaced by the M1 Abrams in 1980.

In support were armoured reconnaissance vehicles, progressively the M41 bull dog (1951); the M114 (1961), the M551 Sheridan (1967) and M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle (1981).

The armoured personnel carrier (APC) range included the ubiquitous M113 and its replacement the M2 Bradley, cousin of the M3.

Expert author Michael Green covers all these vehicles and their variants in this informative and superbly illustrated Images of War series work.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book titled ‘US Cold War Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles ' has been authored by Michael Green; Michael Green is a prolific author with this book being the 22nd book in this Pen and Sword series. The contents of this title are provided over 220 pages of good quality semi gloss paper and 250 images.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Notes to the Reader
Chapter 1 – Early Cold War Tanks
Chapter 2 – Late Cold War Tanks
Chapter 3 – Armed and Armoured Transports
Chapter 4 – Miscellaneous

This offering from Pen and Sword is one of those books that have tried to cover a huge subject in a limited number of pages; the result is a book that will please many as a general reference, but does very little for the reader looking for specific information. I have to congratulate Michael Green who has supplied a great deal of written information covering American armour following the end of World War II and managed to include a lot of relevant snippets on a great deal of armour types.

I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that a large number of World War II armoured vehicles are present in the first chapter of this title. The pictures used are of a good quality and the author has provided good captions with the images. The early Cold War tanks depicted will be of interest to those whose interests feature late World War II armour and features those vehicles developed during the war, but were not fielded or in many cases not put into production; I think that World of Tanks may have an interest in this title in that respect.

Late Cold War armour used and investigated by the US military are well covered here, but again there are very few photographs of each vehicle type which detracts from the interest that the modeller will have in the title. What it does do well is provide a one stop look at US armour and so could be considered as a guide for the armour modeller looking to produce something different from the standard Sherman or Abrams.

Unusually for this book type it was the text that held my attention for the longest amount of time due to the fact that I like knowing a little about a lot rather than the other way around. The author has provided nice bite sized chunks of information on a huge swath of armour and presents it in an interesting manner; I quite enjoyed reading about the US Marines reusing the M103 that the army tried to give them and waited for a later type of the M103 which the US army then borrowed for use in Germany. It is the way the author presents this type of information that made the book for me more so than the images.


This offering from Pen and Sword and authored by Michael Green and unusually it is his written content that has interested me the most with this offering. The pictures are very good from a quality aspect, but due to the amount of vehicles needing to be covered the images of any specific subject are very limited and that is why the written information was the most enjoyable for me. I learnt a little about a lot and so improved my knowledge which at the end of the day is the reason most of us read a book.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword; this time the title is ‘US Cold War Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526727213
  Suggested Retail: £16.99
  PUBLISHED: Jan 29, 2020
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


Weird as it might sound the Cold War was truly a God-send for our hobby as it brought out so many vehicles, variations and paint schemes on both sides as well as their various proxies. This should prove to be very useful.
FEB 02, 2020 - 09:35 AM

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