Book Review
M65 Atomic Annie Technical manual

by: Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]

It's not often that you can pick up a book and think it's all you're going to need regarding reference material, however, this just might be one of those books! Tankograd seem to have a positive outlook on the books they produce. Crammed between the pages in this paper back format title, there appears to be an enormous amount of information stored within, so much so it's impossible to take it all in at first glance. For me as a modeller, information is king so I would guess that for anybody into scratch building it would be even more important.

Inside the book
This is the first time I have really seen and read one of their Technical specials and I admit I am impressed! Squeezed between the 48 pages, there are colour and black & white photographs of all the major parts of the vehicle as well as "In field" pictures of it in use. The book starts with 4 pages explaining the history and Unit build up in their dual-language format (English and German). It then moves on to show some impressive black & white pictures of the "Atomic Annie" on the move, finishing with some line-diagrams explaining the operation of putting the cannon into action.

The book then moves on to explaining the major parts that go together to produce this odd looking weapon, starting with the front towing tractor. A brief introduction explaining about the powered tractor is then followed by various pictures and diagrams of all of it's internal and external parts.

We then move on to the rear section again following the same format as the front drive section with a description followed by more pictures and diagrams. This must have been a nightmare to transport, as the front and rear are controlled as separate entities connected by the final part the 280mm cannon and carriage. Again this section starts with a description explaining the difference between the versions (yes, unbelievably they made a couple of different versions) followed by more pictures and diagrams, I must point out that a lot of the pictures also have information on them explaining the different components shown. This is quite an unbelievable piece of artillery and even more so once you have seen the picture as you then get a real feel for the size of it.

This book as I have said is ideal for the scratch builder looking to produce something a little different for their next project. There is a wealth of knowledge held with in its pages. The only thing that appears to be missing are some scale drawings. If the rest of the series are as impressive as this one, then I would have no hesitation in recommending these books. With the Internet now providing almost instant answers to modellers regarding most questions, it's nice to see someone looking outside the box and providing a book with nearly all the answers.

I have no idea what - if any - model kits are available of this but maybe in the future one may come available as the manufacturers start looking to produce a little something different from the norm.
Tankograd here come up with another interesting title in their Technical manual range of books on the US Armies 'M65 Atomic Annie', which was designed and used during the postwar arms race after WWII and designed to be capable of firing an atomic war head from a mobile artillery platform.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 6008
  PUBLISHED: Dec 22, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Keith Forsyth (docdios)

Keith Forsyth (docdios) comes from the small town of Stafford in the United Kingdom. He began his interest in modeling at an early age with armor being the main focus. It was not until finding himself between jobs in 1995 that he really got hooked. It was during a shopping visit to another town when...

Copyright 2021 text by Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks Keith. One of the last remaining ones is up at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and I've wandered around it several times. I sure wish someone would come up with a new kit in 1/35 of this monster. I just saw one of the old Renwall kits on Ebay. Annie Bidding's up to $177.00. Maybe I'll just settle for the tech manual for now.
DEC 22, 2006 - 03:48 AM
I remember my dad having one of those kits when I was a kid. Dont know what happened to it though, never did see him finish it. Im with you...looks like a kit Trumpeter would take on.
DEC 22, 2006 - 04:24 AM
I had a similar reaction. I saw the review and had a flood of memories of my dad giving me a finished Atomic Annie and the fun I had playing with it. I can remember duck and covering whenever she fired!! What a world.
DEC 22, 2006 - 08:08 AM
Just have a look at Wim Vink's impressive built of the Renwal kit on Mil-Mod : Wim Vink's Atomic Annie Frenchy
DEC 22, 2006 - 11:04 AM
The "Atomic Cannon" was a popular subject in the 1950's with a 1/40th scale version from Adams/Snap (later reissued by Lifelike), and a 1/32nd kit from Renwal, which was re-released by Revell as part of their "History Makers" limited edition series in the 1980's. Would be nice to see a new one, though it's unlikely such an expensive subject would ever be kitted, especially since it is long since retired and never saw action. Perhaps the book will inspire a reissue of one of the existing molds.
DEC 25, 2006 - 12:11 PM
Wow. Wim Vink's model is impressive. I'd love to see that up close.
DEC 25, 2006 - 09:17 PM

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