“For all the history buffs on warfare of the last century, Tanks is a perfect choice . . . packed with fascinating information” (San Francisco Book Review).
This Casemate Short History—by the authors of Tanks in Hell: A Marine Corps Tank Company on Tarawa—provides an informative and entertaining introduction to this iconic weapon of the last hundred years.
Tanks first ventured into battle on the Somme in 1916, and by the end of the war, countries were beginning to choose “heavy” or “light” tank designs to suit their preferred doctrine. Design then stagnated until World War II brought about rapid change. Tanks would prove integral to fighting in almost every theater; the Germans swept across Europe using tanks to spearhead their blitzkrieg method of war, until Soviet tanks proved more than their match and led to some epic tank battles on a huge scale.
After World War II, tank designs became increasingly sophisticated and armor undertook a variety of roles in conflicts, with mixed results. American armor in Korea was soon forced into an infantry support role, which it reprised in Vietnam, while Soviet armor was defeated in guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan. However, tanks played a pivotal role in the American “shock and awe” doctrine in two wars in Iraq, and tanks remain a crucial weapons system on the battlefield.
“Comprehensive despite its conciseness. For example, it addresses the employment of tanks in lesser-known conflicts such as the Indio-Pakistani and Sino-Vietnamese wars. The book provides context for contemporary tank operations and offers a perspective on the way ahead.” —Military Review