TANKS AT THE IRON CURTAIN 1946-60
◗ Steven Zaloga ◗ Osprey (2021) ◗ £11.99 ◗ 48 pages (softback) ◗ ISBN:9781472843296 ◗ ospreypublishing.com
This is the first of three intended volumes on post-WWII tanks of the NATO and Warsaw Pact, by a leading expert on tank design, development and usage.
In many ways, 1946-60 is an ideal period for ‘moderns’ wargamers. Firstly, there is a good pool of information, whereas later periods have key data still under secrecy wraps. Secondly, tank production was fairly minimal in the early years, as economies were exhausted, so you can recycle your WWII collections (Comets, Cromwells, Shermans, Panthers, T-34s, to name but a few), topped up by Centurions, M48s, T54s, etc. Thirdly, the 1950s heralded the likely impact of tactical nuclear weapons, leading to major changes in organisation and tactics.
The book is mainly about development and production, with tables showing output and stock for each year for each major nation, plus information on some minor nations. There is relatively little on armoured organisation (albeit a useful profile of the immediate post-war Soviet tank division), but a strong analysis of the competing arms race in tank design and the impact of improved AT munitions. Highly recommended.