FORGOTTEN TANKS AND GUNS
◗ David Lister ◗ Pen and Sword (2021 2nd Edition) ◗ £12.99 ◗ 142 pages (softback) ◗ ISBN:9781399014328 ◗ pen-and-sword.co.uk
Somehow, this author’s quirky style exactly matches the subject matter: namely, examples of quirky guns and (mainly) tanks from the 1920s-1940s that never got beyond initial concept or prototype stage. Most authors would start with a background chapter or two about the principles of tank design, but he rather endearingly launches straight into the fabled Japanese heavy tanks, in the first of numerous oddities he has unearthed in years of delving into remote archive material.
Most designers – many of whom were amateurs – sought to achieve one purpose (eg an amphibious capability) but often with little awareness of other key factors such as combat potential. The range here covers a variety of measures – amphibious, remotecontrol, air-transportable, recoilless, etc, including the work of one or two notable designers such as Martel. There are ‘artist impressions’ of many of the vehicles, supplemented by rare photographs where available.
This is probably one for the specialist enthusiast, but it shines a fascinating light into the‘might have beens’of tank development. A delightful foray into a forgotten world.