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Osprey- Tanks At The Iron Curtain 1975-90

ISBN Number: 9781472853820 Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Published: Tuesday, November 7, 2023 Retail Price: $16.00
Reviewed By: Phillip Cavender



The Author:

Steven J. Zaloga earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Union College and later completed his Master of Arts at Columbia University. Over the course of three decades, he has amassed extensive experience as an analyst in the aerospace sector, focusing on missile systems and the global arms trade.  Additionally, he contributed his expertise to the Institute for Defense Analyses, a prominent federal think tank. Zaloga is a prolific author, having written numerous books on military technology and history, such as "NVG 294 Allied Tanks in Normandy 1944" and "NVG 283 American Guided Missiles of World War II. " He currently resides in Maryland, USA.

In addition to his prolific career as a military history author, he also excels as a highly-skilled military scale modeler. 

The Book:

This 48-page book, in A4 format measuring 7.25 x 9.75 inches, features glossy paper with 40 photos in black and white, and eight color illustrations created by Felipe Rodriquez. Both the front and back covers are printed on glossy paper, and the text is presented in English.  The book comprises an introductory section, three distinct chapters, a section for additional reading recommendations, and an index. 


In this concise segment, the author communicates that his book serves as the final part of a trilogy that delves into the topic of tanks along the Iron Curtain, spanning from 1975 to the end of the Cold War. Additionally, he provides an overview of the subjects and themes that will be addressed with the book's pages.



The Tanks, Doctrine, and Organization:

Over the next thirty-one pages, Steven Zaloga thoroughly explores the details surrounding the five superpowers, examining their tanks, doctrines, and organizational structures. This comprehensive analysis is enhanced by the inclusion of multiple tables, black-and-white photographs, as well as color illustrations. The table presented on page six displays the quantity and distribution of tanks by type in the year 1990. Such tables can be found throughout the book, enhancing the reader's comprehension.


A computer graphics image of a T64A Soviet tank in Germany in 1989, illustrated the Felipe Rodriquez, is featured on page eleven.  The tank is depicted in a camouflaged dark green paint scheme, and there's an accompanying explanation about the three-digit tank markings.



Page fifteen features a vibrant computer graphics depiction of a Soviet T-80BV tank painted in a camouflaged paint scheme. Just like in previous sections, the author delivers a comprehensive and knowledgeable description of this three-color paint design.

Over the following seven pages, Steven Zaloga examines the tanks employed by the US Army, commencing with the M60A1 in 1975 and culminating with M60A1 Rise. In 1980, the M60A3 was introduced, featuring crucial enhancements such as TTS thermal sighting and upgraded fire control systems. Additionally, the author offers an introductory overview of the evolution of the XM1 MBT (M1 Abrams) - a journey that began in 1973 and extended to the M1A2 variant by 1989.

Page twenty-eight features a color image of an M1A1 tank equipped with a track-width mine plow, from the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia. 


As we continue to explore the book, we encounter a stunning computer-generated image of a Chieftain Mark 10 from C Squadron of the Berlin Brigade in 1989, featuring an urbanized camouflage paint scheme, on page 35. Once more, the author provides detailed descriptions of the paint colors and tank markings, enabling the reader to gain a comprehensive understanding of the visual content.


In the subsequent brief section titled "Tanks In Action," the author presents a table on page thirty-nine, which outlines the key characteristics of Main Battle Tanks such as the T-72A, T-64B, T-80B, M1, and Leopard 2, offering essential specifications that prove valuable to both readers and the military historian.


In the book's final section, the author offers a technical examination of protection, firepower, and combat effectiveness, complete with tables illustrating the individual tank profiles in these aspects. Page 44 presents a data table included in this book, showcasing an extensive compilation of technical information regarding the performance of projectiles during the 1980s.


Having amassed a selection of books penned by Steven Zaloga in my reference library, I wholeheartedly welcome his most recent publication, which explores the portrayal of tanks used along the Iron Curtain from 1975 to 1990. Needless to say, it did not disappoint.

His publications, released through Osprey Publishing, evoke memories of the concise and comprehensive summaries I relied on in high school and throughout college, akin to the way CliffsNotes provided insights into specific subjects and topics.

This book, featuring numerous images, intricate illustrations, and data tables, is an essential addition for both modelers seeking reference materials on tanks used along the Iron Curtain and military historians in need of supplementary resources. The author's writing style is crafted to provide a reader-friendly and easily digestible format, rendering this book an outstanding reference resource. For these reasons, I strongly recommend including Zaloga's latest book in  your collection.

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.

Thanks goes out to Osprey Publishing for this review sample.


Reviewed by Phillip Cavender


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