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This book, the last in a four-part series on British Battle Tanks covering the whole history of British armoured warfare, concentrates on those vehicles that have served following the end of World War II up to the present day. Starting with the Centurion, the title explores those types that equipped the armoured divisions lined up on the German plains to resist any potential Soviet offensive, as well as in Korea and Suez, including the Chieftain and Conqueror, and modern tanks such as the Challenger 2 which are still in service today. Covering the many variants of these and other tanks in British service as well as their deployments around the world, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, this illustrated volume is a comprehensive guide to the development of British tanks since the Second World War.
The idea of British soldiers using American tanks was not viewed with a great deal of enthusiasm by the British Army. They perceived American tanks as being crudely made, mechanically unsophisticated and impossible to fight in. However, once British crews got used to them and learned to cope with some of their difficulties, such as limited fuel capacity and unfamiliar fighting techniques, they started to see them in a far more positive light, in particular their innate reliability and simplicity of maintenance. This book, the last in a three-part series on British Battle Tanks by armour expert David Fletcher, concentrates on World War II and studies American tanks in British service, some of which were modified in ways peculiar to the British. It shows how the number of these tanks increased to the point that they virtually dominated, as well describing some types, such as the T14 and M26 Pershing, which were supplied but never used in British service.
The British Chieftain - designed in the late 1950s as the replacement for the Centurion - was perhaps the best main battle tank in service with Nato during the 1960s and 1970s. Its 120mm rifled main gun and advanced armour made it one of the most formidable tanks of its time, and Robert Jackson's book is an authoritative introduction to it. Although it was intended to fight Soviet armour on the plains of northern Germany, it was in the heat and sand of the Middle East that the Chieftain fought its major battles during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, and it proved to be very effective during the Gulf War of 1991. Variants of the Chieftain were exported to Iran, Oman, India, Kenya and Nigeria, and its chassis was adapted to fulfil a variety of tasks, including armoured recovery and bridge-laying As well as tracing the history of the Chieftain, Robert Jackson's work provides an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available kits and photographs of award-winning models, together with artworks showing the colour schemes applied to these tanks. Each section of the book is supported by a wealth of archive photographs.
For much of the Cold War, the British Army's main battle tanks (MBT) were first the Centurion and then the Chieftain. The question of the latter's replacement became urgent when in 1980 MBT80 was canceled. While the Royal Ordnance Challenger (originally the Shir 2) was acquired as a stop gap its design and capability limitations quickly became apparent.Vickers then took over the Royal Ordnance tank building facility and against stiff foreign competition developed the Challenger 2.This superbly researched and illustrated book tells the story of the evolution and subsequent successful career of Challenger 2 which has seen distinguished service in war and peace since 1990 and has proved itself one of the worlds most formidable fighting vehicles. The authors do not shy away from technical detail and make comparisons with competitors. The result is an objective and authoritative work which will delight military equipment buffs, modelers and wargamers.
Every type of tank built for the British Army during WWI is illustrated and described here, along with the battles for which they were used. Many of the photographs used in this book are being seen by the general public for the first time.
Introduced to the British Army in 1983, Challenger Main Battle Tanks have served operationally in the Balkans and both Gulf Wars, where their firepower, protection and shock action were instrumental to the success of British forces. In addition to the familiar gun tanks, the Challenger family encompasses the Rhino Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle (ARRV), highly modified Desert Challenger 2s operated by the Royal Army of Oman and the radical Falcon 2 being developed by the Jordanian Army. This book covers a wide range of these variants, with each chapter presenting a different build using colour photos to illustrate scratch-building, painting and weathering techniques across a variety of skill levels.
First trialled in Europe in the spring of 1945, but formally introduced into British Army service in December 1946, not only is the Centurion one of the most important tanks in the history of the British armoured fighting vehicle (AFV), but it is also one of the most significant post-war Western tanks. Between 1946 and 1962, 4,423 Centurions were built in 13 basic marks and numerous variants, with the chassis also adapted for several other AFV roles. A small number of the Beach Armoured Recovery Version (BARV) served with the British forces during the Iraq War of 2003, some 58 years after the Centurion first entered service! The Centurion has seen extensive combat in the Korean War (Britain), Vietnam (Australia), the Middle East (Israel) in the 1967 Six Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon, and in the Indo-Pakistan War (India) in 1965 where it fought against US-supplied M47 and M48 Patton tanks.
The British Army's Challenger II Main Battle Tank is one of the most awesome war machines ever built. In March 2003, three Squadrons of Challenger 2s from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, part of Britain's 7th Armoured Brigade, the fabled Desert Rats, gathered in Southern Iraq to prepare for battle.The Army's newest Big Guns were going to war for the first time. But Operation TELIC was a war which the Challenger 2, designed to operate in the fog and mud of the Central European Plain, had never been expected to fight. And one that would quickly break every rule of tank warfare including the golden maxim: never take a tank into a town. In Main Battle Tank, author Niall Edworthy, granted unprecedented access to the Scots DGs, tells the story of an extraordinary chapter in the history of British Army. From the terrifying rescue of a stricken Challenger 2 and countless nerve-shredding raids into Basra and Az Zubyar, to the biggest tank engagement fought by the British since the end of WWII, Main Battle Tank is the brutal, blistering true story of a war that tested man and machine to the bloody limit.
The concept of the Main Battle Tank emerged from the Centurion Universal tank that was developed at the end of World War II. Development of its successor began as early as 1951. The Chieftain incorporated significant innovations including a reclining driver position and two-piece ammunition for greater survivability. The tank entered service in 1967 and was the heaviest armed and armoured MBT within the NATO alliance. The Chieftain saw combat during the Iran-Iraq War, with the Kuwaitis during the 1990 Iraqi invasion and with the British Army during the Gulf War of 1990–91 as special-purpose variants. This book explores the design, development and operation of one of the most influential vehicles used in modern warfare.
“One neat book full of markings for British Shermans. It will greatly appeal to both modelers and AFV enthusiasts and historians.”—AMPS Indianapolis With production in excess of 55,000, the Sherman tank was eventually in service with most Allied armies of the Second World War and by the time of the Normandy landings was the mainstay of Britain’s armored battalions. In his second book in the TankCraft series, Dennis Oliver uses wartime photos and extensively researched, exquisitely presented color illustrations to cover the Sherman tanks used by the units of the Royal Armoured Corps and the Royal Marines during the fighting in northern France. As with all the books in the TankCraft series, a large part of this work showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also explained as is the complex system of markings employed by British armored regiments. This book will give the modeler all the information and knowledge required to recreate an authentic miniature representation of the tanks that fought from the beaches of Normandy, through the battles for Caen and on to killing fields of Falaise. “Provides a clear overview of the Sherman tank in British service during the Normandy Campaign. This will appeal to anyone with an interest in armoured warfare and the period covered. Much Recommended.”—Firetrench “A good-value reference for any Sherman fan, but particularly those new to the subject and who favour ‘Blighty’s’ armour.”—Airfix Model World
Challenger 2 (CR2) is the British Army's main battle tank. CR2 is based on the Challenger 1 tank, which served with distinction on operations in the Gulf War and the Balkans. Although a logical development of Challenger 1, CR2 is greatly superior. It is protected by second generation Chobham Armour and features a new digital fire control system that includes a panoramic commander’s sight, a laser range finder and a new version of the Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight (TOGS II). The turret mounts the high pressure L30 120mm gun that fires conventional APDS-FS, HESH, smoke and depleted uranium projectiles with great accuracy.
Men, ideas and tanks reviews the development of British military ideas on armoured forces from 1903 to 1939. Great Britain was the nation which first developed the tank, first used it in action and first gained dramatic results by employment. The British continued to be world leaders in the field of mechanised warfare until the early 1930s.J. P. Harris offers strikingly new interpretations of the early history of British armoured forces and explains why Great Britain had lost the lead by the outbreak of the Second World War.Available in paperback once more, this work will be of interest to all those concerned with British military history in the first half of the twentieth century, with the history of mechanised warfare and with the history of military thought.
A hundred years ago, on 15 September 1916, on the Western Front during the Battle of the Somme, the tank made its debut on the battlefield. The first tanks were crude, unreliable, vulnerable weapons, but they changed the character of land warfare forever, and Anthony Tucker-Jones's photographic history of these pioneering armored vehicles is the ideal introduction to them. In a selection of over 150 archive photographs he offers a fascinating insight into the difficult early days of this innovative new weapon, describing its technical history and its performance in combat. While the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 is often held up as the first large-scale tank battle, tanks had already served at Flers-Courcelette on the Somme, during the Nivelle offensive and the battles of Messines and Passchendaele. His book shows that the development of the tank was fraught with technical obstacles and battlefield setbacks. It was invented by the British and the French at almost the same time to help break the deadlock of trench warfare, and the British deployed it first in 1916. Belatedly the Germans followed the British and French example. The initial designs were continuously refined during two years of intense warfare. Finding the right balance between power and weight, getting the armament right, and working out the best tactics for tanks on the battlefield was a tricky, often deadly business.
The Chieftain was a radical evolutionary development of the successful Centurion line of tanks that had emerged at the end of the Second World War. The British had learned during the war that their tanks often lacked sufficient protection and firepower compared to those fielded by the enemy, and that this had led to high casualty levels.
The British Army was the first to use tanks, employing a handful of early models during the closing stages of the Battle of the Somme, September 1916. But it was over a year later that the first mass tank attack demonstrated just what a revolutionary weapon this was. On 20th November 1917, just as the bloody slaughter at Passchendaele reached stalemate, the British flung 378 tanks at the German trenches at Cambrai. They overran the whole position in a morning. The victory was so incredible that church bells were sounded throughout the British Isles. However, the subsequent German counter-attack was successful. The British ran out of reserves and the frontline was retaken. Yet Cambrai anticipated the events of 1918: the Germans had no answer to the British Army's new weapon and new artillery tactics. No subsequent British offensive failed to take its objectives.
Few tank designs have been as effective, versatile and long-lived as that of the British Centurion. Conceived during the Second World War as the answer to the superior German Tiger and Panther tanks and to the lethal 88mm gun, this 52-ton main battle tank incorporated the lessons British designers had learned about armored fighting vehicles during the conflict, and it was free of the major faults that had impaired the other British tank designs of the time. The Centurion was so successful that it served in the British Army and in numerous other armies across the world from 1945 until the 1990s.Pat Ware s highly illustrated history of this remarkable tank covers its design and development, its technical specifications and the many variants that were produced. He tells the story from the design brief of 1943, through testing and trials to the tank s entry into service. In addition, he traces the course of the Centurion s subsequent career, as it was up-dated, up-gunned and adapted to operate in varied conditions and conflicts all over the world including Korea, the Indo-Pakistan wars, Vietnam and the Arab-Israeli wars. His expert account of this remarkable fighting vehicle is accompanied by a series of color plates showing the main variants of the design and the common ancillary equipment and unit markings. His book is an essential work of reference for enthusiasts."
Discusses the history, technology, and future of different types of tanks, focusing on the engines, weapons, crews, defenses, combat use, and the development of anti-tank weapons.
The British Army Pocket Guide 2008-2009 will be a comprehensive guide to the organization, equipment and tactics of today's British Army. This latest edition incorporates details of all army reorganization and regimental amalgamations plus details of major systems and equipment introduced.

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