Rolling Thunder: A Century of Tank Warfare.
The tank is such a characteristic feature of modern warfare that its difficult to imagine a time when its presence wasn't felt on the battlefield in some form or another. This volume, from eminent historian and author Philip Kaplan, traces the history of the vehicle from its developmental early days on the battlefields of the Great War, to modern-day uses and innovations in response to the growing demands of twenty-first century warfare. During and after the First World War, in the wake of such momentous loss of life on the battlefields, the need to move away from large army deployment and maneuvers was considered to be particularly pressing.
The need to mechanize forces and to develop aircraft and other militarized vehicles became a major preoccupation of the engineers of the day, enabling a smaller number of well-trained and well-equipped personnel to be deployed in place of hordes of lesser-armed men. The necessity to rescue pilots shot down in the Dunkirk area precipitated the first large-scale usage of the early tank. From here, they were to be employed extensively, playing such an integral part in the proceedings during the battles of Barbarossa, El Alamein, Kursk and Ardennes.
Right on through the twentieth and into the twenty-first century, the tank has survived as one of the most necessary weapons of war and one of its most recognizable emblems. Chapters dedicated specifically to a number of the battles listed above feature in the work, setting the various developmental milestones of the tanks employed in context. Featured in this volume are images of some of the most highly regarded and imposing types, such as the Chrysler-built Grant, the Skoda-built Hungarian Turan and the M-26 Pershing tank, employed so extensively during the Korean War.
British, American and German built tanks all feature, both within the library of black and white photographic plates on display and in the narrative history itself. A character afforded a particularly prominent spotlight within this history is Heinz Guderian, considered by many to be 'the father of modern tank warfare and Germany's Panzer Force'. From the battlefields of the Great War to modern-day theaters such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the history of this impressive war machine is tracked in detail.
Certain to appeal to military enthusiasts with a particular interest in this most iconic armored vehicle, it is set to make a welcome addition to many personal libraries.