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British Tanks: The Second World War (Images of War) [Paperback]

Pat Ware
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 Nov 2011 Images of War
Perhaps the British did not produce the most successful tanks of the Second World War, but they certainly designed an extraordinary range of light, medium and heavy tanks along with many that were adapted for special purposes. This fascinating variety of military machinery is recorded in Pat Ware's photographic history. Using a selection of wartime photographs - supported by some modern photographs of preserved vehicles - he describes the origins of the tank in Britain during the First World War, looks at British tank development during the inter-war period and contrasts this with advances made elsewhere. All of the British tanks that saw service during the Second World War are described, among them the cruisers (Crusader, Cromwell, Comet), the infantry tanks (Matilda, Valentine, Churchill) and the US imports (Stuart, Lee/Grant, Sherman).Pat Ware is a leading expert on the history of military vehicles and a prolific writer of books and articles on every aspect of the subject. His most recent publications include a study of the military Jeep and encyclopaedias of military vehicles and motorcycles. He was the founding editor of Classic Military Vehicle magazine.

Frequently Bought Together

British Tanks: The Second World War (Images of War) + Armoured Warfare in the Battle for Normandy (Images of War) + Armoured Warfare in Northwest Europe: Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives (Images of War)
Price For All Three: 36.16

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (17 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848845006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848845008
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 19.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This entry in the Images of War series looks at all the tanks that served with the British Army during the war, both those developed in Britain and American imports. The pictures are crisp and clear, each with a short but accurate caption. There are some useful wartime diagrams, including external and internal stowage diagrams which show just how cramped these vehicles could be. Each chapter begins with a useful short text which discusses that type of tank and then examines each of the types covered in the pictures. -

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing contents 16 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I looked forward to this book, but the contents are not up to the standard of previous titles from this publisher.
It states quote" Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives", I do not think that photos of preserved vehicles can be called rare, or indeed manufacturers photos of either prototype or production vehicles. Quite a few of the photos have been published before. Some five pages show pictures of WW1 tanks, which as the title clearly demonstrates purports to be "British Tanks The Second World War".
Other than a few photos from both The Tank Museum & IWM the bulk come from Pat Ware's own collection that he has gathered over the years.

Do not waste your money buying this publication, perhaps Concorde's British Tanks of WW2 is a much better choice , at least that shows British tanks in action. In fact the Warpaint series of books covering British Army Vehicles 1903--2003, shows very many previously unpublished photographs of WW2 British tanks in service, spend a little more and go for these.

Mr Ware has tried to cover all the aspects of British tank manufacture during the years 1939--45, that is impossible in just 144 pages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Images of War? 9 Sep 2012
By Rayzor
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite the title this book actually covers the history of the british tanks from 1916 to 1945 and American tanks in British service. Maybe this is a little ambitious when the series is called "Images of War". The brief history of each type is quite useful and covers all the main types and "funnies", with about one page of text to each tank, followed by the photo section for each type. The photos, of which there are plenty, as you may expect, include prototypes, tanks in service and some modern vehicals cuningly inserted in black and white. Although there are pics of each type, I have seen some before and there are some odd ones like M3 Lees with US crews and factory shots. Some random stowage and internal layout diagrams are included and an illustrated comparison between the A29 and A30.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I sent back the next day 25 Jan 2012
By Charles Duckworth - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There aren't many books out on British tanks and it's a shame this one is so poorly done. Many of the shots are builder's photos vs in service tanks, and some are new photo taken at the Tank Museum - a little more digging surely could have uncovered some in service photos. I flipped though the book for a half hour and decided to ship it back it's not worth the price.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overview, wanted more 15 Jan 2013
By Mark Kozik - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author does a good job showing the development of British armor, so it's not bad in that respect. I was wanting more "in the dirt" pictures of tanks in the combat zone, rather than beauty shots at the base, so hopefully another book will come out?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Photo-Guide to British 'Heavy Metal' of World War II! 15 Dec 2012
By Michael OConnor - Published on
While Britain didn't produce many top-notch tanks in the Second World War, they certainly cranked out a variety of models. Part of Pen & Sword's IMAGES OF WAR series, Pat Ware's BRITISH TANKS, THE SECOND WORLD WAR provides a comprehensive guide to Brit light, medium, heavy and special-model tanks.

Beginning with an opening chapter tracing British tank development from 1914 to 1939, Ware examines the different classes of tanks produced: light, cruiser, infantry, heavy, specials/engineer tanks/'funnies' and American tanks in British service.

After a short description of the missions and development of that particular class, he describes the various models within the class. For example, the 'Cruiser Tanks' chapters describes 11 different designs including the A9, A10, A13, A13 Mk II, A13 Mk 111 Covenanter, A15 Crusader, A24 Cavalier, A27L Centaur, A27M Cromwell, A30 Challenger and A34 Comet. Each rates a 1-1 1/2 page write-up with accompanying photographs and diagrams. Most of the pix are manufacturers' shots, maybe a fifth are frontline pix and several are of restored models.

Having little knowledge on wartime British AFVs, I found BRITISH TANKS, THE SECOND WORLD WAR to be an informative, interesting survey of British 'heavy metal.' The variety of tank models developed - and described in the book - is truly mind-boggling. I wish Ware had included an index but that's just me. Recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably good 9 Nov 2013
By Kazuaki Shimazaki - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lots of pictures - don't know how rare they are but at least a person without an extensive library should find it adequate. Also has some pretty good though brief description of the British tanks.
5.0 out of 5 stars great book on British armor 5 Jan 2013
By whammer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent book, easy reading, excellent pictures and information, Mr. Ware has another awesome book. Some photos may or may have been seen before
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