This is an excellent illustrated introduction to the subject. The colour plates are excellent, and there are numerous interesting photographs supporting the text, including a colour photograph of a preserved tank with a crew of re-enactors in WWI uniforms.
The Introduction -
"France began developing primitive tanks about the same time as Britain, but introduced them into combat several months later. The two original French tank designs, the St. Chamond and Schneider CA, were seriously flawed and proved to be technical and tactical dead ends. After a false start, General Jean-Baptiste Estienne promoted a more radical idea. Instead of the large and cumbersome tanks then in use with the British and French armies, he proposed building a `bee swarm' of small, inexpensive tanks that could overwhelm the Germans with mobility and mass. The resulting design, the Renault FT, pioneered the classic tank configuration typical of tank designs to this day. It was also the most widely used tank type of World War I, and was the seed for many tank forces after the war, including the United States and the Soviet Union."
The Contents are -
P05: The Tactical Challenge
P11: Into Combat
P14: An Elephant on the Legs of a Gazelle
P20: The Light Tank Idea
P23: Bureaucratic Delays
P26: Petain's Reforms
P29: Renault Unit Organization
P30: Facing the Challenge
P40: The Final Offensive
P49: Plan 1919
P46: Further Reading
.Unpublished documents; Articles; Books
The Colour Plates -
1: Schneider CA, Camp D'Entrainement de Champlieu, April 1917. Left side view, in `flame' pattern camouflage.
2. Schneider CA (Surblinde), AS 2, Groupement Bossut, Chemin-des-Dames, April 1917. Right side view, in simplified camouflage.
P13: Scneider CA (Surblinde), 3E Batterie, AS 6, Autumn 1917. This shows two tanks in combat terrain, with cross-hatch camouflage, with signalling apparatus in operation.
1. St. Chamond, 2E Batterie, AS 31, Laffaux, May 1917. Right side view, in `elaborate' camouflage.
2. St. Chamond, AS 35, Autumn 1917. Right side view in another elaborate camouflage.
3. Close up illustrations of the names, badges and other artwork on the hulls.
P24-25: Cut-away illustration of a Renault FT Char Canon
P33: St. Chamond, AS 31, Battle of Malmaison, October 23, 1918. This shows two tanks with supporting infantry advancing across the battlefield.
P37: St. Chamond, Groupement XIII, 1918. Left and top view showing simplified camouflage.
1. Renault FT, SO6 RAS, 1918. Left side view in simple camouflage.
2. Renault FT, 505E, RAS, 1918. Left side view, with another simplified camouflage.
on 15 May 2011
I love this book , how they crammed it all in i don't know but its full of all the right info, there is some stunning art work and really handy pictures,this is perfect for modellers as Great War armour is more popular now.