King of the Killing Zone Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 1990
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About the Author
Orr Kelly is a veteran journalist and author. He covered the Pentagon, the Justice Department, and the intelligence beat, and served as a war correspondent in Vietnam during his time with "U.S. News & World Report" and the "Washington Star". He has written four works of military history, two of which deal with the Navy SEALs. With his late wife, Mary Davies Kelly, he is the author of "Dream's End", a history of two of his ancestors and their Civil War odyssey. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is well written and gives a flavour of how the buying "system" works in the real world.
Kelly writes in an unbiased and thought provoking way, giving technical details but not losing the readers interest.
A good read and a useful reference source.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Covering the economic and political pressures of the times, Orr explains why certain decisions were made-for example, the use of the Chobram armor created by the British, or why the designers opted not to use the tank commanders independent hunter/seeker sight (cost).
I highly recommend this book. Thanks, Kelly!
This is a fascinating story about the world's best tank. I know, I once rode these beasts. Fast, powerful and well protected, the M-1 has emerged as the world's premire tank. Kelly captures how the past influenced the design (Isreali tank wars), what role luck played (the US almost ignored the armor developed by the British)as well as politics (why the US chose a German cannon vs. British vs. US).
Other controversial decisions are explored - why did Chyrsler design beat out General Motors, why was a gas guzzling turbine engine selected?
The book has adequate photos for a narrative. I would like to have seen more line drawings, but this is not a book for moldelers. If you want the nuts and bolts, get R.P.Hunnicutts excellent book on the M-1. If you want the hows and whys behind the story of the M-1, this is the book for you.
I wouldn't recommend it. It was written by a journalist; I would have preferred something written by someone "on the inside". There just weren't very many details or specific anecdotes; it was very top level.
There also seemed to be a significant amount of filler: more pre-M1 history than I was interested in, some overdone repitition ('I get it, using the turbine was a tough choice'), and some unreferenced inferences about soviet armor technology.
On the other side, the writing style is good and it's easy to read and I did learn some interesting tidbits of history.
Overall, a good history book, but not a great systems engineering learning tool.