- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 Mar. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849089817
- ISBN-13: 978-1849089814
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 0.4 x 23.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
M103 Heavy Tank 1950-74 (New Vanguard) Paperback – 20 Mar 2013
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"An unusual and little known subject. Recommended." --Tankette
An in-depth look at the M103 - the Cold War heavy tank the US designed to match the Soviet tanks in the event of a conventional WWIII.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Like other books in the series, the author attempts to package loads of material into a very compact package and in this he largely succeeds. The whole development history, the leading personalities involved in getting the project through to approval, the operational use in both US Army and USMC guise as well as the subsequent upgrades are all covered. And while you will get some info on the specific components used (primarily the gun and fire control system), this is perhaps the area with the least amount of coverage.
The book also has quite some black and white photos as well as the customary colour plates and detail drawings, all executed to the usual high standard.
On top of this you will also get some assessment of the tank's capabilities compared to its contemporaries (such as the M60, with which it later shared many of the mechanical components), especially concerning armour protection and firepower. The book does cover comparatively little in terms of first hand accounts of the tankers using it, though.
So overall a good compact information source on a largely forgotten tank, and a very interesting start for someone interested in post WW2 heavy armour.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Highly recommended,even with the track run error
LtCol Estes is the ideal author for a book about the M103. As a retired USMC tank officer and a historian, he is the recognized expert on the history of tanks and other AFVs in the US Marine Corps. The book follows the standard Osprey format for the New Vanguard series. Clearly Estes did a lot of archival research that explains why the US Army rejected the M103 and the US Marine Corps adopted it. The characteristics, merits and inadequacies of the M103 are described in a great detail. The collection of photographs and illustrations is excellent.
On a minor note, I assume that the photos on p. 47 are of a young Lt or Capt Estes in an M103A2, and a much older LtCol (retired) Estes is a restored example of the same. However the caption for the photos is mistakenly copied from the previous page.
Trivial quibbles aside, this is an excellent and interesting book, and a worthwhile purchase and read for anybody interested in the subject.
This tank is most likely the pinnacle of the post world war II diecast designs before the advent of antitank missiles rendered them obsolete. Even so, the Marines insisted upon its full development as the Army's preference for the M60 series tank, didn't impress the Corps' enough in performance to this tanks' superior 120mm gun which could defeat its Soviet developed counterparts heavy tanks. The background history is of itself of interest to anyone who has a penchant for understanding how the US military carries out its research and development of its armor and the branches of services defining their needs. A good read with copious illustrations.