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Concise summary of the development and use of the last US 'heavy' tank,
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This review is from: M103 Heavy Tank 1950-74 (New Vanguard 197) (Kindle Edition)
Born out of the shock of the Korean War, the M103 (or its T43 prototypes) reached service at a time it was no longer so actively required and slowly but surely moved off center stage with the arrival of the M60. Of the approximately 300 built, the majority went to the USMC and the only semi-active deployment they were ever engaged in was in the perimeter security role in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
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.