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Leland Ness: Jane's World War II Tanks and Fighting Vehicles

One of the problems that face those who have a casual interest in World War 2 tanks is to find reference works that does not have too much information. Those books published on World War 2 tanks today are generally well-researched, and has a great amount of detail. As an unfortunate side-effect, compiling an even somewhat extensive reference library can be time-consuming and expensive.

This books title, World War II Tanks and Fighting Vehicles: The Complete Guide, makes a very large promise. Fortunately, unlike many similar monographs, this one is generally of a good quality.

Like other general guides, each vehicle is described by a short text and key technical detailed. The amount and accuracy of the information is as could be expected; the essential information is presented, with no glaring errors, but it will obviously not hold up against books dedicated to a single vehicle. The photographs will provide a good idea of what the vehicles looked like, but will not be new to more experienced armor enthusiasts. Sadly, a few of the photographs are a bit blurred, which is a shame for a book which has an otherwise professional feel.

Where this book stand out is the five to ten page introduction text for each major nation, describing its development of armor design. Together with each-to-understand production tables and each major tank type, this is an excellent guide to anyone who is new to World War 2 tanks. The major nations described are:

The final section is particularly interesting, in that is describes the armor used by most minor nations. At 16 pages, the section is brief, but it still manage to cover such nations as Afghanistan, Lithuania, and Uruguay.

The book is highly recommended to anyone looking for a first, general-knowledge book on World War 2 tanks.

Further Reading