Chieftain Main Battle Tank: Development and Active Service from Prototype to Mk. 11

Published: April 9th, 2013     
Product Image
Author: Robert Griffin
Reviewed by: 
Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Kagero Publishing
ISBN #: 9788362878529
Other Publication Information: Softcover, 72 pages, 137 color pictures, 17 b&w photos
Price: $19.95
Product / Stock #: Photosniper 007

This book covers all the Chieftain versions from prototype to mark.11 - that means all the main battle tank versions of this significant AFV from the cold war. The only versions not covered are the special mission vehicles, like the bridge layer and recovery vehicle that are based on the Chieftain chassis.

The book was written by Robert Griffin, who has served in the Chieftain for several years and can provide first-person impressions on its performance and spice up the reading by adding details of crew living conditions in the vehicle.

The book's breakdown covers:

  • Genesis: From medium gun tank no.2 to Britain's first main battle tank
  • Chieftain: early service and vehicle description
  • Tribulations and Redemption: the 1970s and 1980s

These sections have a very good narrative, each one explaining the evolution of the prototype (including details on the problematic power plant) and different measures taken to improve that limitation.

The book covers service of the Chieftain in the Royal Army, but not with the Middle Eastern armies that either bought it (Kuwait, Iran, Oman) or pressed it into service after capturing them (Iran). There are a handful of picture of Chieftains in services with Middle Eastern forces, though.

After the narrative sections of the book, the following sections are mostly graphical, although the captions are very descriptive. They cover the "Chieftain in Service" with the Royal Army (26 pages of pictures), and then there is a dedicated walk-around section which is priceless for a modeler.

Finally, there are a two 4-view profiles (for Mk.3 and Mk.11C) and 18 color profiles, including camouflage for Royal Army, Iranian Army, and Kuwaiti Army (Desert Storm).

This book is a work of love by someone who served on the vehicle, giving the whole book both the value of a research tome and first-person experience narration.

Recommended to modelers and AFV aficionados.

I would like to thank Casemate Publishing and IPMS/USA for the review sample.