M1 Abrams: The US’s Main Battle Tank in American and Foreign Service, 1981 - 2019

Published: March 21st, 2020     
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Front Cover
Author: Slawomir Zajaczkowski
Reviewed by: Bob LaBouy - IPMS# 3064
Company: Pen & Sword
ISBN #: 978-1526-7497-58
Other Publication Information: 64 pages, 200 illustrations
Price: $26.75
Product provided by: Casemate Publishers

In this book, Number 17 in the TankCraft series, author David Grummitt, has provided many tools for the modeler and historian alike. The Table of Contents provides for the basic outline:

  • American Tank Development during the Cold War
  • Abrams Development and Technical Specifications
  • The Cold War
  • Camouflage and Markings
  • Model Showcase
  • Modelling Products
  • First Gulf War
  • Keeping the Peace
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Abrams Today
  • Abrams in Foreign Service
  • Further Reading

Richly illustrated with black and white and color photographs, color and black & white line drawings. The color side views provide a great visual guide for the modeler.

The early develop of the tank is traced clear back to the earliest of the Patton tanks (M48) through the M60 series of the Army and Marine Corps' main battle tanks.

The cold war section also provides small view of the Soviet tanks of that period. This book provides a rich understanding of the Russian armament and time reference for these weapons and their employment against our armor for this contemporary period.

Modeling specifics cover most of the current M1 versions available in kit form, as well as decals, tracks, and additional brass and resin after-market doodads. This single volume provides terrific modeling details including color photos. A great number of color shots detailing photos that invite weathering, dusting, and mud effects for modelers are provided.

There are at least seven models with photos which showcase the various camouflaged M1 models and finishes. As a model builder, these visual guides are important tools and provide the basis of much of what I attempt to recreate in my own models. I am also continually amazed at the vast amount of after-market, third party materials available to modelers--most of which I would have never discovered where it not for this book and its references.

The book's Introductory Statement:

"Since its introduction in 1981, at the height of the Cold War, the Abrams main battle tank has been one of the most visible and iconic symbols of American military power, and it is the fascinating subject of this heavily illustrated historical and modelling guide in the TankCraft series by David Grummitt.

Designed to meet head-on the massed tank forces of the Warsaw Pact, its combat debut in fact came in a different scenario in 1991 during the First Gulf War. Since then it has served in the peace-keeping role in the former Yugoslavia and seen combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. It has gone through a series of modifications and modernizations that see it set to remain the backbone of the US Army until at least 2050.

As well as charting the development and combat history of the vehicle, the book is illustrated throughout with colour photos and specially commissioned colour profiles. Seven different models, covering the service history of the Abrams, are featured, as is a modellers' guide to the existing kits and accessories in all the popular scales."

This book is highly recommended. Our thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for my opportunity prepare this review.

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