Books on individual postwar British tanks?

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Chris C, Apr 12, 2020.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    I have a slightly old book on the Conqueror by Rob Griffin, and am thinking maybe of getting his Chieftain book at some point too. I just realized that I don't have a book on Centurion either, a more popular topic, and wondered if anyone had a recommendation for the best book that goes into the most detail?

    I know there's an Images of War book, and the Hayes manual, a 2005 book by one Bill Munro which seems promising, several Osprey titles, a TankCraft history/modeling book, and probably others. What books do you have and how would you rate them?

    Although, photographs are good - anyone have the Images at War book?
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I remember my brother had this one back in the 80s.
    I used to like borrowing it while he was away.
    Chris C likes this.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The Conqueror book you've got is not bettered anywhere, but its Chieftain companion doesn't quite live up to it. Still good, but somehow doesn't gel in the same way. I think Dick Taylor's Haynes one is a far better look at the machine.

    Still hunting for a really good Centurion one as per this thread: Cent book?
    Not entirely sure what I'm after really exists yet, after having a shufti at a few in the flesh & thinking 'nah'.
    We may just have to wait until a certain Allo Allo cast member works his way down the entire line of UK armour...
    Chris C likes this.
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    BTW, if you're after Ospreys on postwar gear. Probably consider v.4 in the 'British Battle Tanks' line.
    Not got around to it, but If it's like 1 & 2, it'll be a conglomeration of all the old Osprey books in one spot with a bit of editing.

  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    So, VP, you've seen some reviews of Munro's book which suggested it wasn't great? edit: just had a look on - he claimed that the gunner sat behind the gun!? Oh dear.

    I'm a little skeptical of these compilation volumes by Osprey (insofar as you won't get depth on any particular subject) but I have looked at one of them at the library and it's reasonably nice. I would be interested to know which books the "post war" book contains exactly. Dunstan wrote a "Centurions in combat" Osprey book back in 1980, and while he must have become a better author in all the intervening years, that would be a "nice to have". It's 304 pages so that suggests about 5 original Osprey books - although I don't know if they reformatted the text and photos for these volumes or not.

    edited PS through google books I was able to view the table of contents. It appears to break down as:

    Centurion 104 pages
    Vickers battle tanks 14 pages
    Chieftain 46 pages
    Challenger 52 pages
    Challenger 2 65 pages
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I only mention the British battle tanks thing as you mentioned Ospreys. They're a cost-effective way of getting all the appropriate Ospreys, even though, no, I'm not an enormous fan of Dunstan.
    The format's quite funny if you have any of the included books individually. Faintly irritating, but it is nice to have all Fletcher's base tank Ospreys gathered up in the first two.

    Not reviews on the Munro. Had a look and thought 'I'll find it in a charity shop one day'. Not worth fifteen-twenty notes.
    Still haven't seen a thorough book on the Cent, which is a bit weird really. The Haynes one's 'OK', but I'll buy it when I see it for cheap - didn't light my fire.
    Chris C likes this.
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    VP, I meant to ask you, what criticisms do you have of Dunstan's work? (I have no axe to grind; I don't think I've read any of his books.) Send a PM if you'd rather.
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Just always felt a bit 'churned out'. A journalist taking on a commission without that little sparkle you see in authors that are truly engaged with the subject. Got a fair few, but 'meh'.

    And then, of course, the execrable 'Grey Wolf'. Incident. If you allowed your name to sit on that, then in my opinion you've blotted your wider copy book.
    Chris C likes this.
  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    Had to look up Grey Wolf, but yes, I see what you mean.

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