M1 ABRAMS TANK (a book review)

by John

One of my interests is history, particularly military history, and I have been writing book reviews for an English Publisher, Pen and Sword Military, for several years.

Activity in my workshop is not particularly photogenic at present, so my posts have become less frequent.   I wonder if my readers might be interested some book reviews to fill the gaps.

So here is a review of a recent read.  I will be interested in any feedback, positive or negative.   Please be assured that my primary interest on this blog remains making and using machines, and any book reviews will only be used to plug gaps.  Might make a change from my obsession with Antarctica?


UK. £14.99    US $24.95   Paperback, with a quality texture.  Glossy paper, 184 pages.

M1 ABRAMS TANK  by Michael Green

As an uninformed but curious reader, I was interested to find out about this, the world’s best known Main Battle Tank (MBT).

 “MBT” is one of the many, many, acronyms used in tank parlance.  Indeed, at times I felt that that the main purpose for the text of the book was to list and explain the meaning of the acronyms.  But that is a bit unfair.   The Abrams tank has been in use for almost 40 years, and is projected to be in use until 2050, so it is not surprising that it has seen multiple versions and revisions, and those do need to be explained.

The history of the development of the tank is well explained.

At the end of the book I found myself unsatisfied however, and felt the need for some perspective.  Of just how the M1 Abrams compares with other modern tanks.  Of how much it costs.  Of how governments finance it.  And how it will be used in future conflicts with increasing use of unmanned weapons. I got answers to those questions from Internet searches.  I suppose that the author is to be congratulated for being the stimulus to such searches, but I feel a little disappointed that the information was not included in the book.  I was also rather disappointed that there was no recounting of battle tales and experiences. Just what was it like to be a tanker, in the desert wars in an Abrams tank?

The 184 pages are crammed with excellent, large, colour photographs, and some diagrams. Perhaps the excellent photographs are the main justification for the book.


So that is the review.  What is your reaction?