The AMX 13 Light Tank a complete history with rare photographs

The AMX 13 Light Tank a complete history with rare photographs

M.P. Robinson , Peter Lau, Guy Gibeau
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
The AMX 13 Light tank - a complete history (yes it really is).

This is the first book about the AMX13 written in English, so filling a void on the subject. Much of this book was written by the late Guy Gibeau, who grew up around armoured fighting vehicles, his father serving in Indochina, Algeria, France, and West Germany.

Guy did his national service at Nancy with the 26e Regiment d`Infantrie and upon completing national service , signed on as a regular officer. Promotion soon followed and the AMX 13 became a major part of his life.

Following his death after a long illness his comrades Peter Lau and M.P. Robinson completed this book in homage to him. The book details Frances use of Armoured Fighting Vehicles post war, and the problems encountered with the various types, given the wide variety of terrain they were expected to cope with.

Of course American assistance, skills, know how and technology were needed to rebuild the post war army and the first prototypes were tested at the Aberdeen proving ground in the USA. Many images are included of the first prototypes under going testing in a wide variety of conditions, and extremes of temperatures.

Following initial testing and proving, a final design was agreed upon, this book details the various chassis modifications as the tank moved forward to final production, with some very rare images of the French proving grounds and the tanks being tested.

Leading on from this the book moved on to cover the various rebuilds and upgrades from the 1950s. Charts show clearly the changes made and would aid easy identification of a retired tank, or for modelling work, many of them being quite subtle.

The AMX finally entered widespread service in the mid 1950s after many changes following testing with different regiments. A superb colour plate shows the hull and the locations and identification of the the major components.

A great many high quality photographs show the tank in various theatres and during crew training rarely before seen. As the tank was designed to be air portable many period images show it being tested and loaded, and the text explains the reasons behind the testing and changes made from the experience gained.

By the late 1950s the AMX required upgrading or replacement as it was found to be inferior to the newer Russian tanks entering service. All the changes to the main weapon are covered in the text and superb images illustrate this.

The book carries on to show all of the upgrades and alterations around during its long service life, original images are included from both training, workshops and repairs to conflicts.

Later variants include such as bridge laying cranes, ambulance and personnel carrier versions, light weight versions with the 20mm gun, the 155mm artillery piece. Radar guided, recovery vehicles and the many export versions are well illustrated and written about.

This 230 page book is a fantastic and well written history of an armoured fighting vehicle; the pictures alone would make the book worth while.

A great read, and a very interesting and informative book.
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