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Bruce Oliver Newsome
ARRSE Rating
3 Mushroom Heads
The second book by Bruce Newsome studying the rise and fall of Western tanks , in this case the period from 1939-1955 is covered. The Second World War and the limbering up for the Cold War.

By 1939 Germany and the USSR had seen a degree of collaboration on defence projects. France was struggling to update both capability and doctrine in armoured warfare whilst the British Army had a BEF fielding a Tank Brigade plus other armoured units within the mechanised forces.

Myths surround the campaign in France with wildly fluctuating numbers and sweeping assumptions by many an author. In this concise book /booklet (137 pages) the author turns to some real number crunching to try and separate myth from fact. Once Dunkirk is safely out of the way the book follows the next 15 years. Pretty wide swathe of development including Soviet , Japanese and western tanks.

Some of the areas covered will be familiar to well read military types ,including the reliability problems of British built tanks in the western desert and the inadequacies of the early L31 75mm tank gun compared to the German 75mm gun.

What may be less familiar to readers is the post war British cover up on tank failures, Chapter 13 is informative.

In short the book is well informed but a bit technical for the generalist reader. Given this , the lack of an index is exasperating. The serious reader will finish up with a lot of Post–Its or highlighter if using the book.

The Rise & Fall is published by Tank Archives Press at £16.98 on Amazon
The Rise and Fall of Western Tanks, 1939-1955: Newsome, Bruce Oliver: 9781951171087: Books

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