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The Dark Age of Tanks - Britain's Lost Armour 1945 - 1970

SteveO

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The Dark Age of Tanks - Britain's Lost Armour 1945 - 1970 by David Lister

In the thirty years after the Second World War, the British army entered a period of intense technological development. Due to the lack of surviving documentation, this period is almost a second Dark Age. What survives shows the British Army’s struggle to use cutting edge technology to create weapons that could crush the Soviet Union's armed forces, all the while fighting against the demands of Her Majesty's Treasury.

On this journey, the Army entertained ideas such as micro-tanks of about 20 tons in weight with two-man crews, massive 183mm anti-tank guns, devastating rocket artillery, colossal anti-tank guided missiles and ended up on the cusp of building hover tanks.

This book takes a look at the records from a time period of increasing importance to the tank historian and starts the process of illuminating the dark age of British tanks.

194 pages / 50 illustrations
 

edwest

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Another missing piece of the puzzle. Thank you.
 

Hood

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Looks interesting, The Tank Factory filled some gaps but this looks like the kind of postwar British tank book I've been looking for for years.
Shame it won't cover the MBT-80 stuff though and the lead up to Challenger given the 1970 cut-off date.
 

Pasoleati

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Wka23: There is a book titled "Rolls-Royce Meteor" published in the R-R Heritage Trust's Historical Series. The book is still in print.
 

gatoraptor

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"Due to ito increasing problems with US customs we are no longer able to dispatch books to the USA." So does anyone have any ideas around this?
 

Pasoleati

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Buy direct from the Heritage Trust. PayPal is accepted.
 

SteveO

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Mine arrived today. Looks like a good read. No colour illustrations but the images are very interesting. Quite a few are CGI artist impressions of the various projects. Haven’t read it yet but would already recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the subject.
 

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uk 75

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I have used an image from this book above.
It is a must have for anyone interested in postwar British fighting vehicles.
It covers tanks, light armour, apcs, recce vehicles and anti tank missiles with good original drawings and photos. It reminds me of my old well thumbed copy of RE Smiths British Army vehicles from Ian Allen.
 

Foo Fighter

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Got it today along with Forgotten Tanks and Guns of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s from the same source. Having been very bad and bought too many books I shall probably have to send myself to bed without supper. I will though, on balance, continue with a glass of something amber and smoky just to sooth my conscience. I know, terrible.
 

PMN1

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Got it today along with Forgotten Tanks and Guns of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s from the same source. Having been very bad and bought too many books I shall probably have to send myself to bed without supper. I will though, on balance, continue with a glass of something amber and smoky just to sooth my conscience. I know, terrible.
Have both books as well, whilst I can say that 'The Dark Age of Tanks' is very interesting, I cannot say the same for Forgotten Tanks and Guns.
 

Foo Fighter

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Just looking for the reference value, is it not much cop for that?
 

uk 75

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Just looking for the reference value, is it not much cop for that?
I can only vouch for the Dark book, which is the only book of its kind about postwar British armour projects
 

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Hello guys,
Forgotten tanks was my first book, and I learned a lot from the feedback on various sites and forums, and incorporated those into DAOT. Both books had issues with artwork as well, hence the state of the art work in Forgotten Tanks, and I was more prepared for them the second time around.

I'm just about to put my next book to bed, so would happily hear any feedback on DAOT, so I can incorporate those improvements again.
 

CJGibson

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My holiday reads have become lockdown reads (keeps me quiet while Mrs CJ works from home. Somehow I think she'll be happy to see me going back offshore) and I rather enjoyed DAOT, which has shed light on some systems I'm interested in such as Orange William on FV426 and FOIL.

Keep up the good work.

Chris
 

Foo Fighter

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My lockdown reads have not been delivered yet which is annoying, I hope they get here soon.
 

Foo Fighter

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From the site it appears they are not in the office, looks like we will not get these books until after the lockdown is relaxed so another six weeks at least then. A pity they did not see fit to say so up front imho.
 

ryan4MZ

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Pretty interesting book, have been reading some articles with anchors to it.
 

Pirate Pete

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Book is available through AmaCon (through other sellers on their site) - looking forwards to my copy - ordered last week, due in a couple of days...
 

VIKINGTANK

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Hello guys,
Forgotten tanks was my first book, and I learned a lot from the feedback on various sites and forums, and incorporated those into DAOT. Both books had issues with artwork as well, hence the state of the art work in Forgotten Tanks, and I was more prepared for them the second time around.

I'm just about to put my next book to bed, so would happily hear any feedback on DAOT, so I can incorporate those improvements again.
What is your next book about please? Received DAOT today and started reading instead of DIY as tasked - looking very good so far.
 

Listy

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What is your next book about please? Received DAOT today and started reading instead of DIY as tasked - looking very good so far.
Glad you're enjoying the current offering. Thanks.

Next one is British spigot weapons of the Second World War. Although there is a chapter touching upon some other countries weapons.

Off the top of my head I have the following items covered to some level:

UK:
AEB bomb thrower, Arbalest, The Bombard Experimental Gun, Bombard, Hedgehog, Hedgerow, Water Hammer, Mustard Plaster, Baby Bombard, Jefferis Gun, Stewblack Projector, PIAT, Petard, Denny Gun. CLarke Family (Tree, Ground, and Gun).
US:
US Tree Spigot, Bigot, T30 57mm.
German:
Schwere & Leichter Ladungswerfer
Japanese:
Type 98

There's also a separate chapter or two written by an Australian Historian by the name of Thomas Anderson covering the Matilda Hedgehog.

Our aim is to get it out by July next year
 

VIKINGTANK

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What is your next book about please? Received DAOT today and started reading instead of DIY as tasked - looking very good so far.
Glad you're enjoying the current offering. Thanks.

Next one is British spigot weapons of the Second World War. Although there is a chapter touching upon some other countries weapons.

Off the top of my head I have the following items covered to some level:

UK:
AEB bomb thrower, Arbalest, The Bombard Experimental Gun, Bombard, Hedgehog, Hedgerow, Water Hammer, Mustard Plaster, Baby Bombard, Jefferis Gun, Stewblack Projector, PIAT, Petard, Denny Gun. CLarke Family (Tree, Ground, and Gun).
US:
US Tree Spigot, Bigot, T30 57mm.
German:
Schwere & Leichter Ladungswerfer
Japanese:
Type 98

There's also a separate chapter or two written by an Australian Historian by the name of Thomas Anderson covering the Matilda Hedgehog.

Our aim is to get it out by July next year
 

Listy

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I think you reply got lost in the aether?
 

VIKINGTANK

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Hi Listy, Sorry got disturbed mid-reply and then got sent home from work early!

Yes was still enjoying it into the early hours! A real interest of mine, being ex-infantry, is the APC/MICV parts. Not got there yet but keep taking a peek, but enjoying all, thanks. When finished will do a review on Pen and Sword. I must admit your next book on spigots would not be a real interest of mine, but I wouldn't rule it out.

However with your excellent knowledge and research I was wondering if you ever considered writing a book on western/NATO projects of the 1970s to the 1990s; not in service stuff thats been done, but projects like the US/German MBT-70, the UKs MBT-80, the US XM803, the German turretless VT/GVT tanks, the French AMX-32 and 40 (yes I know for export only) etc, etc. To my knowledge thats not been done in detail. If Jagdchieftain gets a mention you have a sale!

All the best, Vikingtank.
 

Listy

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Yes was still enjoying it into the early hours! A real interest of mine, being ex-infantry, is the APC/MICV parts. Not got there yet but keep taking a peek, but enjoying all, thanks. When finished will do a review on Pen and Sword. I must admit your next book on spigots would not be a real interest of mine, but I wouldn't rule it out.
Then you'll love what I'm working on at the moment. After the deadline I got hold of several documents entitled "AFV for the 1980's." Which feature the MICV in a lot more detail than the book. I'm planning on doing it as a youtube video, sort of the missing chapter that should have happened but was killed by time.

However with your excellent knowledge and research I was wondering if you ever considered writing a book on western/NATO projects of the 1970s to the 1990s; not in service stuff thats been done, but projects like the US/German MBT-70, the UKs MBT-80, the US XM803, the German turretless VT/GVT tanks, the French AMX-32 and 40 (yes I know for export only) etc, etc. To my knowledge thats not been done in detail. If Jagdchieftain gets a mention you have a sale!

All the best, Vikingtank.
The problem there is sources and Language. I can (just) make trips to Kew. I can make weekend excursions to Bovy and other archives. I can't do that to The other NATO nations. As I tend to work about 99% from original documents it means I can't/won't just copy from others work. Simply because I don't trust them. If I've got it in front of me in a primary source then if I am challenged on it I can provide the reference.
equally I don't speak French, my German just about suffices for direction, ordering food and trying to very crudely ask a lady for a date, and the less said about my ability to speak American the better.

The FV3805 seems to fall as part of the AFV's for the 1980's program (simply by the date), although one wonders why it was built as the S-tank concept had already been rejected by then.
 

VIKINGTANK

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Hi Listy,

Yes anything on the lead up to Warrior would be most interesting. I was a FV432 driver (ye gads how thin were they) and served on Fox, as a No1 on CONBAT and MILAN and as a Platoon commander on Warrior; and help introduce Desert Warrior to the Kuwait Army. Please let me know when its on youtube I would be most interested. I did see a magazine years ago, Defence Technology I think, about the entry of Warrior into service which has the author believing that each platoon would get 1 vehicle with a Rarden turret and 3 with MG turrets; I forget what the MG turret looked like but I believe it was a bit like the Repair/Recovery versions have now.

I fully understand that its good to keep to English kit because of the language barriers elsewhere. Its a fascinating subject I just hope somebody does it and in English.

The FV3805 is surely the Centurion SP gun not the Jadgchieftain? But yes if the S-Tank experiment was seen as not quite as good as Chieftain then why was it built? I do remember a rumour, yes I know a rumour in the late 80s that us anti-tankers would get chieftains as they were retired from the RAC into the infantry battalions as our MILAN could not kill the opposition with ERA plates on their tanks (we never purchased the tandem warhead ammo for MILAN); but it was indeed a pretty poor rumour!

All the best, Vikingtank. If you wish to chat more then please feel free to PM me.
 
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Foo Fighter

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I am lucky enough that I have an ex tanker from that time living on my estate. Nice to talk to one of my ancestors about old tanks.
 

Foo Fighter

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I got my books today but only because I was at the main door to the block of flats. It seems the regal mail delivery folk are unable to operate door handles but the, the amazon folk have been unable to do that for yonks. I really do despair sometimes. They look good but a bit small, then again I do not buy a lot of specialised books.
 
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