Book Review Tank Warfare - Simon & Jonathan Forty

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by von Poop, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Tank Warfare, 1939–1945


    By Simon Forty, Jonathan Forty
    Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
    Pages: 216
    Illustrations: 200 black and white
    ISBN: 9781526767622
    Published: 3rd August 2020

    Eh? What? What's it for..? Why am I looking at this?

    Not really sure what to say about this one.
    My cynicism button was pressed before even reaching the main body of text with a glossary that described Zimmerit as something that "Prohibited the application of anti-magnetic mines" :unsure:, but I pressed on, sort of expecting one of those 'primer' books that abound on the subject, but, errrrr... It's something else.

    Everyone knows who these chaps dad is, and it's nice to see the family obsession continues, but they must surely have more to offer than this?
    You expect 'a book' with some sort of authorial view, but what you get is a compilation of clippings from Tactical/Technical Trends, maybe the Purple books, German manuals, AARs etc.
    Don't get me wrong, there's some great 'nuggets' in there, but like a few recent books it's a bit more like browsing the Internet than actually reading a book.
    Somewhat disjointed rushes through theatres, using original documents... well, not so much using as compiling verbatim with some commentary.
    More peculiarly, it suddenly becomes Appendices for almost the entire second half of the book. Don't get me wrong, again there's some great charts etc. in those appendices, but much of them are the same in style as the first half of the book.

    As I say: I dunno...
    Will I use it for some quick reference to charts? Yep, I certainly will.
    Is it a fully coherent survey of the subject? Nope.
    You kind of think they had a vision for a much heftier work, but decided (or were guided) to say 'sod it' & put out the half-compiled research notes.
    Maybe a fiver in the remaindered/discount section or The Works, but as a full price book on Armoured Warfare... nope.

    I can't fully dismiss the thing, as I think the aim of getting more contemporary material out there is laudable (AARs etc. are always interesting), but it requires more context, more depth, more explanation. (Eg. Fletcher's Tiger 'British View' book - which presents similar sources, but also brings that crucial authorial/expert view alongside them.)
    Imagine it'll sit on the loo shelf as part of my continuing programme to encourage people to read a few good tanky nuggets while going through the motions :unsure:, but there really isn't quite enough meat in it to recommend.

    If they release a book four times the thickness that expands more fully using the sorts of sources within: yeah, I'll probably be into that, but as it stands, honestly: meh.


    (Cheers to P&S for the review copy... though not sure they'd thank me for that review...)
    Chris C likes this.
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Oof, yeah, that doesn't sound very satisfying at all.
  3. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I was disappointed after buying the book and waiting in anticipation for a couple of months. But yes, it will, on occasion, be used as a reference.

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