M1 Abrams at War, by Michael Green and Greg Stewart (ISBN 0-7603-2153-1, Zenith Press, Galtier Plaza, Suite 200, 380 Jackson St., St. Paul, MN 55101-3885, phone: 800.766.2388, fax: 715.294.4448, Web site: www.zenithbooks.com. Softcover, 8-1/4" x 10-1/2", 127 pages, 101 color photos, 30 black-and-white photos and drawings, 2005, $19.95).
Despite its title suggesting a combat history of the M1 Abrams main battle tank, this book is a survey of the development and production history of the M1 series to the present, along with a thorough description of the tank and analysis of its offensive, defensive, and performance capabilities. Authors Green and Stewart, who have published many works on military vehicles, sketch out how the M1 was conceived and developed. Then, they conduct what amounts to a virtual tour of the tank, covering everything from the layout of the crew stations to the fine points of the communications, imaging, and electronics equipment. Almost a quarter of the book is concerned with the M1’s firepower capabilities, and although there is sufficient discussion of the main gun, there is a particularly informative essay on the various types of ammunition and their characteristics and capabilities.
The “at war” content of this book is limited to occasional references or anecdotes concerning M1s in combat (for example, an eyewitness comment on the effects of various types of main-gun rounds on massed Iraqi formations in the 2003 invasion of that country) and a few photographs of M1s in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The photographs in this publication, many of which were taken by the authors, are outstanding in quality and selection. For the most part, these are not images that the reader will have seen before.
Readers purchasing this book expecting a study of the M1 in combat will be somewhat disappointed. Those looking for a well researched and beautifully illustrated reference on the tank will be pleased.—George Schmidt