By Steven J. Zaloga
Written by an armour expert, this detailed technical history sheds light on the secrets behind the Cold War's most controversial tank, revealing how its highly advanced technologies proved to be both a blessing and a curse.
The T-64 tank was the most revolutionary design of the whole Cold War, designed to provide the firepower and armour protection of a heavy tank in a medium-weight design. It pioneered a host of new technologies including laminate armour, stereoscopic tank rangefinders, opposed-piston engines, smooth-bore tank guns with discarding sabot ammunition, and gun-fired guided projectiles. These impressive features meant that the Russians were loath to part with the secrets of the design, and the T-64 was the only Soviet tank type of the Cold War that was never exported.
A very thorough overview of the development of this Cold War classic. Steve Zaloga always does a great job in these armour analysis titles and the photographs and drawings are excellent. The book is particularly interesting in its recounting of the problems caused by rival technical design bureaus and the intrusion of bureaucratic and political infighting within the Soviet defence establishment on the development process. The only thing preventing 5 stars is a lack of material on the T64's combat performance in Ukraine, which is covered but could have done with more depth given that this was the only time this vehicle has been used in anger.