The Soviet "Giant of the Eastern front".
By Jochen Vollert
Covering the full story of the flawed T-35, their development, technology, production batches and the fateful combat history.
Additionally the use of the T-35 in the German Wehrmacht is documented.
Illustrated with 177 B&W photographs.
A superb book for the AFV enthusiast. The Soviet T-35 of the 1930s was a 50 ton behemoth with no less than 5 turrets. It was the culmination of a line of development for tanks which was a technical and tactical cul-de-sac. That was the concept of a multi-turreted breakthrough tank which could assault an enemy defensive line, and if necessary do so alone with little or no supporting arms. It started with the British 'Independent' in the 1920s, built only as a prototype. The Germans and the Soviets emulated the concept with prototypes or small numbers. Only 51 T-35s were built. The concept was a tactical and technical dead-end. The drive trains of the day could not cope with the weight and the tanks were clumsy and hideously unreliable. T-35s performed very poorly in combat and the concept largely died with them.
The book is largely devoted to crisply reproduced B&W photographs which make full use of the A4 format and high quality gloss paper. These are easily the best available and include views from every angle. There is a also a double page centre spread with 2 line drawings. The accompanying text is also very informative. The author is a former Bundeswehr intelligence officer with a command of both German and Russian and a master of his subject.
While authoritative, the book is not the sole definitive treatment of the T-35. Another book, 'Fallen Giants - The Combat Debut of the T-35A Tank' by Francis Pulham has a more detailed discussion of the fate of each of the 51 vehicles including a detailed discussion of their sole significant tank to tank combat in 1941. Vollert's book has only a brief summary of this. Pulham's book has useful photographs but Vollert's book is much superior in this respect.
The book is rare and will appreciate in value rapidly. Past similar titles by Vollert on the Soviet KV heavy tanks are now unobtainable or very expensive (hundreds of dollars). Highly recommended for the AFV enthusiast.