Panzer History Issue No. 28,
"IS Heavy Tanks Part 1",

and Panzer History Issue No. 29,
"IS Heavy Tanks Part 2"

"Vostochniy Front" Press, Moscow 1996

Part 1, 38 pp. including covers;
Part 2, 34 pp. including covers

ISBN: Not Given
Review Type: Book Review
Rating: Not Recommended

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

S u m m a r y

Price: 7.99 each (UK)
Advantages: Some new photos and drawings of the IS to IS-3 tanks and ISU series SP weapons
Disadvantages: Russian language only; no author given; no sources cited; plagiarism quite likely
Recommendation: For libel lawyers experienced in international law


T h e    B o o k

I picked these books up at Motorbooks in London in a shot, as Russian language texts on Russian tanks are a hot item with me. When I got a chance to start reading them, things seemed suspiciously familiar. The crowning blow, even before I began comparison, was the black-and-white tone shading of the Peter Sarson illustration from the Osprey/New Vanguard Volume 7, "The IS-2 Heavy Tank 1944-1973" by Steve Zaloga and Peter Sarson.

Sure enough, the bulk of these two books is a nearly verbatim Russian translation of Steve's earlier book on the same topic. There is even a 1/35 blowup of one of Steve's nice four-views of an IS-2m in Part 1 as well. There are some new items – a blow-by-blow listing of all of the items needed to upgrade a wartime IS-2 or IS-2m to a postwar IS-2M tank – as well as some new and different illustrations of the tank's interior and fittings.

Overall, the books don't look too bad, but the concept of "cut and paste" journalism is still rampant in Eastern Europe, and this is a shame. The result is that the author loses his intellectual property, some shyster makes a quick buck, and enmity is created where it does not have to be. Worst of all, we get no step forward which to use to increase our knowledge.

I freely translate many Russian publications for my own use, as it makes me a better modeler and increases my historical appreciation of the Soviet tank industry. But I do not publish ANYTHING or provide any translations on a commercial basis without checking the source, or asking permission first, and giving full credit to the source cited. The biggest "red flag" in this day and age is when the "authors" do not. Most of the Russians who work with Steve (and vice versa) give credit where credit is due. Whoever "Vostochniy Front" -- Eastern Front -- is, they do not, and should be ashamed of themselves for it.

Review by Cookie Sewell, June 1998.
Page Created 26 June, 1998.
Last updated 22 July, 2003.

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