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M-K Armored Collection 3-99
T-34 (76mm) Medium Tank


Media: Soft cover
Price: Unknown
Review Type: Book Review
Rating: Recommended for modelers, or for Russian linguists

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell


F i r s t L o o k

The Russians have been extremely competitive over the past several years, and it has now come down to a race between "Modellist-Konstruktor" and "M-Khobbi", two of the biggest hobby magazines in Russia, as to who will get which books out first. Also, the authors and researchers have "taken sides". On the side of "M-Khobbi", who produce the very slick "Armada" series of books which are similar in format to the US Squadron/Signal "In Action" series, is M. Svirin. Working for "Modellist-Konstruktor" are M. Kolomiyets and M. Baryatinskiy. All are top-notch researchers and have accounted for much of the information the world now has on the history of Soviet armored fighting vehicles.

This volume, by Mr. Baryatinskiy, covers the history of the creation of the early models of the T-34. It includes a photo of one of the two original prototypes and shows the differences between it and the better known Model 1940. Small sketches, drawn by V. Mal'ginov, are based on either similar designs used by some Japanese armor fans or are copied verbatim from the original technical manuals for the vehicles. The book follows the development from the A-20 to the A-32 and A-34, and also the pre-war A-41 and A-43 attempts to replace what was then seen to be an imperfect machine with little chance of success. The latter, better known as the T-34M, nearly replaced the T-34, and  but for the invasion of June 1941, would have entered service at the end of that year.

Coverage is also given to offshoots like the T-34-57 tank destroyer, with one photo of this rare vehicle include as well. The various models of T-34 – Model 1941, Model 1942 (Factory No. 183), Model 1942 (Stalingrad Tractor Factory), Model 1942 (Factory No. 112), Model 1942 (Chelyabinsk Tank Factory), and Model 1942 (August 1942 model, better known in the West as the Model 1943), are all covered in either detail drawings or 1/35 scale plans.

Two things really hurt these books from becoming more than simple modeler's plan and picture books. One, M-K does not provide any English translations or captions for any item in the books. This really tends to limit distribution to specialty houses, such as East View Publications. Second, being in Russian limits its usefulness to those who can read the language, which is a real drawback. Here, high marks go to M-Khobbi for their "thumbnail" translation and translated captions, which provide them greater circulation and audience.

Thanks to Steve Zaloga for the review copy.

Cookie Sewell AMPS    

Review Copyright 1999 by Cookie Sewell
This Page Created on 16 August, 1999.
Last updated 22 July, 2003.

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