Armada Unknown T-34

Andrew Dextras

This is the first of the Armada hardcover books I have seen and if this is any indication of what future volumes will be like, armour buffs will be in for a real treat.  Published in Russian (with English photo captions) and featuring 184 pages, the book covers pretty well everything you'd want to know about the T34…if you can read Russian!  However, all is not lost as there are 250 photographs which cover everything from the A20, A32 and A34 prototypes to the various models (including SPGs and T43) of T34 that were produced and throws in a huge pile of action photos.  The book also features probably the best collection of 1/35 drawings of this vehicle type I've yet seen.  Not content with simple 4 view plans, there are multiple views of early 76mm turret types, drawings of the underneath of the hull, hull features, turret features and it goes on and on and on.  Simply excellent and worth the price of admission in itself.

Some of the more interesting photographs detail the various production techniques to build these tanks and feature some great production line images.  Want to see images of turret castings having their "seams" removed?  It's there.  Turret molds being prepared for pouring?  It's there.  Turrets being flux welded?  I think you get the point.  How many armour buffs knew that the Russians experimented with a combination roadwheel/fueltank?  It's all there, including a cross-section drawing right there on page 84.  The book certainly lives up to its title with this sort of info.

The only possible negative in a book like this is that it would have been great for the publisher to have hired Cookie Sewell to translate it into English as the price increase to cover this would have been easily justifiable so non-Russian speaking armour fans could fully enjoy discovering the "Unknown T34".

Even without English text, this book is a must have for any Russian armour fan.

Highly recommended.

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