This book covering the M65 Atomic Cannon is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subject matter mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.
This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering the M65 Atomic Cannon has been authored by David Doyle. The contents of this title are provided over 232 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.
The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – T1 in Detail
Chapter 2 – T10 Development
Chapter 3 – M65 Development and Testing
Chapter 4 – Atomic Cannon in Service
Chapter 5 – Atomic Cannon in Detail
The dedicated text in this offering is minimal as that is not the purpose of these books as they are not designed to be read in the truest sense of the word. With that said the introduction in this title written by David Doyle is very good despite its short length and provides an adequate guide to the M65 Atomic Cannon.
Once you move on from the introduction you reach the section of this title I enjoyed the most, the black and white period photographs which I find the most visually appealing. These images fill the book up to page 138 and cover a very good range as regards what you see, This gun has to be the biggest possible when it comes to transporting and it would appear that due to the amount of damage they caused, Too Big. Not only did the small number of guns produced cause damage to property they also damaged the roads they were on at the sides. The vehicles were not beyond destroying themselves with a great series covering a vehicle that is on its back at the side of the road and covering its recovery.
Some of the images at the end of the segment are in colour and I have to say they serve a purpose, but do not even come close to being of the clarity the black and white images offer. It needs to be said that they do show some great aspects of this huge gun such as a series showing one of the atomic rounds going after being fired down range and makes for an impressive sequence. One image at the very start of the book is possibly the most stunning as it shows an atomic cannon in firing position with a 75mm pack howitzer beneath it; it looks like a toy by comparison.
The M65 Atomic Cannon is available in 1/72nd scale form Dragon Models under their Black Label brand and so this book does have an appeal to modellers. I am sure given time other companies will jump on this very large vehicle and release it, most likely Trumpeter or Hobby Boss. So if one or more release this in time how will this title help you with your task? Well after the period photographs the in detail section provides what the modeller needs. This gun is so large that David Doyle has done an impressive job of providing what looks to me a comprehensive walk around with a combination of black & white and colour photographs. A very well done section of the title that I am sure will have a lot of appeal.
The captions that accompany each and every photograph provide a very good level of information. I feel David Doyle deserves high praise in this regards as I found them very informative and provided everything I wanted from them as a reader. I should also point out that I did not find any errors in the text, not even a piece I had to read twice to get my head around.
With the M65 Atomic Cannon having limited coverage by the model manufacturers I am really pleased to have a copy of this book from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images of War’ book series. The period photographs are a great visual reference on the M65 Atomic Cannon and with the very good captions provided with the photographs increasing their value even further.
This weapon was never used in anger or as far as I am aware anything more than a deterrent to the Eastern BLOC countries and so I found the period pictures a really nice inclusion. It is also for this reason and the fact that it is just such a huge piece of equipment that the in detail section with the walk around and close ups is so valuable. The captions that accompany these images are really helpful as I feel it would prove next to impossible for the average person to know exactly what aspect of the vehicle they are looking at. In finishing this book and for that matter the series, offer fantastic value for money regardless of where your interests lay or the reason you have an interest.
Darren Baker takes a look at a visual delight covering the M65 Atomic Cannon from Pen and Sword.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...