This introduction is as supplied by Tankograd:
The Soviet "Giant of the Eastern Front" - Development, Production Batches and Combat
After midnight on 22 June 1941, the Soviet 34th Tank Division of 8th Mechanised Corps was put on alert. The T-35 tanks were readied to move and bombed up on the training ground of the unit's home base at Gorodok, southwest of the city of Lvov in the Ukraine. The whole heavy brigade with its 67th and 68th Tank Regiments and other corps-level units faced their fate in the Great Patriotic War. The T-35s headed towards the enemy and the two regiments lost all (!) of them between 24 June and 09 July, in barely two weeks.
Despite its limited value in combat in 1941 the multi-turreted T-35 had perfectly fulfilled its task to convince the Soviet population of the vast capabilities of the Soviet State under Iosif Stalin in the 1930s. Its sheer size and massive armament did also not fail to leave a deep impression in the minds of Western military leaders.
This publication for the first time covers the full story of the flawed T-35 "Giants of the Eastern Front", their development, technology, production batches and the fateful combat history, illustrated mostly with hitherto unpublished photographs and many graphics.
Additionally the use of the T-35 in the German Wehrmacht is documented.
This offering from Tankograd is a soft backed book of 80 pages. The authors of this offering is a Tankograd Publishing regular ‘Jochen Vollert’. This offering is one of the dual language titles from Tankograd Publishing; there is German on the left of the pages and English on the right side. The book has been printed in a portrait style and I know from experience that the cover is up to the task of protecting the contents with reasonable handling.
The text in this offering is supplied over almost the entire book and has a more traditional book layout than is the usual with Tankograd titles, in the places where this is not the case plenty of descriptive text is supplied. The text begins with a brief look at the birth of the tank and its importance even on the battlefield of today. The title then looks at the tank designs being put forward between the wars and the many countries that put forward multi turreted tank designs. The British went for the Independent and A6 tank designs that are on display at Bovington Tank Museum and did not make it into service, the French went for the Char 2C that did go into service, the Soviets went for the T-28 and T-35 that also went into service with the T-35 being the tank design that the Germans based their Neubaufahrzeug on.
The book then moves onto the T-35 in detail and boy does it do a good job of this. We get a guided tour of the tank as it was when first released and the technological aspects of this vehicle and this is followed by the changes that took place during its life. It had been planned to replace the T-35 even as it went into service, but as time went on faith in the design was lost due to a number of reasons and resulted in the T-35 remaining in service much longer than intended. As Russia was brought into World War II the T-35 rarely saw action as it most often just broke down while going from A to B. The result of this issue was that large numbers of broken down T-35 tanks were captured by German forces with the machine guns being the only thing missing. It is my understanding from this title that the T-35’s captured by German forces were either destroyed or utilised as immobile pill boxes.
The photographs in this title are many and of a very high standard in my opinion despite the years between them being taken and now. Each of the photographs is provided with exceptional captions in both German and English which provide a very good level of information on what is being looked at. The T-35 tank is covered in all its glory as the changes to the design of the tank changed during it fairly short life and so enables the modeller to check on the accuracy of the model they have or make little alterations to represent what they wish.
With the models that have been released by the likes of Hobby Boss and Zvezda this book from Tankograd is the perfect visual reference to have alongside, this is due to the face that along with the glorious photographs and captions without even mentioning the text there are 1/35th scale drawings to check your model against. These drawings cover the 1934-38 version and the 1939 version which I feel will prove of great benefit to the modeller.
I am a firm fan of the books from Tankograd Publishing covering all aspects of the military from the soft skinned transports to the tank. In addition Tankograd cover military exercises from years gone by that provides those of us whose memories are fuzzy and the young not old enough to remember to see what a Cold War would have been like if it had turned hot. This particular offering is the best of its type I can remember having seen from Tankograd as I really like how the presentation of the information has been tackled; in truth the change is not that drastic but it made a great difference in its presentation to me personally. I very highly recommend this title to any modeller considering a T-35 model or who has one hiding in their stash and remember these Tankograd offerings have a limited print run; You will kick yourself if you miss this and need it in the future.
Darren Baker takes a look at a new Tankograd Publishing title covering the T-35 the Soviet "Giant of the Eastern Front" - Development, Production Batches and Combat.
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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...