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Abrams: A History of the American Main Battle Tank, Vol. 2 Hardcover – July, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Pr; 1st edition (July 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089141388X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891413882
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hunnicutt is the premier expert on American Armor since WWII. He has continued his excellent series on American Main Battle Tanks in this study that covers the history and development of the M-1 as well as its predecessor, the MBT-70. Excellent photographs, line drawings and text detail the world's best tank. I only wish that it had information on the M1-A2 and subsequent varients which have been developed since the publication of this edition.
As a tanker, I spent many hours inside of this vehicle and enjoyed the book enormously. You cannot go wrong purchasing a book by Hunnicutt. Pricey? Yup. You get what you pay for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cpt matt VINE VOICE on April 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hunnicutt published this book in 1990. As such, it is a bit dated, but, and this is important - you will not find a more comprehensive work on the design and development of the M-1 Abrams. In Section 1 the author takes you back as far as 1952 to show some of the innovative and creative ideas used for the next generation of tanks. Line drawings showing three man tanks, auto loaders, front engine tanks to name but a few. This is fascinating reading to armor buffs; it shows how many designs the Army and Detroit were considering.

The M-1's direct predecessor, the infamous MBT-70 is covered in Section 2. Not only reviewed, but rare photos, line drawings, photos of the interior are provided. That project was killed due to cost overruns and technology that was too experimental to work. The surviving ideas did help lead to the M-1. General Creighton Abrams, one of the Army's best tankers, helped pave the way for the tank that would eventually be named after him.

Section 3 the book gives excellent, detailed coverage of the design competition between Chrysler and General Motors. Both prototypes are shown, the merits of each are outlined. Both tanks were excellent designs, either would have been good. The decision boiled down to the engine - accept the risk/benefit of a turbine engine or more conventional diesel? Of course, the decision was to go with the turbine. Again, the reader is shown photos of the M-1 from all angles, the inside of the tank, the weapons, fire control systems, everything in perfect detail. On pages 217 & 218, I found my old tank, A-11.

Hunnicutt wraps up the book with a section for engineer and recovery vehicles providing the reader with a rare look at these important support tracks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerald P. Owens on July 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
R. P. Hunnicutt has written a series of books that mark the definitive history of American armored fighting vehicles, and serious students of the subject would be well advised to collect them all. Each encyclopedia-size volume has a thorough history of vehicle development, chapters devoted to prototypes and experimental vehicles, four view 1:48th scale drawings of all major types and subtypes, and a photo section depicting the vehicles in service. There are hundreds of detail photographs and illustrations, and the books are printed on high quality glossy paper.
This particular volume chronicles the US military's search for a true main battle tank that could replace both the medium and heavy gun tanks in service in the 1950's and early 60's. The MBT-70/XM803 project of the 1960's and early 70's is covered in detail, and finally the M1 Abrams itself, developed in the 1970's and first fielded in 1982. The book discusses the multilayered armor (nicknamed Chobham armor after the British MVEE facility that developed it) which gave the new generation of tanks their reputation for invincibility, though of course the exact composition was and is classified. It also covers the competitive trials between the General Motors and Chrysler Abrams prototypes and the German Leopard 2. The Leopard 2 was rejected for US service, but its 120 mm gun was incorporated into the US tanks beginning with the M1A1. The book went to print just as the M1A1 was being deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990, so the history ends there, but it is still a superb reference for the Abrams.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As close to owning the tech manuals and the official development history as most people are ever going to come to. You can spend a lot more money and time rounding up that trove of documents (maybe they're available), but this volume is the baseline for any succinct book on the subject.

Have all the similar volumes from Hunnicutt, and they are a project in their own just to get through and absorb. As important as Friedman's design histories in the USN world.
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By Michael Plowman on August 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a former M1 tanker, I have been chasing this book for years. It is amazingly detailed. The best M1 Abrams bok out there.
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