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Merkava Main Battle Tank MKs I, II & III (New Vanguard) Paperback – May 15, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The unrivalled illustrated reference on fighting vehicles, transport and artillery through the ages. Each volume is illustrated throughout, making these books uniquely accessible to history enthusiasts of all ages.

About the Author

Sam Katz was born in 1963, and joined the Israeli Defence Forces in 1981. He served in a dual capacity in the HEYL HAYAM during the conflict in Lebanon in 1982, his particular assignments allowing him to gather first-hand impressions of two different major aspects of IDF operations. He is the co-author of several books on the IDF and related Middle Eastern topics. His particular interest lies in the development of IDF elite and counter-terrorist units. He is married, and lives in New York.


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Product Details

  • Series: New Vanguard (Book 21)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (May 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855326434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855326439
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #777,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

SAMUEL M. KATZ is an internationally recognized expert on Middle East security issues, international terrorism, and military special operations and counterterrorism. His latest book is NY Times Best Seller Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi (St. Martin's Press, 2013). An excerpt was featured in the August 2013 edition of Vanity Fair.

Samuel M. Katz has written dozens of articles and created several award-winning documentaries for television on Israel's special operations and counterterrorist units. He also created several publications, including Special Operations Report, a quarterly magazine dedicated to military and law enforcement special operations and counterterrorism; Katz served as the magazine's editor-in-chief. Read by more than 25,000 decision makers in defense ministries, military and police commands, and by special operations and intelligence service unit commanders around the world, Special Operations Report became one of the subject's most respected publications. In his duties as editor-in-chief, Katz ventured into the Gaza night with Israeli undercover commandos and has interviewed kings, government ministers and police commissioners.

Katz has written more than one hundred articles for mass market, defense, and other publications ranging from Jane's Intelligence Review to editions Playboy. His articles have been translated into more than twenty languages. He has also created documentary series for television, including several involving Israel's top-secret special operations units.

Katz has been a guest expert and commentator on Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, al-Jazeera, and the BBC World News, and on television networks around the world. Katz has lectured law enforcement agencies and military commands around the world on tactical and counter-terrorism subjects, as well as the history of Palestinian and Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By chuck meister on February 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Because the IDF tank corps modifies the Merkava Chariot tank once each decade, then Mr. Katz should have known that the version for the entire next decade of 2000 to 2010 was only months away. Sure enough the announcement in November that the new Merkava Mk4 with the 1500 hspw pack with unique kinetic energy amunition was in production and under going field test that have exceeded 10,000 hours by November 5th, 1999. So much has been up graded electronically as well as performance that it rates as much fanfaren as the introduction of the first Merkava! I hope the author will consider an up dated or revised edition and yes, more color photo's and interior detail would not hurt either... Thanks
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maximillian Ben Hanan on October 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
Many reviewers forget that this book originally came out in 1997 although the lastest New Vanguard reprint occurred this year (2002). What that means is although the Merkhava Mk.IV made its' debut this year, the book has material that is now dated (The book's text only alludes to the Merkhava Mk.IV).
However, the New Vanguard series isn't a sales brochure meant to be the latest and greatest, but a book of historical art plates and background information for modellers, gamers, and military history enthusiasts. If you're buying the book as I did looking for great color plates and some background information then this is a great buy. I love my copy. Peter Sarson, the illustrator, is world-renowned and well-deserving of his spectacular cut-aways and drawings. I've found the book incredibly useful for the paintjobs and extra detailing on the Merkhava models I'm working on.
Don't buy this book if you only want up-to-date statistical information about the Merkhava tank series...
BUT, do buy this book if you're looking for wonderful color plates of the Merkhava tanks, a useful history of the tank, some great photographs, and some other great information. I recommend the book for those reasons.
My only criticism is that the book gives the lion's share of credit for the Merkhava design to General Tal, but many sources are now beginning to credit another officer, Yisrael Tilan - who also designed the tank, quarreled with Tal and later left the project. Hopefully another publisher will eventually give Yisrael Tilan the credit that he deserves.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
What makes the Merkava unique in modern MBTs is the engine in front approach to crew protection. This means that there is access via a hatch in the rear of the vehicle, yet there one interior drawing (cut away) is not detailed enough to gain a real appreciation of what the designers accomplished.
Overall, this book is ok for a modeler, but I would want to see more of the interior of this tank.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Avi Chami on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book covers well the history of the Merkava. The introduction has a summary of many years of history of the IDF armoured forces which led to the development of this tank.
The book includes lots of photos of the Merkava I, II and III, from several angles and close-ups.
However, no colour photos are included. Information is rather sparse and tends to be a bit superlative. There is little information about the tank interior.
A comparison table of the three models is provided, but physical dimensions, forward and reverse speed, vertical obstacle clearing, etc. are missing (they are only mentioned for the Merkava II). Also it would be good to see a comparison against western and eastern tanks (specially the T-72).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By on February 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Some of the pictures were new to me, and I liked the author picking up U.S. estimates about certain facets of the vehicle that are kept more closely under wraps by the IDF (like about the number of Merkavas destroyed in combat). Also, the few pages devoted to the history of IDF armor helped to put the Merkava into context.
But parts of the book did sound at times, as another reviewer noted, like a sales brochure. I know the IDF tankers love the vehicle (I agree from everything that I have read... it is a world-class MBT), but I'd rather hear it in their words.
Also, I think the part about the M256 main gun (produced in the U.S. under license from Rheinmetal in Germany) being discarded in favor of an "indigenous" design for the Mk III is a bit off. I'd always read that it was an indigenously produced, licensed version of the Rheinmetal gun, not an entirely Israeli design from breech block to barrel tip.
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