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Spanish Civil War Tanks: The Proving Ground for Blitzkrieg (New Vanguard) Paperback – August 24, 2010

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Spanish Civil War Tanks: The Proving Ground for Blitzkrieg (New Vanguard) + International Brigades in Spain 1936-39 (Elite) + The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 (1): Nationalist Forces (Men-at-Arms)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A very readable little book which challenges some of the myth that goes with the subject...  ideal if you just want to find out a bit about the  armour used in the Spanish Civil War, and good ideas for modellers as well." - Robin Buckland, militarymodelling.com

About the Author

Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in history from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over two decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think-tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Vanguard (Book 170)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846035120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846035128
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #899,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Zaloga is a senior analyst for Teal Group Corp., an aerospace consulting firm. His professional specialization is the commercial and technological aspects of the international trade in missiles, precision guided munitions, and unmanned aerial vehicles. He also serves as an adjunct staff member with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think-tank.

Mr. Zaloga has published numerous books and articles on military technology and military history. His books have been translated into Japanese, German, Polish, Czech, Romanian, and Russian. He has been a special correspondent for "Jane's Intelligence Review" and is on the executive board of the "Journal of Slavic Military Studies". From 1987 through 1992, he was the writer/director for Video Ordnance Inc., preparing their TV series "Firepower" that aired on The Discovery Channel in the US.

Mr. Zaloga was born in 1952 and received his BA in history from Union College, Schenectady, NY. He received an MA in history from Columbia University specializing in modern East European history, and did graduate research and language study at Uniwersitet Jagiellonski in Krakow, Poland.

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Ballance on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steven Zaloga's "Spanish Civil War Tanks" is a great introduction to the history of tanks and armored cars used by both Republican and Nationalist forces in the conflict. Zaloga excels at crafting a historical narrative that makes good use of the limited space provided by the Osprey New Vanguard series format, and Tony Bryan's illustrations are crisp and well executed. The photos are well chosen and well reproduced with useful captions that strengthen the text. Modelers should find both the vehicle photos and illustrations with markings and color schemes useful. While there are no battlefield maps or supper detailed blow by blow accounts of individual battles, the book does provide coverage of all the major operations where tanks were used and it should provide provide wargamers and anyone interested interwar armored history with some interesting insights and analysis of the technology and tactics used during the war. For me the coverage of T-26 tank and development of the Soviet 20-K 45mm tank gun was worth the price of admission because it helped clarify my hazy understanding of the interwar evolutionary offshoots of the Vickers 6-ton tank and provided me with a little better grasp of the evolution of AFV armor and firepower in the 30s. It would have been nice to read more about the Soviet BT-5s in both Republican and Nationalists hands, but these vehicles made up only 50 of the 331 tanks the Soviets sent to Spain and Zaloga has a great deal of ground to cover in 48 pages.

Examples of Republican ad-hoc and series production armored trucks are provided by the author, as well as interesting field modifications by the Nationalist forces of several German Panzer Is and Italian CV 3/35 tankettes with items like Breda 20mm M35 cannons and flame throwers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ignorance is bliss on October 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steven Zaloga delivers another winning Osprey title.

Although Russian tanks were superior to its German and Italian counterparts, their use was hampered by indifferent tactics and lack of spare parts. The Spanish Republic could never boast more than 100 tanks, in various states of repair. Lack of armored personnel carriers proved disastrous to many Republican attacks. The tanks outpaced their infantry counterparts and fell victim to mechanical break-downs, anti-tank guns and improvised weapons like petrol bombs. The Republic would rely more and more on home grown armored trucks as the war came to its eventual conclusion.

The German and Italian tanks supporting the Nationalist cause were ineffectual, being easily defeated by the likes of the T-26. The tide was turned in any case, and both sides continued to pursue their lines of armor development and usage after the war.

Indeed, when Germany invaded Soviet Russia in 1941, history repeated itself. The use of air power, and rapid maneuver across lines of supply and communication, demonstrated that technical prowess in tanks was important, but not the sole determinant in ground engagement. The best German tanks ( Panzer IV and 38t ) could scarcely stand against the T-34, yet in the space of several weeks the Russian Army was reeling back to the gates of Moscow.

There are also some great illustrations for modelers and war gamers, including color profiles and a nice cutaway view of the T-26. Mr. Zaloga also touches upon manufacture and use of armored trucks and cars.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Lynn on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
SPANISH CIVIL WAR TANKS: THE PROVING GROUND FOR BLITZKRIEG
STEVEN J. ZALOGA
OSPREY PUBLICATIONS, 2010
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $17.95, 48 PAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, MAPS, CHARTS, ILLUSTRATIONS

Steven J. Zaloga's new title for Osprey, SPANISH CIVIL WAR TANKS: THE PROVING GROUND FOR BLITZKRIEG is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the Spanish Civil War. With that being said, there are a number of mistakes as well as clarifications and additions to help the reader with their understanding of this much overlooked topic. The comments are listed below:

Page 5-The photograph should be corrected to read two members of Gruppe Drohne driving the vehicle.

Page 6-The photograph should be corrected to read 2nd (not 1st) Batallion de Carros de Combate de la Legion in 1938.

Page 16-Although the Soviet-built and supplied T-26 was relatively speedy and well armed, they could easily be knocked out. The Soviets had made a mistake in their construction: they used rubber on many external parts. Franco's troops would pour gas on these tanks, ignite them, and turn them into "smelting ovens." In actuality, most of the tanks captured by the Nationalist forces were due to the lack of tactics or experience, i.e., abandoned in muddy terrain, etc. Also, the rewarding of 500 pesetas for each Soviet tank captured in good condition by von Thoma helped as well.

Page 19-The photograph should read a Gruppe Drohne instructor shows a Spanish soldier how to homogenize the machine guns of a Panzer 1 Ausf A in the workshop at Cubas.

Page 20-"Negrillos" is a diminutive of Negro, black in Spanish, a nickname that the Spanish applied to all German personnel and equipment.
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