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T-80 Standard Tank: The Soviet Army's Last Armored Champion (New Vanguard) Paperback – February 17, 2009
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“The book is full of photos and illustrations, mostly in color, that again, will make this a much-used modeler's book... If your interest includes modern Soviet/Russian armor, I highly recommend this book to you... This volume gives you a developmental history that is easy to read and understand, plus the many photos and illustrations chosen with the modeler in mind, make this a very valuable asset to every modelers library.” ―Howie Belkin, IPMS/USA
“Steven J Zaloga's T-80 Standard Tank: The Soviet Army's Last Armored Champion offers a narrowed focus for speciality military collections focusing on military equipment. The T-80 was the last tank fielded before the collapse of the Soviet Union -- and the most controversial. Its history is revealed with photos and discussion.” ―California Bookwatch (April 2009)
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Top Customer Reviews
Zaloga is able to explain clearly (in a mere 46 pages of text), the troubled development of the T80. In his intro, Zaloga sums it up: The T80 was the Soviet's answer to the M1 Abrams, British Challenger, and the German Leopard 2 tank. However, the T80 costs 3 times as much as the T72 (due to its usage of the powerful but gas thirsty turbine engine) yet is only marginally more effective than the T72B. Moreover, the T80 gained a bad reputation in its disastrous deployment by the Russian army during the 1994 assault on the Chechen capital of Grozniy. As Zaloga points out, 70% of the 200 tanks deployed by the Russians in the conflict were knocked out. (The Chechen soldiers, familiar with Soviet tanks, knew that the armor housing the engine was vulnerable to a well-placed rocket strike from above. The result would be a catastrophic explosion which would blow the turret off the tank.) In a different book on the T80, written by Mikhail Baryatinskiy, it was also revealed that the T80 did not have reactive armor during the assault, thus making it more vulnerable to rocket attacks.
As Zaloga points out, the fault of the T80's performance in the conflict lies with the poor training of the tank crew, the incompetent tactics, and the poor operational leadership of the senior Russian Army leadership. However, the T80 tank and its designers were blamed for the disastrous combat performance.
Some of the features of the armor which were supposed to protect the T80 didn't work as well as it was supposed to.Read more ›
The volume begins with a succinct but excellent discussion on the origins of the T-80, which lay with the T-64 and T-64A tanks in 1963-1968. It was with these tanks that the Soviet Army moved to the 125-mm gun and introduced the use of tube-launched wire-guided missiles in 1976. Zaloga also discussions the concurrent development of the low-cost T-72 tank as a cheaper alternative to the T-64. The author then discusses the Soviets' requirement for a follow-on to replace the T-64 and T-72 in the 1980s, which eventually resulted in the T-80 design. Along the way, Soviet tank designers became enamored of turbine engines and pushed this open the original T-80 design, which was produced in limited numbers in 1976-1978. Unfortunately, the turbine engine proved extremely unreliable and expensive in service, forcing a shift to the T-80B with a diesel engine.
The author then shifts into a more in-depth discussion of the T-80B, which became the standard Soviet tank in the early 1980s.Read more ›
The T-80, being the last tank with which the Soviet tank industry sallied forth prior to the Soviet collapse was an object of great interest when it initially appeared. In this work Zaloga takes the reader through the various developmental trials and tribulations surrounding this project. The book benefits from the usual 'New Vanguard' format whereby the text is leavened with a range of black and white photographs and a series of colour plate illustrations.
Military nomenclature buffs will enjoy this work, as will fans of modern AFV's. Modellers are well catered for by the photographs and illustrations and therefore it is hard not to imagine this book easily making its money back for Osprey.
The T-80 seems to have been something of a white elephant. Its turbine engine made it overly complex and expensive, and the Soviet army had many reservations with it. It had powerful backers, though, so they were stuck with it. Something about the strains of this melody seem familiar...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another interesting book by Steven Zaloga, probably the best English language author on Russian armor. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Robert Bausch
I highly recommended this book to any armor enthusiast .
Osprey's T-80 New Vanguard has color pictures throughout and the text is concise and accurate in content.
Another good book by Steve Zaloga. Excellent as always and very informative. The only problem is I would to have more info, but the.New Vanguard format is restrictive. Read morePublished on June 2, 2014 by Thomas H. Lawrence
Steven J. Zaloga's T-80 STANDARD TANK: THE SOVIET ARMY'S LAST ARMORED CHAMPION offers a narrowed focus for specialty military collections focusing on military equipment. Read morePublished on April 14, 2009 by Midwest Book Review