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Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants

Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2017 Title Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants
Author James Kinnear, Stephen Sewell Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN 9781472820518
Format 232 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $32.00


Ultimate production version of the legendary Soviet "Stalin" series, the T-10 heavy tank evolved from troublesome and unsuccessful postwar IS-3 and IS-4 variants.

It proved to be last such "heavy" Soviet tank design.

Now James Kinnear and Stephen Sewell survey the saga in Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants – part of Osprey Publishing's "General Military" range.

The hefty, 232-page hardback traverses the tale in five chapters and nine appendices.

Coverage commences with background sections on T-10 design and development. Operational notes – including the type's unique "combat" deployment during 1968's Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia – follow.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the end of heavy tank development and production after 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis. And the last T-10Ms were manufactured in 1965. They remained in service, however, until 1997 – outlasting the Soviet Union itself.

The next two chapters comprise a sort of technical treatise on vehicle details, variants and derivatives. How about that "bizarre looking but effective" Obiekt-279 – which actually reached prototype stage? And that TEhS-3 tracked atomic reactor for generating power in remote locations?

The last section covers preserved T-10s. Translation and transliteration notes also season the stew. And nine appendices – including glossary, abbreviations list, selected bibliography, and index – conclude contents.

Color profiles, photos, and multi-view and sectional drawings – most from official Soviet and Western military sources – also augment the account. Detail enthusiasts will appreciate the color close-ups of preserved examples.


Some intriguing images appear too small to illustrate equally intriguing details. One example: page 55's T-10M with a "red star with a swastika within painted on the track guard".

But I quibble.

This is, overall, an excellent effort. And I'd love a similar study of postwar IS-3 and IS-4 designs. How about it, Osprey?

Building one of Trumpeter's T-10s? Or Meng's 1/35 version? Fact-checking Voyager's detail set? You need this book.

Robustly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!