by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
By the late 1950s, Soviet commanders realized that the T-55's 100 mm gun was incapable of penetrating the frontal armor of newer Western tanks, such as the Centurion and M48 Patton, with standard armor-piercing shells. While 100 mm HEAT ammo could have accomplished the task, they were much less accurate than APDS shells, and the relatively low flight velocity resulted in poorer accuracy if used on moving targets. It was decided to up-gun the T-55 with a 115 mm smoothbore cannon, capable of firing APFSDS rounds. Experimental trials showed that the T-55 was inherently unsuited to mount the larger new cannon, and work therefore began on a new tank. The bigger gun required a bigger turret and turret ring to absorb the higher recoil. This in turn necessitated a larger hull, as the T-55 hull was simply too small to accept the new turret. The T-62 thus took shape, marking an evolutionary improvement upon the T-55.
Adapted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-62
Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP) is a small company from Czech Republic specialized in producing photo reference books for modelers. WWP's range is broad, covering military tracked and wheeled vehicles, artillery, airplanes, helicopters, as well as individual weapons. One of the latest titles from the company is T-62 in Detail (T-62 & Tiran 6 Main Battle Tanks) (G052).
Here is the basic info on the book:
Title: T-62 in Detail (T-62 & Tiran 6 Main Battle Tanks)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications
Authors: František Kořán & al.
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $37 (€30)
Flipping the pages I confirmed the book follows the same attractive layout as all WWP titles I reviewed so far. Consisting of 120 pages, the book displays over 400 color photos and 80 diagrams, showing the subject in great depth. The book features ex-Russian, ex-Iraqi and ex-Israeli vehicles from military museums, but also shows photos of the vehicles destroyed or abandoned from various theaters of operations. The book is organized in 5 chapters:
• Introduction (002-005)
• War Wrecks (006-011)
• Iraqi Army Vehicles (012-031)
• T-62 Model 1972 Walk Around (032-089)
• Tiran 3/6 Walk Around (090-118)
The first chapter, Introduction, provides concise info on the origins of the vehicle and its use in various conflicts. The following chapter deals with War Wrecks, showing photos of destroyed and abandoned T-62 tanks in Afghanistan, as well as one of the ex-Afghanistan Army vehicles in Jacques Littlefield collection. Iraqi Army Vehicles chapter displays two different vehicles, an early 1962 variant from Camp Pendleton and a hybrid vehicle combining early and late features from Saumur Tank Museum. The chapter not only shows Iraqi specific T-62 upgrades, but also provides details on the differences between early and late type vehicles. T-62 Model 1972 Walk Around comes next and it is by far the longest section in this book, covering the details of the late T-62 MBT from Munster Tank Museum. Hull exterior (headlights, mudguards, toolboxes, fuel tanks, engine hatches and grilles, V-55 engine and gearbox details, chassis and wheels, fording set) and interior (driver's compartment, ammo racks) are shown in amazing detail, as well as turret exterior (IR lamp, 115mm U-5TS barrel, commander's and loader's hatch) and interior (gun breech, turret basket, commander's compartment, gunner's compartment and loader's compartment). The wealth of photos and information in this chapter would surely please even the most demanding among modelers. The final chapter in the book, Tiran 3/6 Walk Around, covers Israeli captured T-62s, Tiran 6, photographed in the tank museum at Latrun. Israeli modifications are clearly shown and explained. This chapter also offers a brief glance into Tiran 3, a T-62 put into IDF service without modifications.
T-62 in Detail (T-62 & Tiran 6 Main Battle Tanks) from WWP is an amazing reference book. Designated as a "photo manual for modelers", it is a great resource for all those interested in upgrading their models... the old 1/35 scale Tamiya offering, as well as the more recent Trumpeter kits in the same scale. The images are large and clear, displaying just about every aspect of T-62, combining full vehicle photos and showing the general features of the vehicle, and the detailed images of vehicle exterior and interior. Although primarily a photo reference book, the information provided in the introduction and image captions is very interesting, covering various details presented in the photos.