R. P. Hunnicutt - Abrams: A History of the American Main Battle Tank
Presidio Press | 1990 | ISBN: 089141388X | 320 pages | PDF | 163.25 MB
R.P Hunnicutt has written a series of books that mark the definitive history of American armored fighting vehicles, and serious students of the subject would be well advised to collect them all. Each encyclopedia-size volume has a thorough history of vehicle development, chapters devoted to prototypes and experimental vehicles, four view 1:48th scale drawings of all major types and subtypes, and a photo section depicting the vehicles in service. There are hundreds of detail photographs and illustrations, and the books are printed on high quality glossy paper.
This particular volume chronicles the US military's search for a true main battle tank that could replace both the medium and heavy gun tanks in service in the 1950's and early 60's. The MBT-70/XM803 project of the 1960's and early 70's is covered in detail, and finally the M1 Abrams itself, developed in the 1970's and first fielded in 1982. The book discusses the multilayered armor (nicknamed Chobham armor after the British MVEE facility that developed it) which gave the new generation of tanks their reputation for invincibility, though of course the exact composition was and is classified. It also covers the competitive trials between the General Motors and Chrysler Abrams prototypes and the German Leopard 2. The Leopard 2 was rejected for US service, but its 120 mm gun was incorporated into the US tanks beginning with the M1A1. The book went to print just as the M1A1 was being deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990, so the history ends there, but it is still a superb reference for the Abrams.