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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:11 am 
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Nicholas Moran, of Chieftain's Hatch fame has written a Hunnicutt style book on United States Gun Motor Carriages (Tank destroyers.) Here is my review (Link to the World of tanks forum where he describes it is below. Unfortunately, this has not sold anywhere near the level of the reprint of Hunnicutt's firepower, so it looks like the odds of newer books in this series PH (Post Hunnicutt) are not looking good. Its a shame, books of this quality are rare, although its not without its problems.

My Review.

I just got my copy. If you have any interest in GMC's, this is the book to have. I wish he had spent a bit more time on the operational use of the M10, M18 and M36. Nicholas explains that since these have been covered in detail elsewhere he concentrated on lesser known vehicles. Fair enough, but honestly I'm still waiting for the definitive book on them. Between Yeide's The Tank Killers, the various osprey books, Hunnicutt and Zalogas books there is still a need for all that to be condensed in one source. Plus I still haven't seen a detailed analysis of TD performance against German armor that is also checked against German records. The book should be read along with the Chieftain's Hatch articles on tank destroyers and development of the various anti tank guns (US guns, German Armor, part 1 and 2, his video on Tank destroyers, and The Can-Openers, America's Successful Failure. If I was giving it as a gift I'd print those out and stick them in the book, they add a lot of context.)

Picture quality could be better, there is not much that can be done about this, most of the good pictures have been published before and in attempting to show some new photos the quality is often poor.

There is a lot of good information on the development of the M36 (Barnes deserves a ton of credit for having the foresight to realize that you had to develop these things before you needed them, ie he understood the tyranny of time and made sure the M36 was developed despite no user requirement at the time. This enabled the M36 to make it for the late war battles) It still appears that the M36 could have been deployed a bit sooner then it was. Even 1 month earlier would have almost doubled the amount available in the battle of the bulge. M10 development is covered in more detail then in Hunnicutt's Sherman book which I appreciated. Incidentally, while anyone who reads his Hatch articles knows this, the suggested name for the M36 by the Army was in fact the Jackson.

There are a lot of memos, notes and reports made that help illustrate the perspective of those involved with development of both the vehicles and the weapons and why they made the decisions they did. I've never seen this degree of detail on that in any previous work. Indeed this book could almost simply be considered a treatise on how the US made its decisions on what vehicles to produce and why. It shows how the battle need and battle worth doctrine actually played out, at least in regards to TDs.

There is no index, which is annoying, although the table of contents is a reasonable substitute.

One improvement that could be made is that I would appreciate a concluding chapter on the book (This is a complaint I also had for Zaloga's Armored Champion). I know Nicholas is at pains to point out that his experience as a tanker does not make his opinion any more valid, but I do think his experience messing around with vehicles and decades of experience at least make his opinions worth noting. I'd like a summary of what the tank destroyer concept got right, what it got wrong, how the development of these devices interacted with German armor development, the interplay between towed vs self propelled guns etc. (A lot of this is covered to some degree on the Hatch articles above.) He could also mention some vehicles not covered in the book simply because there was no data in the archives on them.

As for development of the obscure GMC's, this is basically the only game in town. I'm still going through some of this stuff, its interesting and I really appreciate the effort it took to bring this to our attention, its knowledge that likely would have been lost forever otherwise. Well done. His humor comes through primarily in the captions for the pictures.

The bottom line this book is worth it to anyone with a casual interest in the subject.

order page
http://www.echopointbooks.com/history/can-openers

Forum discussing the book, my review is here as well.
http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php ... s/#topmost


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:27 pm
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Wanted to add that at least some (As in maybe 50 or so) of the pictures were produced in much lower quality then intended, they are checking into what can be done about it, (Probably a digital copy)


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