T-64 Battle Tank: The Cold War’s Most Secret Tank

Posted: October 30, 2015 in Books, Cold War, Tanks


The T-64 tank was the most revolutionary design of the whole Cold War, designed to provide the firepower and armour protection of a heavy tank in a medium-weight design. It pioneered a host of new technologies including laminate armour, stereoscopic tank rangefinders, opposed-piston engines, smooth-bore tank guns with discarding sabot ammunition, and gun-fired guided projectiles.

These impressive features meant that the Russians were loath to part with the secrets of the design, and the T-64 was the only Soviet tank type of the Cold War that was never exported. Written by armour expert Steven J Zaloga, this detailed technical history sheds light on the secrets behind the Cold War’s most controversial tank, revealing how its highly advanced technologies proved to be both a blessing and a curse.


T-64 Battle Tank: The Cold War’s Most Secret Tank opens up with an explanation of the reasons behind the tank’s development, all of which make for interesting reading.  What’s really great is that it doesn’t just give you the “why”, it also gives you the “how”, detailing all the development and construction problems that plagued the T-64 pretty much from the outset.

What’s most interesting about the T-64 is what a monstrosity it is.  With all its pop-out rocket deflecting fins, and belt-fed 115 mm cannon It’s like something out of a sci-fi anime, rather than an actual war machine.  Some may say this is typical of the Russian Cold War ethos of “Make It As Big As You Can” (see the Mi-24 Hind), but the engineering involved in making it work is staggering.


The artwork and photos are simply superb throughout.  The “centrefold” cut-away – in particular – is absolutely brilliant; a real highlight.

The history and development of the T-64 makes for interesting reading, but the artwork and photos are what really lift this book above the crowd.  Well worth picking up if you’re modelling or wargaming with the T-64.

T-64 Battle Tank: The Cold War’s Most Secret Tank by Steven J. Zaloga is available now from Osprey Publishing in paperback (£9.99) and e-book (£7.99).


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