Armored Forces: History and Sourcebook

Armored Forces: History and Sourcebook

Armored Forces: History and Sourcebook

Armored Forces: History and Sourcebook

Excerpt

This work is a combined text and reference on the rise of armor as the premier combat system of the twentieth century. From the debut of the tank in the British attack at Cambrai through Operation Desert Storm, armor has evolved into the dominant weapon system on the battlefield. Although it seems that at least once per decade military experts declare the "death of armor," reports of its death seem to have been greatly exaggerated. In World War I, there was talk of mechanical unreliability; in the interwar period, it was said that antitank weapons had become too strong. In the period after World War II (still the great armored showcase), it was said that helicopters and tactical nuclear weapons and handheld antitank guided missiles had finally dethroned the tank. Yet none of these new technologies has replaced armor. It is still the standard by which we measure battlefield strength.

Part I of this book consists of a historical description of the rise and development of armored warfare. It analyzes the tactical environment of World War I that gave rise to the tank; traces the development of the tank in Great Britain and the first employment of massed armor at Cambrai and beyond; assesses the "lessons of World War I" as they applied to armor; describes interwar developments in armor design and tactics, especially in Great Britain and Germany; analyzes the rise of Blitzkrieg tactics and their first employment by the German army in Poland, the Low Countries, France, and the Soviet Union; describes the rise and eventual triumph of Allied armored forces; and concludes with an analysis of armored tactics and design since the war, paying special attention to the use of tanks in modern conflicts such as Korea, the Arab-Israeli wars, the Iran- Iraq war, and Operation Desert Storm. Based exclusively on published . . .

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