Tank Spotters Guide Compiled by Marcus Cowper and Christopher Pannell

I showed this  book to a friend of mine and his first comment was pretty much the same as mine. They just don’t make them like they used to. Yes this book includes modern beasts like the M1 Abrams and the Challenger 2  but they are highly designed and functional items that somehow seem to lack the character and aesthetics of previous generations of tanks. Perhaps that is just me or perhaps in time people will say the same about future armour compared to our current offerings.

I fount it disappointing that there is no picture of Little Willie (or No. 1 Lincoln Machine as it was originally known) in this book. I love that tank and it is well worth a trip to Bovington just to see it. Looking and the Mark I and the Mark IV it is hard to imagine so many people cramped in to such a hot and cramped space. Tank crews really were a special breed.

The pictures inside are all in profile and good representations of the vehicles. The information alongside each tank is short and to the point, giving only the most important points of a given tank. This makes the Spotter’s Guide a great starting point for people wanting to find out about tanks. It covers all the tanks I would expect to see it easily fits in to a cargo pants leg pocket for easy access.

What this book really needs though is to be a phone app. Not just to present the tank details from the provided pictures but it would also benefit from being linked to a camera to turn a picture in to a profile that can be compared to database of silhouettes. That would be great. For income generation at the bottom of each page could be links to other titles that give more details about each tank. I think I may have thought about this a little too much.

If you want a pocket book with easy to compare pictures and simple facts about tanks then this is the book for you.

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