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.
R. P. Hunnicutt - A History of the American Light Tank. Vol.2: Sheridan
Presidio Press | 1995 | ISBN: 089141570X | 336 pages | PDF | 276.52 MB
Dick Hunnicutt's first volume, "A History of the American Light Tank", documents the development of light armored vehicles from their early beginning in World War I to the end of the Second World War. This volume 2 traces not only the development of the light tank, but also its transition from a lightly armored vehicle supporting infantry to its current in extremis role for the Army's early entry forces.
The centerpiece of volume 2 is the M551, General Sheridan, armored reconnaissance/airborne assault vehicle (AR/AAV). The Sheridan was a revolutionary vehicle; a tank that could swim, fire missile and caseless conventional ammunition from the same stabilized gun-launcher system, and be delivered to the combat area by parachute. All of these capabilities had to be developed and integrated into a vehicle weighing roughly sixteen tons. The Sheridan was the most complex armored vehicle ever developed by the Army at that time. It was to be the most controversial vehicle ever developed.
Mr. Hunnicutt does an outstanding job documenting the difficulties encountered in the development and fielding of the Sheridan. He also accurately records the divergent opinions held by the two main users of the vehicle, the cavalryman and the paratrooper.