IntroductionSoviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants
is a new book by Osprey Publishing LTD
. It examines the last Soviet heavy tank, the enigmatic bogeyman of the Cold War, the T-10. That Soviet monster was originally the IS-10, the final development of the Iosif Stalin
series of heavy tanks.
Filled with authoritative text and amazing images including original plant drawings and T-10 operating manuals, the book may be the most comprehensive English language source on the last Soviet heavy tank.
This hardback book is authored by both James Kinnear and Stephen "Cookie" Sewell. It is part of Osprey's
General Military series, catalogued as GMN
by Osprey and as IBSN 9781472820518
When it was introduced into service in 1953, the T-10 represented a return to the "classic” Soviet heavy tank. Although considered a major threat to NATO tank forces, it also represented the end of an era. All gun heavy tanks like the T-10 would eventually be made effectively redundant by later models like the T-62 which had powerful next generation armament and new ammunition types. The tank was gradually withdrawn from service in the 1970s, though the last tanks would only leave Russian service, by decree of the President of the Russian Federation, in 1997. As such the T-10 outlived the Soviet state that had created it.
Never exported outside of the Soviet Union and rarely used in combat, the T-10 has remained a mysterious tank, with many of its variants unknown in the West until very recently. This study, written from original Russian and Ukrainian primary source documents that have only recently been made available, uncovers the history of this enigmatic tank using 130 stunning contemporary and modern photographs of the T-10 as well as full colour side-view artwork. - Osprey
ContentSoviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants
presents through 232 pages the history of this enigmatic heavy tank in 14 chapters and appendices:
One: Development History
Two: Service and Combat History
Three: The T-10 Tank Variants Described
Four: Derivatives of the T-10 Tank Design
Five: Preserved T-10 Tanks
i: T-10 Development, Production and Service Chronology
ii: T-10 Production Data Tables
iii: Soviet Era Tank Design and Production Flow
iv: T-10M Cutaway Diagram
v: Obiekt Number Listing of T-10 Tanks, Prototypes and Projects
vi: Foreign Perspectives: T-10 Recognition during the Cold War
vii: Preserved T-10 Tanks
viii: T-10 and Variant Specifications: Data Tables
ix: Glossary and Abbreviations
Being a larger format and longer format than Osprey’s softcover range of books, this title presents a greater amount of information than their New Vanguard series. Much of this expanded capacity is filled with technical drawings and a larger gallery of photographs than the softcover formats. With the authors’ experience in Russia and the military to draw from the detail and backstory is more comprehensive as well. The book is well organized and easy to read.
and Development History
leads the reader through 33 pages explaining the circumstances of developing the last of the Joseph Stalin series of heavy tanks. It also explains why the tank was rechristened the T-10 after Stalin’s death. It further mentions the problems with the IS-3 and subsequent developments that inspired the T-10. In The T-10 Tank Variants Described
the three versions and characteristics of the T-10 are examined: T-10, T-10A, T-10B, T-10M.
Despite the scare the T-10 put into NATO and NATO’s attempt to counter T-10 with the M-103 and Conqueror, unbeknownst to NATO many T-10s when from the factory to strategic storage. Service and Combat History
tracks the tank through its exclusively Soviet service during which its only combat was the crushing of Czechoslovakia during their 1968 revolt. Foreign Perspectives: T-10 Recognition during the Cold War
is interesting in that so little was known of the tank and most of the supporting images were gleaned from NATO manuals, as the original photos are gone. Finally, Derivatives of the T-10 Tank Design
examines how the T-10 chassis was reused for other Soviet weapon systems, such as the transporter for ballistic missiles, and the bizarre Obiekt-279.
Those chapters explain a wealth of technical detail, i.e., type and thickness of armor, gun and ammunition performance, infra-red and NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) equipment, components, and how such a formidable tank fell out of favor even though they lasted into the early 1970s. Further appendices present further technical information on the tank.
Photographs, Art and Graphics
Modelers and restoration crews will be thrilled by the large galleries of a wide selection of images of the tank. The book is full of photos and graphics from Soviet operating manuals (9 pages) and dozens of technical prints, NATO manuals, and post-Cold War modern shots of museum and display T-10s. Almost 100 color photos enhance the galleries. A T-10M preserved at the Kubinka Tank Museum provides 20 full-color interior and exterior views of T-10 components.
Artwork includes several color profiles:
T-10, unknown Soviet unit.
T-10, 1956 Kubinka trials.
T-10B, Red Square parade, 1967.
T-10M, 13th Heavy tank Div, Germany.
T-10M OPVT deep wading tank, 1970.
T-10 MK command tank, 95th Heavy Tank Rgt, Czechoslovakia, 1968.
The T-10M Cutaway Diagram
of Appendix Four is keyed to 49 components. Almost a dozen tables are provided in the appendices.
ConclusionSoviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants
is a fascinating book. I grew up with the T-10 and T-34-85 as the icons of the Soviet armored fist threatening the West. I did not know much about the T-10 other than it was considered very scary even in the age of the Main Battle Tank. The authors have presented very interesting information about the heavy tank.
This book has a highly detailed text and a vast gallery of original and color photos. Operating manuals and blueprints are an excellent addition.
I have no meaningful complaint about this book, other than an irrelevant personal opinion inserted into the text about NATO intel mistakes concerning the production rate of the T-10.
Modelers, historians and students of Soviet armor, Cold War armor, heavy tanks in particular and the R&D of tanks in general should be very pleased with this book. I recommend it.
Thanks to Osprey for this look at this title.