Challenger 1 - Britain’s Orphan Tank

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Richard King
Other Publication Information
180 Pages; scale plans; 12 color profiles; 300 color and B&W photos
Product / Stock #
Green Series #4129
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

The Challenger I was a British main battle tank (MBT) used by the British Army from 1983 to 2001 and was succeeded by the Challenger II. It saw action during the Gulf War and in the former Yugoslavia.

Author Richard King is a former British Army tanker and is well versed in the subject. He outlines the rather sketchy and draw-out development process for the tank, its tortured introduction into service and its eventual excellent service and combat record. The vicissitudes of British armed forces procurement are painstakingly detailed, and the average soldier’s distain for bureaucracy, officialdom and rank are evident in his humourous tales. Indeed, the British sense of humour in adversity is oft-displayed and is a memorable part of the story. Keep an eye open for characters such as Lay-by Lil, Rupert, and Wolfgang the Bratty Man.

While there are deep technical aspects to the book, King’s style and explanations are such that it is all easily understood, and with a touch of humor to boot. He exhibited an obvious deep knowledge of the type. Never a dry technical tome, this is a book is, above all, about the crews and their relationship to the vehicle. As such, it is an engaging read.

For those making a model of the type, there are scale plans and full-color profiles and plenty of b+w and color photos.

In short, this book is an excellent resource for both scale modelers and armored vehicle enthusiasts. My thanks to Casemate for the review sample.


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