The T-54 and T-55 tanks are the most widely manufactured tanks of all time. They have become ubiquitous to wars around the globe since the 1950s, starting with Hungary in 1956, and including the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967, 1973 and 1982, the Vietnam war of 1967-75, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, the Afghanistan conflict, Operation Desert Storm, the Yugoslav Civil Wars, and the recent conflict in Iraq. This book will examine the roots of this prolific tank family, starting with the Sovet Army's first attempts to replace the legendary T-34 during World War II, and covering the T-43 and the T-44, the more successful T-54, and its ultimate evolution into the T-55.
Steven J. Zaloga was born in 1952, received his BA in history from Union College, and his MA from Columbia University. He has published numerous books and articles dealing with modern military technology, especially armored vehicle development. His main area of interest is military affairs in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the Second World War, and he has also written extensively on American armored forces. Hugh Johnson is a highly-experienced and talented freelance illustrator. This is his first book for Osprey.
Introduction; Design and development; Operation; Active service; In combat; T-54 and T-55 in other theatres; Bibliography; Colour plate commentary; Index