“Armoured Warfare; A Military, Political and Global History” (2017) by Alaric Searle

February 28, 2020

Armoured Warfare is a somewhat sweeping title for a book, covering a vast subject. But that is what the author has attempted and, largely, succeeded in delivering.

This book provides a thorough, comprehensive, and concise overview of the history and nature of armoured warfare from the very first appearance of the tank on the battlefields of World War I to their current use in the twenty-first century.

It’s important to emphasise that this is not a book that provides technical data or information on vehicle types themselves; it is intended to provide the student of armoured warfare a much broader understanding of the tank in its importance in the evolution of modern warfare, politics and even culturally.

The author is well equipped to provide this sort of understanding. Alaric Searle is a Professor of History at the University of Salford who specialises in this subject.

Covering most of the major conflicts utilising armour through the last hundred years, Armoured Warfare follows a timeline approach so as to enable the reader to trace the development of the tank and its use and importance in warfare.

This allows the reader to appreciate how many times some of the lessons have had to be relearned – the need for tanks and infantry to mutually support each other seems to repeat throughout the book.

Additionally the author has some interesting insights into the subject, such as spelling out and dispelling some of the myths around Blitzkrieg and pointing out that the true masters of integrated mechanized warfare was the Red Army at the end of the Second World War.

This latter subject has a chapter devoted to the whole of the Russian experience, from the disasters of 1941 to the juggernaut of 1945. Searle spells out how the Russians learnt their painful lessons and put that experience to use

There are gaps in the history, with certain wars having to be excluded no doubt for length reasons. But for anyone interested in a better understanding of armoured warfare you would be well advised to get a copy.

And if my recommendation isn’t enough take the word of Steve Zaloga, who says that it:

“….is am intriguing approach to the history of the tank…it offers a valuable international perspective on mechanized warfare.”

At time of publishing Armoured Warfare is available at Amazon.com for $30.95 and at amazon.co.uk for £21.99.

Dave Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers

Dave Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers

Was lucky to be able to pin down Dave and get an hour or so from his busy schedule to talk about his remarkable life and the situation in Myanmar (Burma).

The Short SA.4 Sperrin; Britain’s Back-Up, Back-up Nuclear Bomber

The Short SA.4 Sperrin; Britain’s Back-Up, Back-up Nuclear Bomber

The V-Bombers; Britain’s cool and quirky answer on how to drop atom bombs on the Soviet Union. This trio of aircraft not just represented Britain’s entry into the nuclear power’s club, they also demonstrate the evolving ideas and technologies that were developing in...

Decomposing Behemoth; The Convair XC-99

Decomposing Behemoth; The Convair XC-99

You know, quite a few people have said to me: “Hey Ed, you should cover the Convair B-36 bomber. That’s a Forgotten Aircraft.” And truth be told, I probably will do something on the B-36 one day, because it really was such a beast. I mean, look at in in comparison to...

Engineering Division TP-1/XCO-5; The US Army’s Final Fighter

Engineering Division TP-1/XCO-5; The US Army’s Final Fighter

I’ve written in the past about the US Navy’s Naval Aircraft Factory, which was created in 1917 to help design and build aircraft suitable for maritime use. Indeed, I’ve already covered one of their most famous and enduring creations, the NAF N3N. The reason for the...

Vought SBU Corsair; The ACTUAL Second One!

Vought SBU Corsair; The ACTUAL Second One!

Everyone knows the Corsair II, right? Built by LTV, the successor to the legendary Vought company, the A-7 Corsair II was the replacement for the also legendary A-4 Skyhawk and served, rather remarkably, with the US Navy, Marines AND Air Force. Indeed, I’ll get around...