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  • T-34 Encyclopedia

    I started to wander widely off-topic, and concluded that this was worth a post of its own.

    This book, Т-34 — Первая полная энциклопедия (T-34 - First Complete Encyclopedia) is awesome:



    It is by far and away the best book on the T-34 to date. In saying that, I am rating it against about sixty books with "T-34" in the title.

    Maksim Kolomiets has written pretty much the definitive book on the tank. He has drawn heavily upon material previously published in various monographs in the Voennaya Letopis and Frontovaya Illustratsiya series, as well as calling upon colleagues for material from their archives. It is large format, 500 pages on reasonably good paper, and while many of the photos are familiar to me (sixty T-34 books, remember) there are a few that are new. Quite a few technical drawings are reproduced, and while there are the standard three-views, the best information is in the former.

    The text describes the origin of the design, with a discussion of predecessors and prototypes, as well as drawings for the A-34 and initial series T-34. There are chapters on the T-34M and on the STZ period and the T-34-57, and a fuller discussion of production at Sormovo and in the Urals and Omsk. This last was pasticularly welcome for me, since the tendency is to lump UZTM and ChKZ in with UTZ, and Zavod № 174 is usually mentioned only in passing. The last part of the book is spent on a description of the T-34-85 and its production into the postwar years in the USSR, ASUs and other special purpose vehicles, and there is a lengthy but necessarily general discussion of combat use.

    My first impression was that this was an assemblage of recent monographs in one cover: in the last three years there have been at least a dozen monographs on specific aspects of the T-34 from Mssrs. Kolomiets, Moshchansky, Svirin, Kirsanov, Lagutin, and Baryatinsky. I recognize the handiwork of all but the last author, and see their acknowledgements, so I conclude that this has been as much a collaborative project as the work of one man. Despite that, there is far more to this book than simply a compilation, and I am personally delighted to finally have the information I seek in one volume.

    It is, of course, in Russian. That is a disadvantage to those who do not speak the language, but despite that the photos and drawings are numerous and very useful. For those who read the language, it is indispensable, essentially superceding the various monographs and filling in many more details.

    It is available now to people outside Russia for between $50 and $60 dollars, depending on the source. Anyone interested in obtaining it should contact me via provate message, and I can recommend a reputable bookseller in Moscow who can take PayPal and credit cards, as well as direct (Canada) bank deposit. I have no connection to the seller, except as a satisfied customer.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    Last edited by amvas; 18 Dec 09, 02:25.
    Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

    A contentedly cantankerous old fart

  • #2
    Scott, you know what ? I hate you !
    Do you believe an english translation will be out some day ?
    I saw this book on the Net, at a reasonable price but didn't know what was in.
    Now, I know and hesitate to buy it in russian, not being able to read it... Or must I wait for an hypothetical translation ?
    Dilemna...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bruno View Post
      Scott, you know what ? I hate you !
      Do you believe an english translation will be out some day ?
      I saw this book on the Net, at a reasonable price but didn't know what was in.
      Now, I know and hesitate to buy it in russian, not being able to read it... Or must I wait for an hypothetical translation ?
      Dilemna...
      Bruno, Bruno, Bruno...

      You know very well that these books have a short print run and if you don't get it now you will be searching for a copy for years. You'll have to wait until after I die to get mine...

      I wrote the review because the Russians are starting to reprint some monographs under new titles. For example, three or four years ago there was a monograph from Voennaya Letopis: "T-34-85; Early Variants from Zavod №112", an excellent book that describes the D-5T-armed T-34s. Another book in the series covered the T-40 family. Both have recently appeared in hard covers with a new titles, but the material is the 99% the same, including the photos and drawings. If you have the first ones, the new books are a waste of money.

      This book is not that. Much of the content is new, and the text has not appeared before. Moreover, there is information galore included, well-written, and the narrative takes full advantage of recent research from noted Russian authors.

      Will there be a translation? Not anytime soon... I have already translated some of it, in a sense, since much has been written by the authors in Polygon, Tankomaster and M-Khobby, and in different monographs. I am personally convinced that although Kolomiets is listed as the author, this is a collaboration. I see the handiwork of Moshchanski Kirsanov and Laguutin and even Mikhail Svirin, who recently completed a mammoth tome on Soviet armour until 1953 (Tankovaya Moshch', Eksmo, also hightly recommended). Only Baryatinsky seems to be distant from this T-34 book.

      Apart from that, Bruno, this is a big fat book! If there was a dollar to be made, I might be able to justify the effort, but short of reprinting it in English myself, I don't see how that will happen.

      Buy the book before it is sold out!

      Cheers
      Scott Fraser
      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

      Comment


      • #4
        I would say the price of the book in Russia to be 940 R (30-31R ~ 1 USD)
        Shipping fees are about the same. So, $50-60 is quite a fair price
        If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by amvas View Post
          I would say the price of the book in Russia to be 940 R (30-31R ~ 1 USD)
          Shipping fees are about the same. So, $50-60 is quite a fair price
          I agree, particularly when new copies of "Mythical Blither" were selling for $110. The quality of paper and printing and the photographs are better in the Polish book, but the information is nowhere near as good as it is in the Russian book complete, comprehensive and correct.

          I particularly like the plans in the Encyclopedia. They are original, reproductions of factory blueprints in many cases, complete with dimensions and notes. They are exactly what I need for my project (another labour of love) to create an accurate T-34 in 3D CAD. There are a lot of parts...

          Cheers
          Scott
          Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

          A contentedly cantankerous old fart

          Comment


          • #6
            I think I'm gonna buy it, even if I can't read a damn word !
            Can you give me the ISBN, please ?
            Or a good site to buy it ?
            TIA.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bruno View Post
              I think I'm gonna buy it, even if I can't read a damn word !
              Can you give me the ISBN, please ?
              Or a good site to buy it ?
              TIA.
              http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id...?partner=amvas

              International shipping supported.
              In the case of any troubles contact me...

              Regards
              Alex
              If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by amvas View Post
                http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id...?partner=amvas

                International shipping supported.
                In the case of any troubles contact me...

                Regards
                Alex
                That's not a bad deal, about as much as mine was. I deal with an individual in Moscow, a reputable private seller. I will remember the link. Thanks.

                Cheers
                Scott Fraser
                Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
                  That's not a bad deal, about as much as mine was. I deal with an individual in Moscow, a reputable private seller. I will remember the link. Thanks.

                  Cheers
                  Scott Fraser
                  Yes, I often buy in this shop and has excellent opinion about it.
                  Besides I leave near one of their offices, so save much money for shipping
                  If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                  Comment

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