American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II

Stackpole. Jan. 2024. 512p. ISBN 9780811773812. $49.95. MILITARY HISTORY
This complex history traces the development of American tanks throughout the interwar period (1918–39) and during World War II. Former military analyst Anderson (Cracking Hitler’s Atlantic Wall) covers the minutia of funding and reorganization, development of vehicles, equipment, doctrine, the interminable disagreements over tactics, and the race to build up an armored force from a scattering of obsolete prototypes. Much of the material is compiled from army documents and contemporary professional journals, well documented and illustrative of the problems and attitudes that shaped the final products. The War Department and Armored Force coordinated closely with industry as the overall pace of innovation and production increased in the leadup to World War II and throughout the war. While developers contended with supplying U.S. Army needs, they were aware of the necessity to provide allies with a reasonably effective tank within the capabilities of an expanding and stressed industrial plant. Some of the book’s major players (Marshall, Eisenhower) are familiar names, but many of the important practitioners are known only to specialists today. The book includes plenty of images of tanks and equipment.
VERDICT Detailed, lengthy, and of primary interest to armor historians, serious enthusiasts, and libraries that support military students.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing