On the blog today, author Steven J. Zaloga talks us through the inspiration for his new book Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1946–60.


This book started out as a suggestion by the series editor, Tom Milner. The idea was to provide a survey of Cold War tanks. There is a lot of interest in these short survey books – I did a trio last year on tanks in the Normandy campaign, published by Osprey this year.

Since there was so much ground to cover in the Iron Curtain series, we broke it into three chronological segments. The first two of the series are written, and I’ll do the third volume (1975–1990) in late 2022. The focus is on the tanks of the principal armies facing each other in Central Europe. Many of the smaller NATO and Warsaw Pact armies get less treatment.

Rather than just producing a “lawnmower catalog”, the aim is to provide some brief hardware history, but to round it out with sections on tactics, organization, and technical trends. Since war never occurred between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, there are some brief digressions on which international conflicts influenced tank development in NATO/WP.

There is a lot of fresh material. It may seem strange, but until this book, there was no published data on US tank production totals in the early years of the Cold War. Soviet production is known to aficionados who read Russian, but the Soviet production information will be fresh for most readers of the series.

The book contains photos and colored artwork as is the norm in New Vanguard titles. I am pleased that the artwork is being done by Felipe (Rodna) Rodriguez who does exceptionally good work. There are a few surprises in these selections including a French Panther tank and Elvis Presley’s Patton tank.


Available to order on our website here: