Tanks at the Iron Curtain
1975 – 90
The Ultimate Generation
Cold War Heavy Armor


Author Steven J. Zaloga
Illustrator Felipe Rodríguez


Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1975–90, the ultimate generation of Cold War heavy armor is the 323rd book in the New Vanguard series of books that are available from Osprey Publishing.

This book provides a comprehensive examination of the new generation of advanced tanks that emerged during the last 15 years of the Cold War. It showcases major improvements in armor protection, gunsights, and fire control systems. The book provides a deep dive into the evolution of tank technology and strategies during a critical period in history. It is richly illustrated with over 60 black and white photos, color illustrations and profile plates, and maps. This book offers a unique perspective on a pivotal era in military history.

Focusing on the technology of the period, the author explains how the demands of a potential Cold War battlefield spurred the development of the 20th century’s most advanced tanks. He considers the final versions of the Soviet T-72, T-64, and T-80 and assesses their strengths and weaknesses. He also explores how the failure of the US-German MBT-70 project led to America’s development of the M1 Abrams tank, and to Germany’s all-new Leopard II. The British development of the Challenger tank is also considered, as is the lesser-known Leclerc tank developed by France, the smallest and lightest of any of the western designs.

Table of Contents

    • Soviet Union
      • Countering the antitank missile
      • Modernizing the T-55
      • The king dethroned: the T-64B
      • The new premium tank: the T-80
      • Soviet production of the Triplet tanks
      • T-72: the mobilization tank
      • The T-72 export tank
    • United States
      • The M60 tank
      • New generation: the M1 Abrams
      • The M8 Buford Armored Gun System
    • Germany
      • Leopard 2
    • UK
      • Challenger 1
      • Stillbrew Chieftain
    • France
      • Leclerc

Featuring superbly detailed new illustrations and many photos, this volume pinpoints the key technology of the era, including turbine engines, APFSDS ammunition, advanced armor and high-tech fire-control systems, and describes how the rival tanks compared in the final stretch of the Cold War arms race. The book is meticulously researched and well-written, making complex technical details accessible to the reader. The illustrations and diagrams further enhance the understanding of the subject matter.


Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1975–90 by Osprey Publishing can be a valuable resource for modelers, wargamers, and history enthusiasts in several ways. For Modelers the book is likely to be packed with original artwork, maps, and 3D explanatory diagrams of the tanks. This can provide modelers with accurate visual references for creating detailed and historically accurate models.

For Wargamers the comprehensive examination of the tanks, including their tactics, operations, and deployment, can help wargamers to design and play out historically accurate scenarios. The detailed descriptions of battles and strategies can provide a rich context for game scenarios.

For History Enthusiasts the book offers a coherent portrait of a historic period, including not just the tanks, but its doctrine, organization, logistics, intelligence-gathering, and deception efforts. This can provide history enthusiasts with a deeper understanding of the subject during its height of power.

Overall, “Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1975–90” is a must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of tank warfare during the Cold War. It offers a unique perspective on a pivotal era in military history.


New Vanguard 323, Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1975–90 is a 48-page paperback book that is available from Osprey Publications.




eBook (ePub)


eBook (PDF)