Soviet T-62

Main Battle Tank

Soviet T-62


James Kinnear

Stephen Sewell


Andrey Aksenov


The T-62 is one of the most widespread tanks used by the Soviets during the Cold War. Developed from the T-55, the T-62 enjoyed a long career in the Red Army and even into the early days of the reformed Russian Army. It was the principal tank used by Soviet forces in the Soviet-Afghan War and went on to see service with Russian forces in Chechnya and South Ossetia. It has also been employed in almost every conflict in the Middle East and Africa from its introduction into service. It remains in service with many countries throughout the world and has seen a great deal of use in the Syrian Civil War.

T-62 Impressive Tank
T-62 Impressive Tank



The contents of this book are;


1. ‘Revolutionary’ versus ‘Evolutionary’ – Morozov versus Kartsev

2. The Development of the T-62 Medium Tank

3. Description of the T-62 Main Battle Tank and its Variants

4. Derivative Vehicles and Foreign Copies

5. Service and Combat Use of the T-62 Main Battle Tank




This book contains more than 400 stunning contemporary and modern photographs, and written by two experts on Soviet armor. This authoritative book tells the complete story of the T-62. The book starts by looking at the design philosophy and the main personalities of the designers of main battle Tanks.



The book starts with a look at the design of the tank that is to follow the T-55. We learn that there were three competing designs. They were known as the Traditionalist view, the Revolutionary view, and the Evolutionary view. The designers were Zhosef Kotin, Aleksandr Morozov, and Leonid Kartsev respectively. These designs were first laid out in the early to mid-1950’s and there were a number of prototypes built, some with a 115mm smoothbore gun. The designs that this Soviet tank went through were as a Medium Tank, a Tank Destroyer and finally as the Main Battle Tank.  The final design that was chosen to become the Official T-62 was done so in early 1962. It started to be seen around the Soviet Union during the mid-1960’s. It was officially removed from active service from the Russian Army in 2013.

T-62 Cutaway

T-62 Cutaway

Chapter Three, Description of the T-62 Main Battle Tank, and its Variants is the longest chapter of the book in numbers of pages. While it doesn’t contain a lot of written information, what it does have are hundreds of pictures, both color and black and white. In total there are approximately 260 photographs in this chapter that readers can enjoy and use them to correct any inaccuracies to their projects.

The next Chapter which details the T-62’s Derivative Vehicles and Foreign Copies shows the readers the different types of vehicles were designed off the base chassis of the T-62. We learn that while no country was fully licensed to build the T-62, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did have did have partial rights and used them to design and build two of their own battle tanks. Some of the derivatives we see examples of are.

T-62 BTS-4V Tank Recovery Vehicle

T-62 BTS-4V Tank Recovery Vehicle

  • 2K4 Armored Missile System Tank Destroyer
  • Armored Tank Recovery Vechicles
  • T-62 with 9K11 Anti-tank Guided Missile System
  • 125mm Gun
  • POV Radiation Liner
  • Amphibious System
  • Hydrofoil Assault Landing System
  • Multiple Rocket Launcer POD
  • Fire Fighting Vehicle

T-62 Amphibious Tank

T-62 Amphibious Tank

As you read this book, you learn that the T-62 chassis was to become a very versatile delivery system in the uses that it could be used for. You also read about a large number of foreign derivatives, where some of the vehicles were captured, while others were purposefully designed by Soviet allies.

In the next chapter we read about how the Soviet Army viewed the T-62. The Western Powers judged the T-62 inferior to Western tanks based on the Arab-Israeli ‘Yom Kippur’ war in October 1973. Soviet tankers perceived impression of the T-62 was generally favorable. They considered the tank very reliable, simple to service and easily maintained in the field. It was regarded by Soviet tank crews as a powerful tank wen compared to other Cold War Tanks of the same period.

T-62 Gunners Position

T-62 Gunners Position

The first time that the T-62 was used in battle was during the border clashes between the Soviet Union and China in 1969. The tank was also extensively used during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980 – 1988. During the fighting the T-62 was pitted against the M60 and Chieftain tanks. The clashes and wars that featured the T-62 were.



The Invasion of Czechoslovakia


The Invasion of Czechoslovakia


Damansy Island Incident (the Combat Debut of the T-62)


The October War (Yom Kippur War)

1975 – 91

Morocco and the Polisario

1975 – 91

Angolan Civil War

1977 – 94

Ethiopian – Eritrean War

1977 – 78

Ethiopia – Somalia War

1978 – 87

Libya – Chad War

1979 – 89

The Soviet War in Afghanistan

1980 – 88

The Iran – Iraq War


Lebanese Civil War and Israeli ‘Peace for Galilee Operation

1988 – 93

War in the Caucasus

1990 – 91

The Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm)

1994 – Present

Yemeni Civil War

1994 – 96

First Chechen War

1997 – 98

Conflict in Dagestan

1999 – 2003

First Chechen War

2001 – Present


2003 – Present

Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom)


Russo – Georgian War


Libyan Civil War


Syrian Civil War

T-62M Model 1967 w-reactive armor

T-62M Model 1967 w-reactive armor

The next section of this extremely informative book are the 11 Appendices’. These appendices round out the book and add additional detail to an already detailed informative book. The appendices provided in this book are;


  • Timeline for T-62 Tank Development
  • T-62 Tanks Preserved in Museums
  • Production Numbers for the T-62 and Related Vehicles
  • Obiekt Numbers of the T-62 and Related Developmental Tanks
  • T-62 Export Clients
  • Soviet T-62 Cutaway Diagram
  • Soviet/Russian Communications Systems and Development
  • Soviet Ballistic Sets and Tables
  • OPVT Underwater Tank Driving Equipment
  • Comparative Technical and Tactical Characteristics of the T-62, T-62M and OBIEKT-1 67 Tanks
  • Glossary

T-62MV With Kontakt-1 Explosive Reactive Armor

T-62MV With Kontakt-1 Explosive Reactive Armor


The T-62 Main Battle Tank is an extremely informative book that will be an awesome addition to any armor historian, wargamer, or modelers reference library. Its is packed full of details, photographs and drawings that the modeler will find extremely useful. The hundreds of photographs add a level of detail to this book that make it extremely useful. It’s easy to say, but the more you go through the book referencing the pictures, the deeper understanding of the T-62 weapon systems you begin to unravel. Overall, the T-62 Main Battle Tank is an excellent reference book that will be a welcome addition to any modelers library.

The T-62 Main Battle Tank is a hardback book that is available from Osprey Publications.




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(The photographs used in this review are copied with the permission of Osprey Publications.)