book T-54/55 in detail
Present Vehicle Line No.7
Wings & Wheels Publications.
Published by RAK, Czech Republic.
ISBN 80-86416-35-6
192 pages all in colour.

Review by Terry Ashley

At 189 pages this is by far the thickest book in the WWP range to date and the number of pages is for good reason to give an unprecedented coverage of the T-54/55 in one publication and a real plus for modellers.

The book is entirely in colour with virtually no text except for the photos captions and a couple of half pages to describe a particular variant plus some detailed line drawings to supplement the superb close up photos.

The book is basically broken into 12 chapters with each on a different variant plus components such as the engine and gear box out of the vehicle and support vehicles.

The contents are as follows:

“T” in action (pages 4-9)
This chapter gives a brief pictorial coverage of the T54/55 inaction with a few pics of vehicles from Prague 1968, Kosovo/Macedonia 1998-2001, Afghanistan 2001-2002 and Iraq 1991 & 2003 that gives a good insight to the cam and markings of the vehicles during these conflicts.

Serbian Rubber “T” (pages 10-17)
An excellent photo coverage of the elaborate cam schemes and the unique rubberised armour added to the T54/55s used by the Serbian Army. The photos are all semi-close-up that show some useful details

T-54A in detail (pages 18-43)
This chapter covers the T-54A in great detail with extreme close-up photos of the turret exterior, hull details including hatches, fuel tanks, storage boxes, engine deck and the suspension as well as interior shots of the Driver’s compartment and all round views of the turret interior.

T-54B in detail (pages 44-49)
The T-54B is covered with more close-up shots of the hull and turret exterior which show some of the differences from the T-54A in the previous chapter.

T-54M (page 50)
Just two pages on the T-54M as this vehicle is similar to the T-55M covered later in the book.

T-54K (pages 51-55)
This chapter actually covers an Iraqi Command T-69II which is virtually identical to the T-54K Command tank. There are many close-up detail shots of the exterior showing some of the features of this vehicle.

T-55 in detail (pages 56-87)
Another superb detail coverage similar to the T-54A above but on the T-55A with even greater emphasis on the interior shots with great close-ups of the various turret controls and fittings as well as the driver’s station, there are also some line drawings to compliment the photos which adds more detail to the photos.

T-55M in detail (pages 88-106)
The detail just keeps coming with close-up details of many hull and turret components again with line drawings to illustrate the photos, there are also some of the gun breech and gunners station.

T-55AMI in detail (pages 107-119)
This chapter highlights the details of a Czech Army T-55AMI with a couple of pages on the turret fittings and the remainder showing the interior in great detail showing some of the updated controls and equipment in the turret.

T-54AM2 in detail (pages 120-135)
T-55AM2 in detail (pages 136-147)
These two chapters are sort of combined giving excellent coverage of the T-54/55 with the additional armour and laser equipment added to the turret plus other fittings to bring the vehicles up to the AM2 standard.
There are many close-up turret and hull detail shots plus some turret interior details for a good coverage of these vehicles including some T-54AM2 fitted for deep wading showing the fitting of the turret hatch extensions.

T-55 Construction, Accessories & Support Vehicles (pages 148-189)
This final chapter covers some components individually such as the road wheels, drive sprocket and tracks shown in good detail photos supplemented with line drawings.
There are superb photos of the engine and engine compartment again with line drawings to help put the photos in perspective. The gearbox is shown out of the vehicle as are other components such as the large rear fan, radiators and air filters also with supplementary line drawings.
Next are close-up photos of various types of ammunition and ammo containers plus detailed shots of the rear mounted fuel tanks.
The next eight pages have detailed photos of the mechanical mine plough as fitted to some vehicles again with line drawings included.
Finally there are eight pages of the Praga V3-S TPPA-M82 Workshop Vehicle used for tank repairs with many shots of the insides of the rear workshop section.

Overall a sensational photo coverage of the T-54/55 series, if you had a choice of only one reference book on the subject then this would be it and from a modellers viewpoint is a must have.

Highly recommended.

Page Created 23 February 2004

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