[Obiekt]Obiekt 279 The Unique Soviet Experimental Heavy Tank
Obiekt 279 – The Unique Soviet Experimental Heavy Tank by Sanzo Takemiya published by DaiNippon Kaiga, 2016 During my work as a publisher (Tankograd) I came across a large variety of authors and manuscripts. Most of these works were driven by basic enthusiasm, some by financial interests or to see an author´s name in print. This book is different. I have met the author during his research for some Soviet military designs, the two of us sharing interest in the most odd and least documented topics such as Warsaw Pact motorised radar systems and Cold War prototypes. When I realised how much time, financial resources, dedication and love for these vehicles went into Sanzo Takemiya`s work it became clear to me that he is one of the rare breed who aims at perfection in his work and that his quality in research exceeds almost all other comparable works in this field, even better than most acclaimed historians. That said and to put into perspective his recently published book with almost three decades of research backing the content: It is nothing short of a brilliant masterpiece! Obiekt 279, a Soviet tank design of 1957 developed to survive the blast of a nearby nuclear explosion on the potential nuclear battlefield of the Cold War (hence the vehicle’s odd shape), is nothing short of a fantastic design of an era when everything seemed possible in military development. With several plastic kits of this tank recently released the timing was perfect to publish Mr. Takemiya’s research. As a child of the Cold War and the resulting secrecy, almost nothing is known about Obiekt 279’s development history and testing. As so many heavy tank projects of the 1950s it was short-lived when the Soviet side abandoned the heavy tank concept in the 1960s and focussed on medium tanks, today known as main battle tanks. Consequently the text part in the book is short but sufficient to get the picture. The strength of the book is thus the sheer number of photographs and illustrations with extensive captions and notes on the technical details of the design. In this section the publication goes vastly further than the usual walkaround as seen in many other publications. Mr. Takemiya not only describes what is to be seen on the photos but analyses and explains each and every technical aspect in simply breath-taking detail and down to the last locking pin. This is supplemented by several sets of technical drawings even more detailed than the photos. When compared to other technical publications, Obiekt 279 is much closer to a military technical evaluation report rather than a simple series of captioned pictures. I would even go so far as to say that the book looks like the complete original set of drawings and photos as “retrieved” from the design bureau in 1957! The book aims at plastic modellers who want to super-detail their kit and to the enthusiasts in Soviet tank design alike. The sheer wealth if information present in form of photos and scale drawings would certainly make it possible to rebuild the heavy tank in full size! Even if covering an area of tank history with no huge following, Obiekt 279 by Sanzo Takemiya dwarfs other comparable publications in terms of detail. A masterpiece of armour research filling a vital gap in Soviet tank history! A4 size, 120 pages, softbound, full English and Japanese text and captions, illustrated throughout with black&white photos from the only surviving example in the Kubinka museum and the few known trial photos from the Cold War plus a huge number of technical scale drawing. MUST HAVE for the Soviet Cold War tank buff, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the serious plastic modeller.
Jochen Vollert (Tankograd )
Our Selling Price: 3,704yen(JPY)