In this blog series, we’ll be taking a look at some of the great series books of the past that newer Osprey devotees may have missed.
First released in 1989, Elite 26: Tank War – Central Front Nato vs Warsaw Pact by Steve Zaloga is a true oddity within the Elite series. At the time of release, it was a modern examination of the two great military forces of the 1980s. Today, it serves more as a primer on the starting point of a war that never happened.
The book opens with a bang, as Steven Zaloga drops us right into an encounter between American tankers taking on Russians as they advance into West Germany. It is a rare bit of Osprey fiction that serves to illustrate the different capabilities of the two forces involved. After the smoke clears from that encounter, the book delves into the forces that each individual country had arrayed at the time, giving the names and locations of all divisions, and then offers a comparison of the two sides.
Like all books in the Elite series, this one has plenty of artwork, and probably greater variety than most. It includes profiles of numerous different tank types, showing off their design and camo patterns and also includes the uniforms of many of the tank crewmen.
So, while it may seem a slight oddity, Elite 26 is definitely one worth having in the collection, especially if you are thinking about fighting World War III on your table top. (I’m looking at you here Team Yankee players).