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 Blue Steel; T-55 Tanks in South Lebanon



BS book cover

Title: Blue Steel; T-55 tanks in South Lebanon
Moustafa Assad

PO box 716 Saida



The second book to be released on armour in Lebanon attempts to focus on T-55s used in southern Lebanon. The book contains 68 pages plus covers. For some reason it has pages numbered to 70 by including both faces of thefront cover. The book is printed on good stock and is of similarin size to the Concord series of publications. A two page history regarding Israeli Modified Tirans is followed by a page on SLA(South Lebanese Army) Tirans. Which in turn is followed by a brief biography of photographic contributors. Preceding all this is a full page for the authors signature backed by a title page which is essentially an advertisement for the group which funded the books printing.

The first page of content begins on page 9 which contains a series of photos of a Tiran armed with only Machine guns and an IDF kmt mine roller system. These photos are some of the best yet are some of the smallest in the book. From page 10-64 numerous abandoned Tirans are shown with sometimes fuplicate captions. Pages 64 -66 has one photo of a M32 and Tiran previously seen and some not  so clear photos of a m113 and a UN vehicle. Pages 67-70 are filled with thumbnail size photos of models.

While the book contains  some nice photos of SLA T/54/55s it fails in covering its declared subject of T-55s in southern Lebanon . Nothing is shown of PLO or Syrian vehicles used or captured in the area except for two unclear shots t-54/55s on IDF transporters. Of what is shown many photos are repetitive and seem to be used to fill space. Others are crops of an existing picture which again feels like an attempt to be more than it is.. Many of the photos need work in Photoshop or other photo program being out of fous or overly bright while others are badly composed. Add to all this the many individual and full pages of models some not even of T-55s and the actual useful content drops significantly. The book ends up feeling like a vanity press publication and a bad one at that considering that many of the vehicles photographed were static and accessible when they were photographed. Yet no organization exits to capturing the vehicles properly.

The book is mostly photos of the vehicles left abandoned after the SLA collapse, following the complete Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. The book has no organization and is filled with much that should have hit the editing floor. Other photos are clearly posed and add nothing to subject matter of the book. While this book has some good content one would be better off getting the book by Samer Kassis titled "30 Years of Armour in Lebanon", which covers much of the content seen here.. This one just wasn't worth the money paid for it.

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