In the Preface, the author considers his book an introduction to Soviet Armor and its history; its not intended to compete with the huge encyclopedias that are available. As an introduction, it was rated 5 stars for its comprehensive assortment of illustrations, graphic tables depicting the complement of tank units from company level upwards, battle summary and photos.
The illustrations include light, medium and heavy duty tanks, antitank and the variations that developed throughout the war. It also covered armor cars, trucks, rocket launchers, ambulances, staff cars, jeeps and cycles. Lend lease tanks and trucks as well as tractors and towing vehicles round out the list.
To my surprise, Mr Porter also includes a brief history of Russian armor which started around the time of the revolution and continues its coverage to the start of the war. The summary includes Marshall Tukhachevsky and his driving force in improving war doctrine and Red Army modernization in the early and mid 1930s. Stalin's purges were also covered.
The author also provides a brief but helpful summary of key tank battles during the war. It includes the engagements at Dubissa River, Bialystok, Minsk, Kiev, Moscow, Rzhev, Vyazma, Kharkov, Stalingrad, the Caucasus, Uranus, Bagration, Lvov, Berlin and even Manchuria. Before Barbarossa, the Spanish Civil War, and the invasions of Poland and Finland are mentioned.
The Appendix includes tables of Lend-lease production and delivery quantities. It shows losses of T34s by year as well as Soviet tank production figures by year. A table also shows a comparison of German and Soviet tank strengths for various campaigns. In addition to the illustrations and tables, a good number of battlefield photos are presented.
This is a competent primer that for many would probably be an excellent starting place to learn before moving up to the giant 500 plus page encyclopedias.