TARDEC Story: Sixty-Five Years of Innovation, 1946-2010 (Hardcover)

TARDEC Story: Sixty-Five Years of Innovation, 1946-2010 (Hardcover)

Agency Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)
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GPO Stock Number: 008-000-01081-1 ISBN: 9780160921889
Sale Price: $39.50


Full of illustrations and photographs, this publication is a comprehensive history of the many innovations in tanks and other military ground vehicles and equipment developed by the engineers at TARDEC, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

TARDEC was formed in 1946 as an outgrowth of the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant built during World War II. During the early years, emphasis was placed on evolving new technologies to improve military ground vehicles, culminating in the development of the M1 Abrams tank. 

Since then, TARDEC has grown to be a key center for advanced technologies for military ground vehicles and equipment. Recent years have brought an explosion of technology development and integration, from hybrid engines to fuel cells, from analytical simulation to enormous physical simulators, and from small robots to entire unmanned vehicles.


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Audience: Engineers, members of the military, and others involved in the research and development of military equipment would enjoy this publication.

Keywords: military tanks, military equipment, military vehicles, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, TARDEC, Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant, M1 Abrams tank

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Defense Dept., Army, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)
Dasch, Jean M.
Gorsich, David J.
2012: 309 p.; ill.
The TARDEC Story: 65 Years of Innovation, 1946-2010. Book measures 10.25 x 12.5 in. First edition. Some illustrations are in color.
Key Phrases:
Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
Sixty Five Years of Innovation
Army History
Military History
Tanks History
Automotive History
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3.75 lb.
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Reviews & More About this Product


"THE TARDEC STORY—65 years of Innovation" by Oscar C. Decker, Major General, U.S. Army (Retired)

One cannot browse through the book that was written about TARDEC in 2012 without growing in knowledge about multiple innovations that began almost overnight in Warren, Michigan in 1940 with the construction of the Detroit Tank Plant. That beginning grew continuously through various tank designs, guns, and armor with an emphasis on troop survival. The work expanded into successful engineering for trucks, always a TACOM (Tank Automotive Command) product. In working for more troop safety, that product became armored wheeled vehicles, which have had significant use in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I recommend browsing the many pages and the elements that inspired military, and even civilian, major steps forward. Then go back and review in detail the phenomenal steps that have enriched military and civilian vehicles over those 65 years, and that are still going strong. The challenge of putting all of those years into one book, making it clear, dividing it into groups to enable it to be easily used in pieces, groups or specific time areas was a great way of bringing things together. When you open the book, you are immediately presented with seven pages of brief descriptions of innovations and events that occurred over 65 years, and four calendar time groups, all easy to find. The following two-page Table of Contents provides specific areas and calendar times. That overall setup is a superb start to the book.

The last half of the book is the group “Modern Times (1990 to 2010)”. While the Command continued to make significant progress with tanks in areas of Vetronics, Propulsion, Fuel Issues, Track and Suspension, and Survivability, Robotics gained attention as did wheeled vehicles especially those with some type of armor, which was much in demand after 9/11 in the Middle East conflicts. Future combat vehicles gained attention for much of the time and a new organization called the “National Automotive Center” was born. This organization was authorized to begin to work with industry and to bring them in to government labs to work together, a situation that previously had not been permitted. In this case Congress gave the guidance to allow better cooperation between federal laboratories and industry.

Looking at the work and advancement continuing at TARDEC, and with organizations in other areas including industry, TARDEC will continue to be the Soldier’s ally in survivability and combat. 

I thank TARDEC for the opportunity to comment on the TARDEC book covering 65 years of Innovation. My military career included three tours at TACOM, including a short tour from 1956-1957, 1969-1972 as a Project Manager, and 1973-1983 when I was fortunate to act as Commanding General of TACOM for seven of those 10 years.

Oscar C. Decker
Major General, U.S.A. (Ret.)