This project is a means of funding a book on the Soviet T-34 Medium Tank (title not yet decided). The aim of the book is to chronicle the changes of T-34 production through the photographs of the men who fought against them, and those who even used them (yes – there will be beutepanzers!)
The T-34 has always been a subject of much interest for myself as a military historian, and after my first book “Fallen Giants: The Combat Debut Of The T-35A Tank” Kickstarted, completed, and sent for publishing (release on August 11th from Fonthill Media), it was a no-brainer on what subject was next.
Whilst there are some good publications already in English on the subject of the T-34 tank, they all fall into the categories of too vague, or simply rivet counting. I aim to write a book that both a novice and an expert can pick up and comprehensively understand the T-34.
I will be working with other experts in the field, and am currently in contact with Maxim Kolomiets, the acclaimed Russian military history author, who has written over 50 publications.
Depending on access to museum photos, my co-author/editor, Will Kerrs, will be able to write sections on rare post-war variants and post-war users, such as Egypt, Syria, and Cuba, with their various self-propelled gun conversions.
Why do I need funding?The book’s unique feature of photographs is not free. In fact, far from it. On average, an exclusive photograph of the T-34 will cost £30, however photographs of T-34/85s and rarer items can reach for upwards of £130.
I am lucky that a proportion of my income is disposable, but I simply cannot purchase all of the photographs that should be in the book. Most of the ones I miss all go to private collections, never to see the light of day!
I would like to commission some technical drawings that detail the turret and hull changes of the T-34 tank. This is something that has been done before, but I feel that they tend to be inaccurate or not placed into a book effectively. The book so far is broken down into chapters on each factory that manufactured the tank, and specific dates that manufacture occurred of types of tank, this I feel will give a very easy way for a reader to browse through tanks and find out exactly what made a tank at one factory different to another.
What else can funding bring to this book?
In addition to photos, I hope to add in stunning colour artwork to the book! I I have used the fantastic artists John Paul Liau and David Bocquelet for the book “fallen Giants”, and i wish to use their services once again. However this does not come cheap, with a combined bill of over £400 for “Fallen Giants".
How much money is needed?
If I raised a modest £500, this would be enough get some photos to give an adequate book. £1000+ would be enough to fully fund this project with colour art and as many photographs as possible of the T-34. However, I decided a goal of £600 was probably a good compromise, so I can include colour art, and more photos. Any extra money would be put towards the publishing side of things. The money ultimately will be used to cover the overall costs.
This book has already been accepted for publishing by Fonthill Media, however funding is necessary to produce the best book possible. However, it will not be until 2018 that this book is ready for submission.
Of course if you do decide to back this project, you will have the opportunity to pick up some great merchandise relating to the T-34. Backers who pledge £1 will be morally stronger for helping me. £10 will get a special thank you in the book. £20 will get a thank you AND a high quality scan of one picture! £30 backers will also get a poster! £50 backers will also get a signed copy of the book! And to 5 lucky backers who are generous enough to donate £100, one photograph will be randomly selected from the book and the original photograph will be sent to you as a special gift (note: this does not include photos from collections other than those of Francis Pulham)! Do not miss out!
Massive thank you to Will Kerrs for his support!
Risks and challenges
There are risks with any sort of crowd funding project, and the greatest risk is that this campaign fails. However I am confident that it will not, as the wonderful response from my crowd funded first book is a fine testament to this.
There is little risk of the publisher backing out of this project, as they were the ones who approached me and stated that they were very interested in a book on the T-34, prompting me to begin writing such a book.
Both of my artists are reliable and talented, and I trust them wholeheartedly to deliver like they did for "Fallen Giants".Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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