A new book from the very popular Images of War series. The Tiger heavy tanks were formidable machines, but also suffered from weight, reliability and logistics. – Highly Recommended.
NAME: Images of War – Hitler's Heavy Tiger Tank Battalions 1942-1945, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R3175 AUTHOR: Ian Baxter PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, World War Two, Second World War, war in Europe, European Theatre, Germany, Soviet Union, Germany Army, SS Panzer Divisions, North Africa, Afrika Korps, Sicily and Italy, Eastern Front, 88mm tank killer ISBN: 1-52674-787-1 PAGES: 126 IMAGE: B3175.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/ybrfvdr4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A new book from the very popular Images of War series. The Tiger heavy tanks were formidable machines, but also suffered from weight, reliability and logistics. – Highly Recommended.
There will always be debate as to whether the German tank development was a wise use of resources. The German Army started WWII with armoured vehicles that were primarily training and reconnaissance vehicles with relatively thin skins, questionable reliability, very light armament and one man turrets, the exception being the very effective Czech 38t tank that was eagerly taken into the German front line. As training machines, the PkwI and Pkw II were adequate. As the heart of an armoured Blitz Krieg they were not. Great effort was made to rush Mk III and Mk IV tanks to the panzer regiments to take over as effective Main Battle Tanks.
The Mk III was primarily configured as an infantry assault tank with a short barrel main gun replacing the more effective tank killing long gun that had originally been intended. The Mk IV was probably the most effective tank produced by the Germans, although rapidly out classed by Allied tanks. That left the desperate need for a major step forward with the Pkw V Panther and the heavy Tiger I and II tanks, influenced by the Soviet T34.
The Germans faced an increasing problem, with round the clock Allied bombing disrupting the development and manufacture of new tanks. That, together with the urgent need to improve armoured capability, led to ingenious ways of up-gunning the older tanks and the introduction of the Panther and Tiger tanks. Armour was also added to existing designs. The assault gun modifications of older tanks proved reasonably effective, but the new heavies were never available in the numbers required and their weaknesses were never removed..
The Tiger I was equipped with the proven 88mm anti-tank gun, a complex, but effective, track system and good armour. That combined to make a formidable main battle tank that was consequently heavy and thirsty. When the more powerful version of the 88mm gun was mounted into the Tiger II, weight increased and the need for expanded logistics to meet its fuel and ammunition requirements also increased.
The fine selection of rare photographs capture the Tigers in all the battlefields they fought over.