The Images of War series has become extremely popular across a wide readership, including some who do not otherwise purchase military history books. This new book provides an outstanding selection of tank destroyer images and good descriptive text – Much Recommended.
NAME: Images of War, Hitler's Tank Destroyers, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2662 AUTHOR: Paul Thomas PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 230 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, World War 2, armour, tanks, light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, assault guns, tank killers, reconnaissance vehicles, desert warfare, tank warfare, North ISBN: 1-47389-617-8 IMAGE: B2662.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y9jahgqm LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The Images of War series has become extremely popular across a wide readership, including some who do not otherwise purchase military history books. This new book provides an outstanding selection of tank destroyer images and good descriptive text – Much Recommended. Hitler had considered a major European war after 1944. It came as a nasty surprise when he invaded Poland as Britain and France declared war on Germany in support of Poland in 1939. Although the Wehrmacht had led in the development of tactics to create the Blitzkrieg concept, where fast moving armour, mechanized infantry and artillery was combined with air superiority and close air support, Germany had been less successful in producing adequate tanks, starting the war mainly with the Pkw I & II light tanks, with the much sort after superior Czech 38t tanks that were produced in relatively small numbers. The Pkw III & IV gun tanks were the first tanks built to really support Blitzkrieg but they were already well behind production schedules and not being issued in numbers to Wehrmacht units until the following year. This was to be a continuing problem with the Pkw III & IV continuing in service against superior enemy tanks and the Panther and Tiger tanks arriving in inadequate numbers. The Germans turned to tank destroyers and self-propelled assault guns as a way of keeping up with enemy developments in armour, but with a reduced demand for production time and materials. Initially existing gun tank chassis were rebuilt with a fixed superstructure in place of the now traditional gun tank turret. This not only simplified construction, operation and maintenance, with reduced numbers of components, but it also removed the engineering limitations of turrets. To fit a larger gun in a turret required a larger turret, either by using a larger turret ring, or cheating, as the British did with some of their tanks, where an undercut turret was employed on the same size turret ring, but with the space to mount improved trunnions to allow a heavier gun to be fitted. Tank destroyers and assault guns had potentially the full width of the hull available and installed a much larger gun in a heavy mantel. The weakness of this approach meant that the gun had limited traverse, elevation and depression, against a turret mounted gun, requiring the tank destroyer to be aimed at the target and the gun adjusted for fine traverse and elevation. On the other hand, most tank destroyers had a much lower silhouette, making a smaller target for the enemy to spot and shoot at. Having started the war with two rifle calibre machine guns in the Pkw I light tank, Germany ended the war with 122mm long guns in tank destroyers and mortars above 150mm in assault engineering tanks. As confidence built in the tank destroyer, the Germans began designing assault guns as varients alongside gun tank models, to use the same or similar chassis and power train, and designing tank destroyers on their own. Eventually, even the tank destroyer weight had grown to the point where it presented special problems in transporting the vehicles to the battle front and negotiating terrain features and bridges in the field.