Images of War, Hitler’s Tank Destroyers, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives

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.


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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.