Images of War Special, The Panzer IV, Hitler’s Rock

A valuable addition to a very popular series. – This reviewer wonders about the addition of ‘special’ to some books in the Images of War Series, because they are all special. However this book is well up to standard for the series – Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Images of War Special, The Panzer IV, Hitler's Rock
FILE: R2559
AUTHOR: Anthony Tucker-Jones, illustration David Lee Hemingway
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  123
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, armour, 
tanks, AFV, Armoured Fighting Vehicles, gun tank, flak tank, assault 
gun, mortar

ISBN: 1-47385-675-2

IMAGE: B2559.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yayoegux
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: A valuable addition to a very popular series.  - This 
reviewer wonders about the addition of 'special' to some books in 
the Images of War Series, because they are all special. However 
this book is well up to standard for the series – Highly Recommended.

The Pkw IV was not initially a great success, although it was never 
intended to take other tanks on face to face. Once it was up-gunned, 
the situation changed and this became a very versatile gun tank, 
also forming the basis for anti-aircraft gun platforms and assault 
guns.

Having started WWII ahead of schedule, the Germans had great 
tactics and command of their armour, but their first tanks were less 
than impressive. Without the Czech 38t, they could have been in 
trouble, even in Poland. The Pkw III did provide a significant 
advance in capability and was to continue to serve well past its use 
by date. To keep it in contention it was modified, up-gunned and 
used as a chassis for assault gun versions. When the PKW IV entered 
service it seemed to be a further significant advance in capability 
but its lack of an adequate gun placed it at risk when encountering 
an enemy gun tank. It was to serve in all theatres where German 
armour was deployed and it gave a good account of itself. Like the 
earlier Pkw III it continued in production and service when it 
should have been withdrawn from tank to tank fighting.

The failure to replace the Pkw IV in first line service was partly 
a consequence of the highly successful Allied bombing campaign 
which seriously disrupted production, the growing lack of war 
materials, and a failure to fix the development and production 
objectives. Too much time was wasted on adding complexity to new 
designs and accommodating Hitler's obsession with 'super' tanks 
that were too large, too heavy and too cumbersome. With better 
early control on design, development and manufacture, Germany 
could have had a tank with similar capabilities to the Panther 
before the Russian T-34 entered service. In the early stages 
there was over confidence that German Lightning War would give 
victory on all fronts very quickly. When that belief was proved 
unfounded, Germany then had to follow the enemy developments with 
the Panther specifically designed to counter an existing enemy threat 
in the form of the T-34. The result was that the Pkw III and the 
Pkw IV soldiered on and what should have been their successors would 
arrive before they had been adequately tested and enhanced, and in 
much fewer numbers than were demanded by the battle environment. 
However hard their crews fought, these tanks had lost the edge they 
needed.