Images of War Special, Tiger I & Tiger II

The very fine Images of War series does what it claims on the cover 
and delivers a great selection of very rare images. It also provides 
excellent concise text. As a result, this new book will appeal to a 
very wide readership and is highly recommended.

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NAME: Images of War Special, Tiger I & Tiger II
FILE: R2408
AUTHOR:  Anthony Tucker-Jones, illustrations by Brian Delf
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  176
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War 1I, World War Two, Second World War, tanks, 
AFV, German Army, Pkw-5, Pkw-6, Pkw-7, 88 mm guns, 120 mm guns
ISBN: 1-478159-030-3
IMAGE: B2408.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/gsgo7yb
LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale 
DESCRIPTION: The very fine Images of War series does what it claims 
on the cover and delivers a great selection of very rare images. It 
also provides excellent concise text. As a result, this new book will 
appeal to a very wide readership and is highly recommended.

In line with the standard set by the series, this new book contains a 
great many rare photographs, but it also includes a full colour plate 
section with a selection of very fine illustrations by Brian Delf. 
The text links all of these images into a very good overview of the 
Tigers and even an experienced enthusiast of WWII and armoured warfare 
will enjoy reading the book and learning new things.

The Germans suffered much the same challenges as the British in having 
a very innovative design capability but perhaps poor control over 
selection of specific designs for mass production. There was also the 
difficulty that the tank factories were in range of enemy bombers. The 
Americans were free from the risk of bombing and naturally inclined to 
produce a small number of designs in very large quantities. The Russians 
were almost in the same position in that they had factories beyond the 
range of German bombers, although they continued to use factories almost 
on the front line, to the point were some tanks rolled out of the factory 
unpainted and straight into battle.

When the Russian T-34 was deployed, it came as a very nasty shock for 
the Germans, while it was not without its vulnerabilities, it was huge 
advance that made the best German tanks obsolescent. The Germans 
responded with a crash program to bring in new models designed 
specifically to counter the T-34 and whatever might follow it. The 
Germans already had 75 mm and 88 mm anti-tanks guns that had proved 
devastating in every campaign where they were deployed. This enabled them 
to arm the Panther with the 75mm gun to produce a tank at least equal to 
the T-34, and to use the formidable 88 mm gun to arm the Tiger I. The 
Tiger I was technically superior to anything else on the battlefield at 
the time of its introduction. Its weakness was that its advanced 
functionality was at the limits of production experience and this made 
it unreliable. Tigers were often destroyed on the East Front only after 
they had first broken down. They were also large and heavy, presenting 
challenges for moving them by train or on low loaders and also making 
them too large for some of the roads they would have to use to get at the 
enemy. In North Africa this was not so much a problem because, although 
reliability continued to be an issue, the vast dry open spaces allowed 
them to be used more freely.

The Tiger II was a logical development but was even heavier. Taking the 
already significant 50 ton Tiger I up to the 70 ton of the Tiger II did 
provide greater firepower and greater protection, but it did affect cross 
ground performance and particularly hampered operations in the close 
country of the Ardennes in winter 1944. It is perhaps therefore surprising 
that the basic Tiger concept was employed to develop even heavier designs 
including the Elephant and the Ferdinand. These variants introduced heavy 
armour and even more powerful guns and often suffered accordingly. More 
over, Hitler's obsession with massive tanks as mobile fortifications was 
to dilute the already pressured production facilities and ensured that no 
Tiger variant was ever produced in the quantities necessary to meet the 
growing size of the enemy armies with their massive air power and armoured 
formations.

The author has done a very good job of encapsulating this history into a 
remarkably small space and matching the fine illustrations.