This addition to the very popular Images of War series is another well-researched and well-presented book from Tucker-Jones. – The text should not be underestimated. It is concise and clear, very capably supporting an outstanding selection of rare images of one of the German Army’s most important tanks – Highly Recommended.
NAME: Images of War, The Panzer III, Hitler's Beast of Burden, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2554 AUTHOR: Anthony Tucker-Jones PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 111 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War., German armour, AFV, Armoured Fighting Vehicle, tank, assault gun, German Army, Blitz Krieg
IMAGE: B2554.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ybmdmmmf LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This addition to the very popular Images of War series is another well-researched and well-presented book from Tucker-Jones. - The text should not be underestimated. It is concise and clear, very capably supporting an outstanding selection of rare images of one of the German Army's most important tanks – Highly Recommended. No one can deny that the German Army enthusiastically and efficiently adopted the tactics proposed by German, British and French officers after WWI. Equally, it cannot be denied that other armies failed adopt these tactics before WWII. However, German equipment was not superior to that of other armies in the same way as the tactics. When Germany entered WWII, it was several years ahead of the date Hitler had been working to. He miscalculated the British resolve when he sent his army into Poland. As a result, he was largely unprepared. When he attacked west in 1940, his rapid victories disguised the fact that success was at least as much due to the Allies and neutral countries failing to take war seriously and being overwhelmed by fears of another bloody war of attrition. Invasion of Poland saw a largely unmechanized German Army rolling over a Polish Army that was almost entirely unmechanized and smaller, lacking modern aircraft and having no understanding of the tactics of Blitz Krieg. The Germans still depended very heavily on horses and even in 1945, still had large numbers of horses in service. It had few armoured vehicles and few motorised transport vehicles. What it did do very effectively was use its available armoured and mechanised units closely together as the vanguard, closely supported by dive bombers, medium bombers and fighter aircraft. The Poles ended up charging armour on horseback in an unequal battle. The armour was of generally poor quality. The Pkw I and Pkw II tanks were small, lightly armoured and very lightly armed. They also suffered many mechanical failures and were really not fit for much more than reconnaissance, or action against armies lacking tanks and transport vehicles. The only effective tank was the Skoda 38t which was available as a result of occupation of Czechoslovakia. The 38t was well-armoured for the time, carried an effective canon in its two man turret, and used a Christi-style suspension to provide very good speed and mobility. Most importantly, it was of good build quality and achieved high reliability. The Pkw III was just entering service and was a dramatic advance over the first two Panzers. It was to soldier on to the bitter end, long after it had been surpassed by enemy designs, such as the T-34. On introduction, it was well-armoured and carried an effective anti- armour gun in a turret that included a commanders cupola. The tracks and suspension, if not outstanding were workmanlike and the general cross country performance adequate. Most importantly, reliability was good, and it was a dramatic advance on the two early Panzer designs. Strictly, the Germans should have concentrated production effort on the Pkw IV in 1940 and gradually phased the Pkw III out of front line service. Development work should then have concentrated on one or two models to replace the Pkw IV. As with the German armament programme in general, tank design and deployment comprised the continued production of obsolescent designs, efforts to plug some of the deficiencies of the older tanks, and an ambitious development programme that duplicated effort on competing designs and tried to employ advanced technologies that slowed the introduction into service and made designs that were complex and unreliable. In the closing stages of WWII, the King Tiger was a formidable machine that was too large and heavy for some of the conditions it had to fight in, suffered a large number of reliability problems from a complex design and was built in totally inadequate numbers by a production environment that was stumbling along under heavy air attack. The Pkw III was up-gunned, up-armoured and generally tweaked through its long service life. The chassis was reliable and well-engineered, making it suitable as a base on which to build assault guns. In this form it provided sterling service as a workhorse in the German retreats in Italy, France, and on the Eastern Front. It became a very important German armoured vehicle not because of any great design virtue, but because it was available in reasonable numbers.