Tank Craft, Panzer I & II, Blueprint for Blitzkrieg, 1933-1941

This popular series is aimed primarily at model makers and engineers but it contains first class illustration and a very effective text overview of the Panzer I & II. This new book covers the first two tank models issued to the new Wehrmacht – Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Tank Craft, Panzer I & II, Blueprint for Blitzkrieg, 1933-1941
FILE: R2657
AUTHOR: Robert Jackson
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES:  64
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, 
reconnaissance vehicles

ISBN: 1-52671-124-9

IMAGE: B2657.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y7kkt3pp
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: This popular series is aimed primarily at model makers 
and engineers but it contains first class illustration and a very 
effective text overview of the Panzer I & II. This new book covers 
the first two tank models issued to the new Wehrmacht – Highly 
Recommended.

This very affordable book follows the series format of providing an 
excellent review of the subject and its deployment, with many first 
class images, including full colour drawings. This very worthwhile 
start is then followed by a review of model kits of the subject, 
examples built by prize winning modellers, and a review of 
specialist components that can be used to achieve outstanding 
exhibition grade models.

In this book, the achievements and failures of the Nazis are very 
effectively covered. In 1933 Hitler gave the go ahead for a major 
re-armament program that was intended to bring the German forces up 
to a reasonable state of equipment and begin a program of training 
and tactics development. The first items of equipment were therefore 
never intended to form the major forces for a large scale war. The 
second stage equipment was intended to exploit all the initial 
training and the development of new tactics, particularly the close 
working of tactical bombing aircraft, armour, mobile artillery and 
mechanized infantry. Beyond that there were well developed outline 
plans for very advanced equipment that should be ready for a major 
war in Europe after 1944.

The best laid plans often prove inadequate for the reality. Hitler 
miscalculated, believing that he would face only strong words when 
he invaded Poland. He thought his pact with Stalin was sufficient 
to deter Britain and France from any military action to support 
Poland. The result was that Germany ended up with major war before 
its main re-equipment program was ready and even before the second 
stage equipment was in full production. Rapid success in Poland was 
assured because the Poles lacked effective armour and aircraft in 
the numbers required to defend against Germany aggression. Success 
in the West in 1940 was an indicator that British and French 
politicians had spectacularly failed to prepare for any type of 
war on the European mainland at that time or later.

The completion of the British radar-based command and control 
network for the RAF was only just in time after the fall of France. 
Production of Hurricanes and Spitfires was a major success, but the 
number of trained pilots to fly them was behind schedule. That 
deficit was addressed by bringing the various Free Forces pilots, 
particularly the Poles and Czechs, up to Operational Capability 
and using the ATA with its many female pilots to save RAF flying 
hours in ferrying fighters from the factories to the squadrons and 
flying damaged aircraft back to repair facilities. From that point, 
the Allies would grow in strength and their production facilities 
would out perform Germany, heavy bombing further reducing German 
capabilities.

In that environment, the Panzer I & II tanks were already obsolescent 
by 1939, while the availability of Panzer III & IV models was 
seriously delayed. The only bright spot for the Wehrmacht was that 
the Czech Skoda 38t was available, following the occupation and 
annexation of Czechoslovakia. The 38t was a very good indicator of 
how far behind the German armour was.

The PkwI Gamma was essentially a lightly armoured and very lightly 
armed reconnaissance tank. The PkwII was not much better. Both 
vehicles did not prove very reliable and their technical weaknesses 
were soon exposed, even by the very limited Polish armour. However, 
the two models soldiered on until 1941 as frontline armour and then 
continued as the basis for assault guns and anti-aircraft vehicles, 
and for training new recruits.

By comparison, the Czech tanks was well armoured for the time with 
an effective anti-armour canon, good cross country performance and 
high reliability. As a result, it was in much demand in preference 
to the PkwI & II tanks in 1939 and 1940. It also soldiered on to the 
end of the war in Europe and made a very good basis for an armoured 
assault gun and as a tank killer.

This book contains some outstanding illustrations and should enjoy 
a wide readership beyond the modelling fraternity. The model makers 
will find a good range of available kits in various scales and 
specialist parts to enhance every model.