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.
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.