The authors provide solid, well-researched text so that this is not a photo-essay, but it is extensively illustrated with a fine selection of images. The authors have covered their subject extremely well and comprehensively. – Most Highly Recommended
NAME: Tank Warfare. 1939-1945 FILE: R3276 AUTHOR: Simon Forty, Jonathan Forty PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, panzer force, armoured fighting vehicles, AFV, gun tanks, assault tanks, special duty tanks, armoured half tracks, SPA, Self Propelled Artillery, Tank Killers, wheeled armour, reconnaissance, close support aircraft, anti-tank guns, anti-tank aircraft, rockets, missiles, armoured personnel carriers, universal carriers ISBN: 1-52676-7672-7 PAGES: 208, high photographic content IMAGE: B3276.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yyrw65hc LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The authors provide solid, well-researched text so that this is not a photo-essay, but it is extensively illustrated with a fine selection of images. The authors have covered their subject extremely well and comprehensively. – Most Highly Recommended
The very high photographic count at first glance makes this book like a photo essay but there is excellent text and expressive captions and extended captions. The images include many rare and not previously published photographs and drawings.
WWII saw considerable functional development of armour, and the associated tactics to fully exploit it. Progress was not confined to the ground. What dramatically changed armoured vehicles was that fast all-arms units were equipped largely with armoured vehicles but also supported by semi-armoured and soft skin vehicles to ensure the vital resupply of ammunition and fuel was able to keep up with the rapid advances made by the armour. For the first time, armies were able to send their forward units deep into enemy territory, by-passing strong points, with conventional forces following on and neutralizing the strong points to protect lines of supply.
Aircraft in the early days of rapid German advances and victories were largely German aircraft, designs optimised for working closely with fast moving armoured columns. The medium bomber could take out enemy supply lines and concentrations of troops and vehicles, easing pressure on the advancing armour, with the close air support being provided largely by dive bombers. As the war progressed, the increasing importance of armour led to both sides developing aircraft with anti-tanks guns to take out enemy armour and the British, in particular, built close support aircraft armed with cannons and unguided missiles that circled over the battle on the ground, to take out targets of opportunity, or respond to army calls for support. Coupled with air superiority from D-Day, the Allies were able to neutralize large parts of the German Panzer Divisions making it very hard for them to move in daylight.
The weight, speed, armour and primary weapons increased steadily through WWII. There was also considerable development of ammunition and gunsights, changing the capability of armoured vehicles considerably.
The Germans made the greatest advances from an initially weak position. Their main armoured vehicles were really reconnaissance and training vehicles, with medium speed, thin armour and very weak gun armament in one-man turrets. By the end of WWII German tanks were technically superior, when they worked. By that point of the war these sophisticated designs were rushed into combat in inadequate numbers and, once in the field, were frequently short of fuel, spares and ammunition. The Allies certainly made notable technical advances but started from a stronger base, as demonstrated at Arras when the British made a special effort to delay the Germans and give British and French troops time to reach Dunkirk and be taken off the beaches by an armada of small boats. It was shown that British and French armour was technically superior at that point when collected in adequate numbers for a mass attack.
WWII saw the gun tank evolve from a slow moving, heavy armoured infantry tank, to a Main Battle Tank with advanced optics and communications supporting large coordinated action and high accuracy shooting, including shooting on the move. Most of the functionality of a modern MBT had been developed by 1944.
The authors have provided a balanced review of the development of tank warfare. A very worthy addition to the libraries of professionals, enthusiasts and new comers to military history.