The Tiger 1, a very good example of German technology development during the Second World War needs no introduction to scale modellers. This is one of the most frequently built subjects and it seems that it has been researched all around and almost everything was noted. However, the tanks were often adjusted in the field workshops and by the crews making the search for information an interesting process especially for that kind of modellers that like to have accurate models. Clearly, private collections of images contain a lot of information to be discovered and it is good to see them coming sorted and decoded by experts on the subject.
Tiger 1 on the Battlefield is a new book from PeKo publishing that is a part of their “World War Two photobook series”, and it brings a lot of fruitful material for modellers and armoured vehicles history enthusiasts.
Similar to previous volumes it is a landscape A4 book with a hard cover. Authored by Chris Brown it has total 112 pages that contain 105 photographs. The text is written in English and Hungarian. After obligatory acknowledgements the author gives an outline of Tiger 1 development, production differences and field modifications. The information is provided in short format, however it contains all the key points. Moreover, Chris Brown briefly covers the battle deployment of Tiger 1 and explains the allocation of Tigers to heavy tank battalions together with markings specific for Tiger 1 tanks.
After that, the main content starts – black and white photographs of Tiger 1 tanks. The images are mostly from private collections and many of them are new to me, while a certain amount were taken from archives and could have been observed on the internet before but in lower quality and size. Photographs follow the production type of Tiger 1 tanks and units. To begin with, there is the very first Tiger at the German weapons research facility, followed by Tiger number 2, which would later be sent to North Africa. Importantly, the key features are highlighted in the captions if you would like to build that particular variant.
Next the author transfers us to cold winter 1942-43 on the Eastern Front and here we have Tigers in action as well as the one that was captured by the Red Army and used for tests afterwards. Then we move to various places across the Eastern Front, including one of the most massive battles – Kursk. Tigers are shown being maintained by the crew, transported in railcars, standing in the field, at rest, during combat, damaged and destroyed. At a certain point the Tigers used in Italy join the exhibition and then the heavy tank battalions from Normandy are shown. Almost all captions contain unit ID and the text points out specific modifications that were characteristic for a particular unit or battle group. A variety of camouflages and markings are also highlighted. The printing quality allows you to distinguish the described features and this can be a very good guide for a modelling project, especially when several photographs of the same tank are presented.
Altogether Tiger 1 on the Battlefield is a very welcome publication, which will certainly be interesting for those collecting information about the Tiger 1 tank. Personally, I am looking forward to new volumes from PeKo publishing. Their books are now getting better worldwide distribution, and of course it is possible to order directly.
Disclaimer: the images for that review have been taken from PeKo publishing Facebook page to prevent leakage of book content.
Highs: good resolution of most of the images, some rare photographs presented, vehicles sorted according to the units they belonged to.Lows: Particular versions of the Tiger tank (early, mid, late) is not always clearly mentioned in the caption under the photograph but it is easy to find it out if you follow the layout and introductory information. Verdict: highly recommended