Written by Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle, this book sets to clearly define every technical aspect of the Tiger tank ranging from its early years to its last days in the Second World War.
Tom Jentz was born in 1946 and is one of the World’s leading AFV researchers and is best known for the Encyclopedia of German Tanks. Tom currently lives in Maryland with his German wife and two children.
Hilary Louis Doyle was born in 1943 and has written numerous books on AFV’s including the Encyclopedia of German Tanks. Hilary lives in Dublin with his wife and three children.
This book is No.5 in the Osprey Publishing Series. It is beautifully illustrated with original black and white photographs as well artistic depictions of the various models of the Tiger tank throughout the Second World War. There are nine primary chapters (including the introduction and reference sections) and each one deals with a particular aspect of the tiger ranging from its design to its operational history. This 48 page book provides concise and detailed accounts of all aspects of the Tiger tank throughout its operational history as well highlighting the various changes made to it throughout the war.
It is obvious that an extensive amount of research was performed on this aspect of the German war machine as the authors’ dwelve into such great level of detail that one can easily be lost in the technical details presented in this book. It is with this in mind that this book appears to be more focused on readers that have had some prior knowledge of the Tiger Tank and its purpose during the war.
The book consists on the following chapters:
2. Design and Development
3. Production History
4. Production Modifications
7. Battlefield Survivability
8. Operational History
9. The Plates
The authors begin a brief introduction on the Tiger before moving onto one of the bigger chapters in the book, Design and Development. In the second chapter, which readers would probably find most interesting is the events that took placed in creating the first few prototypes of the initial Tiger productions. The authors compliment this section very well with black and white photographs with ample narrations explaining its various development stages.
Another interesting chapter that simply leaves one in amazement are the comparisons and statistics made between various tanks used in the Second World War. The chapter on Firepower simply highlights the ingenious and superiority of the German developers and designers. In this section, there are several armor penetration tables that compare the Tiger tank with the Allies’ Churchill, Sherman and T-34/85 tanks. These tables highlight how little effect a single Sherman tank had on the tiger tanks and answers the eternal question on which was the best tank utilised in World War II. The chapter on its operational history is probably most relevant to scale modellers who are looking to clearly find the distinct differences in the various Tiger tanks used in various parts of the war. The graphical illustrations created by Peter Sarson provides the reader with a clearer picture on how each tank was modified by displaying a front, side and rear profile of each version. For further authenticity and clarity, Peter Sarson also included the insignia for each tank variation that was described in the earlier chapters.
This book caters very well for all readers wanting to gain a more indepth knowledge of the superior Tiger tanks especially if authenticity in scale modelling is your cup of tea. Be prepared to be somewhat overwhelmed with detailed analysis on different areas of the vehicle and constantly having to refer to the graphical depictions to reconcile the descriptions. It is clearly obvious that the authors have an in-depth knowledge on the topic and reinforces this fact with ample technical data to go with its descriptions.
Overall it was an enjoyable reading experience and has certainly provided a good level of enlightenment on the topic of Tiger tanks. After reading this book, it is hard not to gain new levels of respect and admiration for this instrument of war as it was clearly before its time and justifies the fear that it instills into its enemies purely based on its appearance on the battlefield.
This book is a must have for all avid modellers of the Tiger tank regardless of the scale. It provides a ‘one stop shop’ resource for anyone wanting to find out the details of the Tiger Heavy tank and the differences between the variations throughout the Second World War.
I first started modelling at the age of 14 years old where i mainly constructed 1/72 scale planes and was exclusively painting them using a paint brush as i couldnt afford anything more than that. After which i took a 12 year break before resuming back to modelling more serious...