This book about the Tiger tank, the most famous of all WWII tanks, is quite short at 128 pages but contains within an excellent overview of this weapon of war. The author covers the German Army's design requirements for a “heavy” battle tank as well as the development, construction and deployment of this key armored fighting vehicle (AFV). The author reviews all of the key campaigns where the tank was utilized; its effectiveness on the battlefield; its weaknesses; and its highly-regarded lethal reputation. From its initial inauspicious debut in September of 1942 on the Eastern front
(where four Tigers were deployed in a swampy forested terrain totally unsuited to its capabilities but insisted upon by Hitler) to its use in trying to stem the tide of the allied invasion of Normandy, the Tiger’s impact on the battlefield is told in a clear and easy-to-read format.
The book covers all the variations of the tank as well as graphs depicting how many “kills” each Tiger tank commander is credited. These Tiger tank commanders were much like their U Boat commander counterparts, their skills and exploits renowned throughout Germany. Perhaps the greatest takeaway from reading this book is how few of the massive tanks were actually built and how few were ever engaged in battle at any given time. Their fearsome reputation so preceded them and their capabilities were so vast that just a handful of these tanks could
instill fear and panic in any army having to face them.
There are numerous books about this tank that go into much greater detail, but for a reader who might not be a military history buff or just has a casual interest about WWII, this book provides a great understanding of this key weapon. The book is generously populated with both photos and accurate drawings showing the various models and configurations of the Tiger. The photos showing the construction of the tank are especially prized and interesting.
This book won't make someone an expert on the Tiger tank, but it will give the reader a very good understanding of the power and fear this tank invoked on the battlefield.
Perhaps the fear and respect this tank created is best reflected by its most famous campaign: Operation Citadel, the battle of the Kursk Salient of July 1943. The Russians proclaimed there were more Tiger tanks destroyed than the Germans had in operation in the entire German army. This really shows that to kill a Tiger was the highest accomplishment on the battlefield, and to the Russian forces every German tank destroyed was a Tiger. The book is a simple read and well worth the price of purchase.