Hitler’s Tank Destroyers

Hitler’s Tank Destroyers

Paul Thomas
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
This book is in glossy ‘picture book style.’ It comprises a series of a few hundred images of various self-propelled anti-tank guns , each image with a written detailed description. The images appear to have been taken by German soldiers and not ‘official German army photographs,’ therefore some , though interesting are of a lower quality. Most of the images which deal mainly with the Russian Front, shows the great expense that Germany went through to counter the Russian T34. The German tank destroyers where constantly being upgraded with thicker armour and bigger gun calibres, eventually by late 1944 they were merely ‘Mobile artillery pieces.’ though they were still dedicated anti-tank vehicles. They were various types with varying tasks, they could destroy tanks, as well as provide shell fire for supporting the infantry.

The types of anti-tank vehicles were: Panzerjager 1, Sturmgeschutze, Marders, Nashorn, Hetzer, Jagdpanzer, Elefant, Jagdtiger 1V and Jagpanther. Mostly the types of vehicles were formed into units of ‘Tank killing’ companies, eventually formed into battalions, all armed with variants of the vehicles listed.

The author is to be commended for his detailed description regarding each type of vehicle, and the dates of introduction, types of ammo and the number and type of rounds carried by different anti-tank vehicles. I was surprised to read that these vehicles after mid war modification could hit a T34 up to 2000 metres distance.

The Russian front was certainly not a pleasant place to be. The extreme cold can be seen on the faces of many of the crews. Gun turrets were open at the top and the rear, and that’s where they lived and fought, often in the very bitter Russian winter. The losses to Germany in men and materials are shown regarding various battles, right up to the Battle for Berlin, it was a massive price to have to pay.

It is certainly an interesting book, it would be of particular interest for the ‘Tankies and ex-Tankies’ among us, they of all would find it of most interest.

I believe this is perhaps the only study of its kind outside of Germany, it is both detailed and informative, I award it five stars.

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