Book Alert: Panzerkampfwagen IV: The Backbone of Germany’s WWII Tank Forces

A new entry in the Legend of Warfare: Ground Forces series on the German Panzer IV tank has been released.  Written by David Doyle, Panzerkampfwagen IV: The Backbone of Germany’s WWII Tank Forces (Legends of Warfare: Ground Forces) is published by Schiffer Military History and is a 112 page hardcover.

Publishers Description:

The Panzerkampfwagen IV, or Panzer IV as it is more popularly known, formed the backbone of Germany’s tank formations during WWII. With production totaling more than 8,500, the Panzer IV was the most plentiful German tank of the war, and the only German tank that remained in production for the duration of the conflict. Through more than 180 photos, this volume chronicles the design, development, and operational deployment of this ubiquitous German tank. This material is arranged in nine chapters, each focusing on a specific production model (Ausführung) of the tank. Comprehensive tables reveal the details of the performance and technical specifications of each variant. A concise, easy to read text, and detailed photographic captions expose the secrets of this iconic tank.

Book Alert: The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 2: 1942–45

Osprey Publishing has released a follow-up book to Thomas Anderson’s History of the Panzerwaffe.  This new book, The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 2: 1942–45 covers the later half of the Second World War.  Unlike the slender softcover series books that they are mainly known for, this Osprey offering is a 304 page hardcover.  Thomas Anderson is a German researcher of armored vehicle history, having written several Osprey titles on German WWII armor.

Publishers Description:

The final years of World War II saw the legendary Panzerwaffe face its most difficult challenges, with Allied troops landing at Normandy and storming across the continent, and the Russians gaining the upper hand on the Eastern Front. As Germany fought fiercely to hold on to the advantages gained in the early years, they relied heavily on the Panzer IV, the Panzer V Panther, and the StuG III–the backbone of their infamous armored divisions–to hold back their advancing opponents. This second volume on the Panzerwaffe offers a comprehensive guide to the final years of Germany’s most famous fighting force, covering the further use of the Panzer IV, the role played by the StuG III assault gun, and the battlefield debut of the formidable Panther. Explosive combat reports and rare archive photographs help uncover the final years of the Panzers, from their defense against the D-Day landings and the role they played in the Ardennes Offensive, to their valiant last stand in Berlin.

Book Alert: The Armor Journal #5

Armor Journal 5The fine folks over at The Armor Journal have released their fifth issue.  This new issue is available now for download or as a print copy starting on June 5.  The good news is that print editions are now only $9.95 plus shipping or $8.50 plus shipping if pre-ordered now.  Issue 5 contains a variety of articles covering AFV history, both early and modern, as well as some pieces aimed at the model building community, book reviews, letters to the Editor and readers submissions.

Those interested in early AFV history will enjoy the article on the pre-WWII Vickers Six Ton Tank by Peter Brown as well as the Yuri Pasholok article on British Infantry tanks in Soviet service during WWII.  Those interested in more recent history will enjoy the article by Mason Pacek on the Battle for Baghdad.  For those into model building, Chris Medding’s opinion piece “Rivet Counters” and Don Haney’s  description of his model of the US Abrams tank “All Bout Da Bones” will be good reading.

If you would like to read this issue and support the fine work being done by Alex at The Armor Journal, please purchase a copy at their website here.

Book Alert: Sabers through the Reich

For those interested in WWII armored cavalry, there is a new book titled Sabers through the Reich: World War II Corps Cavalry from Normandy to the Elbe by William Stuart Nance.  This is a hardcover volume of 356 pages published by the University Press of Kentucky.  The forward is written by well known military historian Robert Citino.

Publishers Description:

Before the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944, their aerial reconnaissance discovered signs of German defenses on the Îles St. Marcouf. From these two coastal islands, German artillery could bombard the 4th US Infantry Division and repulse a crucial thrust of Operation Overlord. With the fate of the war on the line, the 4th Mechanized Cavalry Group navigated the islands’ minefields and reported no trace of German soldiers. Their rapid and accurate intelligence gave the Allies the necessary time and concentration of forces for the D-Day invasion to succeed.

In Sabers through the Reich, William Stuart Nance provides the first comprehensive operational history of American corps cavalry in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during World War II. The corps cavalry had a substantive and direct impact on Allied success in almost every campaign, serving as offensive guards for armies across Europe and conducting reconnaissance, economy of force, and security missions, as well as prisoner of war rescues. From D-Day and Operation Cobra to the Battle of the Bulge and the drive to the Rhine, these groups had the mobility, flexibility, and firepower to move quickly across the battlefield, enabling them to aid communications and intelligence gathering and reducing the Clausewitzian friction of war.

Book Alert: World War II German Motorized Infantry & Panzergrenadiers (Elite)

Osprey Publishing has released a new entry in their “Elite” series, World War II German Motorized Infantry & Panzergrenadiers (Elite) by Nigel Thomas and illustrated by Johnny Shumate.  This is a softcover book of 64 pages in the standard Osprey format.

Publishers Description:

In World War II Germany’s doctrine of mobile warfare dominated the battlefield. By trial and error, the Germans were the first to correctly combine the strength in tanks and in mobile infantry and artillery. This integration of mobile units, equipment, and tactics underpinned Germany’s successes in the first half of the war. As the war dragged on, the Allies sought to copy German tactics but German armies remained supreme in this type of warfare until their losses had seriously degraded their capabilities.

This study traces the development of the different types of units that came together in the Panzergrenadier branch from the interwar years through World War II. Using color photographs to display the changes in uniform, equipment, and insignia in all theaters of operations throughout the conflict, this is a complete account of Hitler’s elite armored infantry.

Book Alert: Centurion Main Battle Tank: 1946 to present

Haynes has published a new entry in their series of owners workshop manuals on tanks titled Centurion Main Battle Tank: 1946 to present (Owners’ Workshop Manual).  This new book explores the British Centurion Main Battle Tank.   Written by Simon Dunston, this is a hardcover book of 160 pages with numerous color photos, charts and images.

Publishers Description:

First trialled in Europe in the spring of 1945, but formally introduced into British Army service in December 1946, not only is the Centurion one of the most important tanks in the history of the British armoured fighting vehicle (AFV), but it is also one of the most significant post-war Western tanks. Between 1946 and 1962, 4,423 Centurions were built in 13 basic marks and numerous variants, with the chassis also adapted for several other AFV roles. A small number of the Beach Armoured Recovery Version (BARV) served with the British forces during the Iraq War of 2003, some 58 years after the Centurion first entered service! The Centurion has seen extensive combat in the Korean War (Britain), Vietnam (Australia), the Middle East (Israel) in the 1967 Six Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon, and in the Indo-Pakistan War (India) in 1965 where it fought against US-supplied M47 and M48 Patton tanks.

Book Alert: Early US Armor: Tanks 1916–40 (New Vanguard)

It’s a double dose of Steven Zaloga today for those that collect Osprey Books titles.  In addition to his new Duel book on the BT-7 and Pz 38, today also saw the release of his new title in the New Vanguard Series: Early US Armor: Tanks 1916–40 (New Vanguard).  This book follows the same format as other New Vanguard titles, being a softcover of 48 pages.  Illustrations for this book are by Felipe Rodríguez Náñez (aka Felipe Rodna).

Publisher’s Description:

Between the two world wars, the United States contributed significantly to the evolution of the tank, a weapon invented by the British and the French seeking to break through the lines of German trenches. From the employment of the French Renault FT and British Mark V during their involvement in World War I, the United States branched out with its own indigenous designs, including the M1 Cavalry Car and the M2 Light and Medium tanks, the precursors to the Stuart and Grant tanks of World War II. Tank designers in this period faced unique challenges, and the story of early American armor is littered with failures among the successes.

Featuring previously unpublished photos and fully illustrated throughout, Early American Armor (1): Tanks 1916–40 is essential reading for anyone interested in American armor, or in the development of tank design.

Early US Armor: Tanks 1916–40 is available from Amazon here.