Book Alert: Bazooka vs Panzer: Battle of the Bulge 1944

Osprey books has released a new entry in their Duel Series, this one titled Bazooka vs Panzer: Battle of the Bulge 1944 (Duel) by Steven Zaloga. As the title implies, this book looks at the contest between German armor and US infantry equipped with the M1 Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher, aka, the Bazooka during the December 1944 German offensive. Like the other books in this series, it is a softcover volume of 80 pages with color and black and white photos and illustrations.

Publishers Description:

World War II saw tanks assume a dominant role in warfare, capable of tearing through the enemy lines if left unchecked. To combat the threat posed by these armored behemoths, the United States developed the M1 Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher, better known as the Bazooka. First employed in combat during 1942, the weapon required a great deal of skill and courage to use effectively. By late 1944 it was a mainstay of the US infantry’s anti-tank capabilities, alongside towed weapons, anti-tank grenades, and other longer-established measures.

Focusing on the savage close-quarters fighting between Germany’s armored divisions and the US infantry during the Battle of the Bulge, Steven Zaloga’s absorbing study compares and assesses the strengths and limitations of the cutting-edge technology used by both sides. Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork and explosive battle reports, this volume casts a new light on the evolving nature of infantry-versus-tank combat in the closing months of World War II.

Bazooka vs Panzer: Battle of the Bulge 1944 is available from Amazon here.

Leon Kent, who helped stop a column of German tanks at Battle of the Bulge, dies at 99

ph0001001rThe LA Times is reporting that Silver Star recipient Leon Kent has passed away at the age of 99.  During the opening hours of the German offense commonly referred to as The Battle of the Bulge, Kent’s battery of 90mm anti-aircraft guns had knocked out five tanks, including on King Tiger tank over a two hour period.  Kent and three other men in his battery received the Silver Star for their actions, although Kent did not receive his award until 1998 due to “lost paperwork.”

Kent related a detailed account of his experiences during the Battle of the Bulge in an interview in 2003 for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.   Audio of the interview as well as photos and a history of the 143rd AAA Gun Battalion are available from the Veterans History Project here.  The parts of the interview relating to the destruction of the German tanks is posted below. [Read more…]