Thursday 24 November 2011

Heavy Reading

In eager anticipation of my trip to the Tank Museum in March for Tiger Day I'm reading as much as I can about the Pzkpfw VI Ausf E, otherwise known as the Tiger I. My aim is to be able to hold an intelligent conversation with my fellow Premium Ticket holder guests at this event without sounding like a complete noob. With this in mind I've just read back to back two excellent books about the Tiger. The two books complement each other perfectly so here's a very brief review.

Tanks in Detail : Tiger I and II by Terry J Gander and published by Ian Allen Publishing is very much in the style of an osprey guide. Its the same size so will fit nicely with your collection on the shelves. This is a 96 page soft-cover book with illustrations and black and white photos throughout. The opening section of the book covers the development of the Tiger in great detail and looks at the various designs by the two main competitors Henschel and Porsche. There are further sections looking at the transmission, suspension, engine, cooling and armament of the winning Henschel design.

This book highlights many of the unique an innovative design features incorporated into the Panzer VI but also discusses the many features based on existing and sometimes outdated ideas from other tanks. The flaws of the Tiger I seem to have been many and varied and it took several years of combat experience driven improvements to rectify them. This book also includes information about some of the Tiger based variants that came into service such as the Sturmtiger and the Bergepanzer Tiger. Overall I thought this was an excellent introduction to the Tiger I and II.

Osprey (New Vanguard) Tiger I Heavy Tank is written by Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle and although slimmer than the tanks in Detail book (its just 48 Pages) it is beautifully illustrated with a series of full colour drawings. These pictures show not only the many small technical changes and improvements but also some of the wide variety of German camouflage schemes.

This is a much more technical book with a whole section devoted to detailing the many small changes the design went through during its production. But despite this the book is not purely a set of statistics and numbers and dates like so many guides I have read in the past.

I think both these books work very well together and provide the reader with an excellent introductory guide to the Tiger Tank. Both books contained details that would be useful to the wargamer and painter although the colour plates does give the Osprey the edge as you would expect.


  1. Nothing says Germany WW2 quite like the Tiger tank. I'm totally envious of your Tiger Day and hope you have a blast mate.

  2. My favourite WW2 contest.

  3. ...and put Pink Floyd's 'When The Tigers Broke Free" on the stereo as well! :-)


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