Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, TankCraft 31

...The Last battles in the East, 1945

Title: Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, TankCraft 31
Author: Dennis Oliver
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52679-122-1

Another new addition to the TankCraft series, number 31 tackles the two Tiger variants as used by both the German Army & SS units in the Last Battles in the East, 1945. Following on from his earlier books in this series, author Dennis Oliver has done a very nice job with this one, tackling specifically the last year of the war, while adding more information and modelling ideas for the various units which operated the Tiger even as the war was coming to an end.
As explained in the introductory text, the Tiger 1 had ceased production in late 1944, so it was th surviving examples that remained in service, plus newer builds of the Tiger II. That's followed by a chronological series of events involving the Tiger units from January 1945, through to the end of the war. There is also a useful map to help set the scene. The organisation of the Wehrmacht heavy panzer (schwere Panzer-Abteilung) units also had to change and these newer units are detailed along with organisation charts where possible, along with the combat story of each one. As ever, there are plenty of archive photos to illustrate examples of the Tigers, though most are knocked out. Priorities for photos of German units in action at this stage in the war had changed somewhat. Then 10-pages of excellent colour profiles illustrate plenty of examples that modellers might like to try. These are followed by 3 equally excellent Model Showcases, with a 1/48 Tiger I by Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz, a 1/35 Tiger II Ausf B from Lester Plaskitt and another 1/35 Tiger II Ausf B with beautifully modelled interior detail from Xuan Ha. Following the usual format, then we get to details of various Model Products, including kits and a variety of extra detailing sets you can find on the market. That takes us into the final elements, with the details of the late unit formations and special units created in the final stages of the war, along with the SS units that operated the Tigers at the end. The final section gives some very useful details of the assortment of technical changes that identify the particular versions of the later Tigers in service.
This adds very nicely to the previous books on the Tiger which are already in the TankCraft series and gives plenty to interest the panzer historian and the modeller especially.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.

Robin