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...TankCraft 42, from Pen & Sword

Title: Jagdtiger
Author: Dennis Oliver
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-39903-380-0

This is number 42 in the popular TankCraft series of books from Pen & Sword, and another from author Dennis Oliver. A large format, 64-page soft-cover book, covering this late war German army heavy tank destroyer in use on the Western Front in 1945.
The book follows the now standard format for these TankCraft books, opening with the details of the various combat units which operated the Jagdtiger, and their service stories. The Jagdtiger shared many components with the King Tiger, but while the Tiger mounted a powerful 88mm gun, the slightly longer hulled Jagdtiger had the much larger 128mm main gun, in a thickly armoured fixed casemate. This was the most powerful main gun used in WW2 but the vehicles only entered service in 1945, the final year of the war. Only 82 were built, and tables list each individual vehicle, which type of suspension they were fitted with, which unit they were allocated to and whether or not they were completed. This is followed by 10 pages of fine colour profiles to illustrate the camouflage and markings used on these heavy tank hunters. Next is a Modellers Showcase, featuring 5 expertly built models, one being the the large 1/16 kit from Trumpeter, the remainder all 1/35 models. After this there is the usual list of model products, telling us about the various kits on the market, from 1/16, through 1/35, 1/48 and 1/72 scales. That brings us back to the study of the real thing, with Technical Details and Modification which highlights the many individual differences between individual examples and when these were introduced. To close out the book there are diagrams to illustrate the different unit structures.
While some original records did not survive the chaotic times of the end of the war, the surviving photographs of these giants have allowed much of the detail to be worked out. The author is quite plain on what is backed up by clear evidence, and how some elements have been worked out from what records/photos have survived. Another good reference for WW2 armour enthusiasts, while being especially useful for modellers and wargamers. The TankCraft series has developed very nicely and author Dennis Oliver has done another good job and this one, as well as the earlier titles in the series which he has written.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.


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