German Armour Lost on the Western Front...


...a new Images of War book from Pen and Sword


Title: German Armour Lost on the Western Front

Author: Bob Carruthers

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-47386-852-6

The topic of wrecked armour has been quite a popular one for some years now, and one of two new titles in the Images of War series by Pen and Sword to cover the topic.  Author Bob Carruthers has put together an interesting selection of pictures that illustrate a great variety of knocked out German AFVs.  One of the  things I find interesting about these is the story behind them.  Some are simply the result of combat while others are the results of mechanical breakdown, or running out of fuel and then being disabled/destroyed with demolition charges and some devastated by air attack.  While I retain a fascination for the machines themselves, some of the photos have a stark reminder or two about the fates of their crews.

The 144-page paperback begins with 4 pages of introductory text and then followed by an extensive selection of archive photos.  The coverage includes wrecks seen in Sicily and Italy as well as those in France and Western Europe, through to the final stages within Germany itself.  They are all from the second half of the war, from 1943 through to 1945.   Some of the pictures in the book have been seen in other publications before but the majority were new to me, especially those in Italy and Sicily.  The vehicles illustrated include an interesting mix of types, from Panzer III and IV, as well as numerous Panthers, Tigers and King Tigers.  Alongside these are half tracks, plenty of Stugs, Jagdpanzer, Flakpanzers and assorted Marder variants among others.  The conditions vary from Italian sunshine to the winter snow of the Ardennes.  Many of the pictures also demonstrate the fascination these wrecks held for the Allied troops who found them along their route.

For the modeller there is plenty of information to interest them as not only do we get to see the effects of different kinds of damage, including fire,  but the more extensive damage, such as the complete roof of a Stug blown off, exposing the detail of the interior.  Added to this for the diorama builder, the situation of the surroundings.  In towns and villages, forests or open fields, there are lots of ideas.

A fine illustration of the vulnerabilities of the tank in the last half of WW2 which holds lots for anyone with an interest in the evolution of the tank in battle.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.