Cromwell vs Jagdpanzer IV...

...Normandy 1944, a new book from Osprey Publishing

Title: Cromwell vs Jagdpanzer IV, Normandy 1944

Author: David R. Higgins

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2586-5

A new addition to Osprey's 'Duel' series, number 86 in fact.  This one compares the Cromwell tank as used in Normandy by both British and Polish armoured units against the Jagdpanzer IV tank hunter.  It deals with the combats these two weapons were involved in during the Normandy campaign, when the Cromwell was largely the attacker and the Jagdpanzer IV was fighting from defensive positions.  The Jagdpanzer was present in Normandy in two particular versions, with the shorter barrelled 75mm L/48 as well as the longer barrelled L/70.

This well written book starts out with the design and development stories of both vehicle types.  It then moves on to the Technical Specifications of both, tackling them from the three key elements of AFV design, of Armament, Protection and Mobility.  This section does include details of the different ammunition rounds each used.  This is followed by a chapter which considers the Combatants, their different training, organisations and tactics.  This chapter also includes some of Osprey's fine artwork, showing cutaway images of the respective fighting compartments. Next is the Strategic Situation in Normandy in 1944, following the invasion and this in turn is followed by looking at the actual Combat situations that occurred.  These include Operation Perch, the Jerusalem Crossroads, fighting for Tilly-sur-Seulles, and then Breakout and Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil.  The book is then rounded off by an Analysis of both vehicle types and at the very end, Aftermath, how the lessons played out.

Throughout the book the text is accompanied by appropriate archive photos, some helpful maps and a series of typical Osprey colour artwork, including the cutaway-fighting compartments, ammunition rounds, a typical Normandy scene and even the comparative views through Cromwell and Jagdpanzer gunsights.  I think this is one of my favourites of Osprey's Duel series to date.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.

Robin