Tigers in Combat III

Title:  Tigers in Combat III

Author: Wolfgang Schneider

Publisher:  Helion and Company

ISBN:  978-1-910777-97-8

 

A large format, hardback book and one I think I can say has immediately jumped to be among the top of my list for best books on the Tiger tank.  At an RRP of £69.75 this is not cheap, but with 1200 photos and drawings, plus the text that adds up to 520 pages, this is a heavyweight book to tackle a heavyweight tank.  The first two volumes covered Tiger unit histories, but this fills in the rest of the Tiger story and adds a level of detail which is absolutely fascinating

The book is divided into 5 main chapters, and each of these is further divided into multiple sub-sections.  The opening chapter deals with 'The Establishment and Structure of the Tiger Units'.  This contains a stack of detail on the creation of the units, but also has multiple data tables and pictorial representations of the structure of all the support units that enabled the Tiger units to operate.  These include maintenance, flak, reconnaissance, pioneer, supply, medical, ammunition supply and Staff Companies as well as the individual tank companies.  To go with these there are also plenty of photos illustrating the various vehicle types they used, not just the tanks.   This section also features some details and photos from the private collection of an engineer at the Henschel factory, most of which have not been published before. 

The second chapter looks at the Training provision for the Tiger units, which was extensive for these heavy tanks when they first came into service.  This includes details of the various training grounds and establishments, including maps and archive photos to illustrate the text.  It includes Leadership training, the special courses for Tiger crews at Paderborn as well as the Technical Trials unit at Senne.  These course covered weapons and equipment training as well as tank firing and combat training.

Chapter 3 adds even more background detail, detailing the operation tasks for the individual members of a Tiger crew, including Commander, Gunner, Loader, Driver and Radio Operator.  It also includes the maintenance tasks needed for the running gear, operational readiness and all the regular checks.  It even covers camouflage and markings.  Similar topics are included in chapter 4, with the Deployment of the Tiger rather than the live on the training ground.  It also features details of loading the Tigers for rail transport as well as river crossing.

The final chapter covers Tactics, and includes obvious things such as battle tactics, along with unit security, scouting, command and control, working in collaboration with other weapons systems, the effects of enemy weapons, recovery and evacuation plus an unusual but every bit as interesting, how the Tiger was used for propaganda purposes.  The book is rounded off with some amendments to volumes 1 and 2, and a list of references and manuals.  Illustrated throughout with some 1200 photos, all with helpful captioning and  many of them unseen before.  The stack of information held in this one is very detailed, and quite different from basic unit histories, this is more about what it took to enable the Tigers to get into action and how the crews actually operated them.  As I said at the start, not cheap but for anyone with an interest in the famous Tiger, historian, vehicle enthusiast or modeller, this is one I am sure you will want to add to your reference shelf.

Helion books are distributed in the UK by Casemate Books.

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Robin