Ah, tanks—who can resist their charms? This well-written and handy little book is the first in a two-part series focusing on tanks used in the desperate final conquest of Germany in 1945. This volume focuses on the Western Front, while the second part will focus on the Eastern Front.
As one might expect, the book provides many technical details and specifications of the various tanks used in action from the combatant nations represented; these details won’t be lost on those seeking to understand more about the relative strengths and weaknesses of various tanks in battle.
It also provides numerical reference points about how many tanks were used by whom and where, including the U.S. Army, British and Canadian forces (including Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s 21st Army Group) and the German Wehrmacht. The book also describes succinctly and chronologically the operations that took place during that period of the war.
However, what this reviewer most appreciated about the book is the author’s birds-eye emphasis on how the tanks were actually used. Taking a close look at the different approaches of the various nations to tank warfare doctrine and organization, in addition to the unique characteristics of tanks used by various armies, Zaloga successfully provides a “bigger picture” focus on tank warfare during this time period which is lacking in many technical books about armored vehicles, and which readers will likely find very informative and interesting.
Additionally, for those of us who like to admire images of tanks and armored vehicles, the book is richly illustrated with many good photographs as well as some fine color artwork showing camouflage paint variations, plus some digitally recreated scenes of tanks in action.
If you like tanks or want to study the use of armor on World War II battlefields in closer detail, then this is one you can’t miss.