Osprey New Vanguard #1 King Tiger Heavy Tank
Authors: Tom Jentz, Hilary Doyle, Peter Sarson
Publisher: Osprey (Reeds International Books Ltd.) ISBN 1-85532-282-X
Price: $15 USD
Dimensions: 7" x 9.5", 48 Pages
The New Vanguard series of books concentrates on individual armour subjects, both modern and those from
World War II. A reincarnation of the original Vanguard books, these new titles present detailed development,
production and operational information in a concise, neat format. This coupled with excellent photographs, line
drawings and colour prints make them excellent reference titles for both modellers and historians.
The content of this book is primarily drawn from the information presented in Tom Jentz' "V.K.45.02 to Tiger II",
published by Schiffer. Note however, that this book was published in 1993, some four (4) years before the
Schiffer publication came out.
The book is broken into six (6) sections: Design and Development, Official Designations, Firepower, Mobility,
Battlefield Survivability and Operational History.
'Design and Development' covers tracks the development history of the Tiger II from the prototype stage to the
final production variant. Various topics covered include a brief analysis into the delays that plagued the design
team, the 'Porsche' turret vs the 'Henschel' turret, and a detailed description of the primary components of the
'Official Designations' covers variants to the original design, i.e. the Panzerbefehlswagen Tiger, and the production
history. This section is where the book really shines as it details the modifications made to the Tiger II, as they
were incorporated into the production shcedule, by month. Those of you who have read "V.K.45.02 to Tiger II"
will find this summary invaluable.
'Firepower' talks about the effectiveness of the 8.8cm Kw.K. 43 (L/71). Included are four (4) charts highlighting
the armour penetrating capabilities and the accuracy of this weapon.
'Mobility' briefly discusses field maneuverability of the Tiger II, providing some raw statistics and making reference
to field reports.
'Battlefield Survivability' reviews the effectiveness of the armour on the Tiger II. Three (3) charts are included
detailing the ranges at which Allied armour needed to engage the Tiger II in order to score a kill.
'Operational History' reviews the use of the Tiger II on both the West and East fronts, by unit.
Colour Plates and Line Drawings
There are eight (8) pages of colour plates, by Peter Sarson, including a two-page cut-out. All are of excellent
quality. One negative is that three pages are dedicated to vehicles from SS 501 during the Ardennes Offensive. I
would have rather seen more vehicles, from different units.
The line drawings, most of which can also be found in "V.K.45.02 to Tiger II", are simply superb, all being scaled
to 1:76. There are thirteen (13) individual drawings provided.
I highly recommend this book to any interested in the Tiger II. It provides an excellent summary of the
development, production and use of this vehicle. Coupled with outstanding colour plates and line drawings, it
provides a very complete picture of the Tiger II, at a very reasonable price.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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