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Content. The Tiger and King Tiger tanks gained legendary status during World War II. Numerous tank commanders attained phenomenal numbers of kills and accomplished extraordinary feats during combat in these tanks, increasing the legend to near mythic proportions after the war. By the end of the war, the Germans created eleven Army and three Waffen-SS heavy tank battalions. These heavy tank battalions were employed in nearly every part of Europe against almost every enemy of Germany. As vast in breadth and scope as the employment of Tiger battalions themselves, this book provides historical examples and analysis of heavy tank battalions? actions in North Africa, Normandy, Italy, the Ardennes Offensive, and numerous battles on the Eastern Front including Operation Zitadelle/the Battle of Kursk, Operation Bagration, the battle of the Cherkassy Pocket, late war attacks to relieve Budapest, and many other, more minor engagements.

Significance. Although a great deal has already been published about Tiger tanks' technical details and some of the units which used them, until now, very little has been written concerning the organization and tactical employment of these tanks throughout the German armed forces and across the theaters in which they were employed. Sledgehammers provides an in-depth look at heavy tank battalions? organizations and tactics, including the tactical doctrine by which these elite units were supposed to fight and how they were actually employed on the battlefield by their commanders and crews.

Even given the Tiger's reputation, many readers will be amazed by the fearsome casualties inflicted by the crews of many of these behemoth armored vehicles. It is safe to say that no other armored vehicle of the war wreaked as much havoc among enemy formations as Tigers. Many will, however, also find it equally stunning to learn of the Tigers? many technical and tactical vulnerabilities. Through the systematic use of extremely detailed primary source and other research, Sledgehammers demolishes several major myths about Tigers in World War II. Most readers will be shocked by the actual casualties inflicted by Allied tactical aircraft (far fewer than many think!); the loss rate of Tigers to mechanical failures (always high, and sometimes decisively so); the widespread use?and consequent high losses?of Tigers in mine clearing operations (even when they were critically needed for other operations); and much more.

Meticulously researched and written with the respect for Tiger crews and the insights that only a professional tanker can bring to the subject, Sledgehammers synthesizes information to provide new and definitive perspectives into the strengths and flaws of World War II?s most feared and legendary tanks.

  Sledgehammers
Strengths and Flaws of Tiger Tank Battalions in World War II
by Christopher Wilbeck
  • Prologue by Tiger Ace Otto Carius
  • Epilogue by Tiger Killers Viktor Iskrov and Ray Holt
  • 35 original maps
  • 42 photos
  • 272 pages; extensive chapter end notes
  • Soft Cover, 6" x 9" format
  • ISBN 10: 0-9717650-2-2
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-9717650-2-3

$19.95 Retail
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