- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Zenith Press; First edition (July 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0760340781
- ISBN-13: 978-0760340783
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,089,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tiger Tank Manual: Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger 1 Ausf.E (SdKfz 181) Model Hardcover – July 15, 2011
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About the Author
David Fletcher is the Tank Museum librarian, prolific author, and a world expert on tanks. He will write the historical part of the manual. Other museum volunteers who have been closely involved in the Tiger 131’s restoration to running order will write the technical element of the manual.
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In this, I think they succeed. Most of this book is about the only "runner" Tiger tank in the world. Captured by the British in WW2, much is known about the tank. David Fletcher gives a nice, concise history of the development of the Tiger. A lot of this book centers on the restoration of Tiger 131. Many of the excellent color photos here can be found on line, some of the B&W photos have been published before, as have the original British 3-D cut away drawings of the interior of the Tiger's layout, but these cutaways are larger than previous versions and one in color. Color photos of the interior restored Tiger make this a very good book. For those who love engineering, there are cutaway color diagrams of the transmission, fuel pumps, clutch, and starter.
One thing I did not like - the product description by the publisher states that "Tiger Tank Manual gives an insight into acquiring, owning, and operating one of these awesome fighting vehicles". Only a few sentences cover acquiring or ownership - it basically says forget it. Only six survive now and it is unlikely any of the 1,354 made will be discovered.
Having said that, operating the tank is described well, from the complexity of starting it, to maintaining it and keeping it in running condition. Driving, loading, gunning and commanding the tank, the armor, 88mm cannon, ammunition are covered well. Eperiences of German tankers are included, tanking is hard work. The authors bust one myth of the Tiger's reputation for poor mobility by showing its ground pressure and HP to weight ratio compared to the Sherman and T-34. If driven with care and experience, it did well despite the weight.
So, who should buy this book? As a modeler, not so much. It does have a good description of German camouflage paint used in WW2, but no diagrams showing different patterns. If you already own Jentz's, Speilbergers, Osprey, In Action, Michael Green's books, then you are a Tiger junkie and should buy this. Treadheads and Armor addicts will like this. It is a very nice supplement to those other works. For the price, it's an excellent primer, high quality hardbound book. Even as a fan of the Tiger, I found or relearned new insights into this Tank. For a primer, five stars. Overall, four and a half stars.
I'm sure this isn't the "definitive" work on the Tiger I, but for a $17 novelty book, it delivers much more than I'd expected it to.
I purchased a series of books by Doyle et. al. about the Tiger and while they are informative I do not find them as visually or technically impressive as this work. If you are planning on or are modeling the Tiger 1 then I highly recommend this book.
The history of this tank is very interesting. There is a lot of great information about its capture, evaluation, display, restoration and operation. Winston Churchill actually visited this tank! Too cool.
Seriously, this is a modeler's friend, or perhaps the book of knowledge about the Tiger E that you always wanted without all the technical jargon in German... ITs all in Englanderish.