Rudolf Steiger The author, a historian and former Swiss Armoured Corp officer, uses primary documents to describe tank tactics during the first two years of World War II, a period in which armour was employed in the Polish, Western and Russian campaigns. The first year of 'Operation Barbarossa' is examined in great detail using the files of the second Panzer Army whose commander, Guderian, who has been called the father of the German armoured force.
'Stop! Don't be put off by the title! Behind it lies a little treasure trove... This is a stimulating book for anyone with an interest in armoured warfare, past or present. ... it is meticulously researched and sourced, and gives the reader the feeling of actually being present on the battlefield.' Guards Magazine
Part 1 General survey: tanks as auxiliary weapons; the German tank divisions; the experiences of two campaigns - the Polish campaign, the Western campaign; operation Barbarossa. Part 2 Armour on the offensive: hammerblows on weak front sectors; the use of surprise; the tank attack at night; the demoralization of the enemy; panzer commanders lead from the front. Part 3 The encirclement of the enemy: deep thrust with unprotected flanks; tanks in the rear of the enemy; envelopment and encirclement; the phenomenon of the moving pocket. Part 4 Armour and infantry: co-operation is imperative; misuse of armour or overstretching the infantry; the armoured infantry. Part 5 Armour and drawn artillery: waiting for the artillery; direct fire against tanks; the smoke-mortar units. Part 6 The armoured engineers: mined advance routes; mine damage; armoured engineers to the head of the attack; the achievements of the armoured engineers. Part 7 The perfect pair - tank and aeroplane: air supremecy; if there is no air support; the reconnaissance aircraft. Part 8 Tank against tank: there is no ideal tank; successes in the West in 1940; crisis in the East in 1941 - hopeless struggle against Russian tanks and was the T-34 a decisive weapon during World War II?. Part 9 Armour faced by natural obstacles: built-up areas; advance through woods; river barriers. Part 10 Tanks in mud and snow: roads are no longer roads; mud dictates tactics; "passages obliges" help the defender; frost, faint ray of hope; minus 30 degrees centigrade without winter equipment; re-equipment with sleds; tanks in position warfare. Part 11 Armoured divisions without supplies: longer supply lines by the day; partisans against supply convoys; the fuel supply determines the mission; breakdowns due to lack of spare parts. Appendices: excerpts from war diaries; orders of battle; types of tanks in use between 1939 and 1941.
Series: Studies in Military History
Number Of Pages: 198
Published: 15th January 1992
Publisher: BERG PUBL INC
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Number: 1