Osprey Warrior 46 : Panzer Crewman 1939-1945
In World War Two the Panzer crews spearheaded every major campaign or battle from the invasions of Poland and France to the last great counter-offensive in the Ardennes. In the space of five years the tank evolved from the lightweight 5 ton Panzer Mk I to the monstrous 70 ton Mk VI King Tiger. Germany's Panzer crews had fought on every front from the sands of the western desert to the very gates of Moscow and along the way had earned a formidable reputation for élan in attack and steadfastness in defence. The German propaganda machine lost no opportunity to publicise the exploits of the nation's war heroes and few caught the public imagination more than the black uniformed Panzer crewmen, their Totenkopf insignia recalling the Deathshead Hussars of the Imperial Cavalry. Like their compatriots in the U-Boats, Panzer crews suffered a dreadful rate of attrition once the allies gained control of the skies, but the fighting spirit of the Panzer Divisions never waned and even in the dying days of the war, the appearance of a single behemoth like the Tiger on the battlefield turned the tide of battle on many an occasion. This book charts the recruitment, training, service conditions and combat experience of a typical WW2 German tank crewman, serving on various fronts - from the scorching heat of the Western Desert to the frozen tundra of the Eastern Front. It features unpublished photographs which have come from two main sources - private collectors and Panzer veterans themselves. One of the latter, a professional photographer before the war, has provided some superb quality photographs. Text by Gordon Williamson with illustrations by Velimir Vuksic.
- Appearance. Active Service
- Motivation and Morale
- Divisional Organisation and Tactical Deployment
- Museums and Collections
- Colour Plate Commentary