Panzer II vs 7TP Book Review
|Date of Review||April 2015||Title||Panzer II vs 7TP|
|Author||David R. Higgins||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||80 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$18.95|
Nazi Germany's 1939 conquest of Poland introduced a new word to the world's political and military lexicon: Blitzkrieg.
"Lightening War" signaled a revolutionary approach to combined-arms operations – with fast-moving armor formations and air support spearheading land attacks.
Now author David R. Higgins views the campaign's strategic and tactical implications through the prism of two participating vehicles.
Panzer II vs 7TP – 66th installment in Osprey's popular "Duel" series – follows the publisher's familiar format. After stage-setting comments on the campaign's first four days, Higgins commences contents with a convenient chronology and design & development notes.
Technical specifications for both tanks – armor, armament and "mobility" – follow. You learn, for instance, that the 7TP was "roughly twice as expensive to make as its PzKpfw II rival" was. You even discover the number of cranks required to rotate the Polish vehicle's turret!
Analyses of "combatants" come next. Here, Higgins recaps training, battlefield doctrines, tactics, unit structures, mobilization and logistics – all leavened with historical backgrounds.
After summarizing the "strategic situation", coverage hits crescendo with combat accounts. With heavier 7TP armament, Polish tankers, in skirmishes with PzKpfw II units, initially blunted attackers. But German superiority in numbers and maneuver prevailed. The fragmented defenders suffered relentless reversals and retreats. And defeated Poland entered years of brutal occupation.
Photos, tables and extended captions supplement the study. A map details early actions. Illustrations for both vehicles include color 3-views with dimensions and color notes, ammunition, gunsights and turret layouts.
Two biographies add human faces to Osprey's account. And "statistics and analysis", aftermath, selected bibliography and index neatly wrap things up. I really enjoy Osprey's "Duel" series!
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!