Tanks in the Battle of the Bulge Book Review
|Date of Review||June 2020||Title||Tanks in the Battle of the Bulge|
|Author||Steven J. Zaloga||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||48 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$19.00|
Steven J. Zaloga chronicles WWII’s “largest confrontation” of German and American armor in Tanks in the Battle of the Bulge – 281 in Osprey’s vast “New Vanguard” range.
And what an illuminating effort it is.
Mining and milking archival sources from both sides, Zaloga calls it the “first comprehensive survey of the number of tanks and AFVs deployed during the campaign” – “a concise primer focused on armored warfare in the Ardennes”.
And he surprisingly packs all of that into four sections over just 48 pithy pages:
- the campaign
- vehicles, doctrine, and organization
- technical factors
- battle analysis
Fighting had decimated Western Front Wehrmacht formations during the summer and fall of 1944. And despite replenishment, Panzer divisions suffered personnel and equipment deficiencies during December’s Ardennes offensive.
Germany also lacked the specialized vehicles necessary to sustain operations. Supporting infantry units failed to fulfill their missions. And vehicle spares and reliability proved painfully problematic.
After rebounding from initial Nazi attacks, American forces, by contrast, enjoyed “ample” equipment, ammunition, spares, and fuel supplies.
The Ardennes offensive bled Nazi tank forces. Zaloga calls it “the death ride of Panzerwaffe in the West.”
By early 1945, only a few dozen surviving Panthers faced 6,000 U.S. Army Shermans. Allied victory inevitably – and understandably – followed.
Photos, an action illustration, and color profiles illustrate Zaloga’s account.
Extended, explanatory captions, personal observations, and tables also supplement his study. And source notes and an index complete contents.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!