Saturday, September 20

Review: PeKo’s Tiger I on the Battlefields of WWII.

PeKo Publishing’s latest title brings out the big guns – literally – the 88mm on the mighty most famous German tank of the war features in their latest title…we look at number seven in the series in today’s review which sets it’s sights squarely on the legendary Tiger I on the Battlefields of WWII.

Tiger I on the Battlefield
Author: Chris Brown
ISBN: 978-96-389623-6-2
No of Photos: 105
No of Pages: 105
Binding: Hardcover
Language: Hungarian/English
To order go to  directly or your local hobby retailer for your copy.

In the seventh part of PeKo Publishing’s photo-monograph series they reveal their book squarely focusing on the German heavy tank, the Tiger I. The tank that was so deadly almost every German tank the allies fought was called a “Tiger.” It sure has been a while coming, and after the last book on the “Panther” in the same series we are now seeing the real first line of Germany’s heavy tanks in detail.

This book follows the format that we have been impressed by so much in the previous six issues. Landscape format of A4 (11.6 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches) with a black and white hard cover and a book which is in dual Hungarian and English captions with a picture-to-a-page style that allows images to be large in size and in detail. We like this format a lot and it is great for inspiration for modellers. Seeing this tank is so popular it sure is high time we saw more of it.
After a useful introduction the book breaks down into it’s stride of picture/caption to match. The caption’s Hungarian and English text sits side by side on each page always in the same layout so you do not get lost like some dual language tittles. The author Mr. Chris Brown has enlisted the help of a fair few friends in the book to gather pictures and info and the writing I always found to be interesting and often the technical info in the text would tell you about something you did not know before or expose something the eye might not have seen initially.
This publication shows the Tiger’s major and minor changes pretty much historically, through the 105 black-and-white photographs in the book. It is the pictures of this book that are the real focus of the book and the reason we like this format. The black and white photographs in this book are in good focus, varied in location and the subject’s condition and for the most part looking very much like an interesting set of dioramas you might want to model. Thankfully there aren’t too many pictures of just knocked out tanks in this book. The nature of the use of this tank pretty much mid-war make it more likely there are more shots of the vehicles in a winning time for the Germans and this explains why the shots are largely of “in action” Tigers.
We start the book with some very early prototype Tigers showing the early fenders, turret stowage bins and Feifel filters on the engine decks with pictures also focusing on the soldiers who fought in and with these tanks though the text is usually focussed on the tiger in the frame and the details of the individual vehicle rather than personnel. We do get several guest appearances from certain generals such as Model and Guderian who must have loved what these tanks could do but rued their technical fallibly.

The units who fought with this tank are singled out pretty much picture by picture as we go through the book. Some units use of tactical numbers is pointed out as are national markings and camouflage patterns of certain units. Pointed out details for example are details like the smoke dischargers on PZ. ABT 502 after they were deleted from most unit’s machines. Little things like this sure do help you think about your model you are making and how to make it as accurate as possible.
The mid-war Tigers are seen in transport, in repair and on the roads from Russia through to Sicily. We see a fair few in this middle portion of the book in transport with the smaller transport tracks, on ferries crossing rivers and some in a very worse for wear state on destroyed rail carriages or knocked out. Often these were heading east but also now west…
..They were heading west because this later phase of the war started with many tigers sent to Normandy to oppose the second allied front. Several Zimmeritt coated Tigers are here in France and you cans see by the thick foliage of the boccage and French fields that this is a very different battlefield. We see many Tigers in the snow and several in amongst destroyed villages looking like dead monsters.

There are some great diorama ideas in this book throughout and things I never would have thought to show off on my old model. Details like a painted cable running down the side of a tiger being moved off and put back onto the tank leaving something that looks like a tan-line as the whole vehicle was painted with the cable in place originally.
The end of the book shows three tigers in pictures which are in the Netherlands, Poland and Berlin. This makes us believe that there are maybe more pictures and info on these tanks that will get used in a forthcoming volume. 

Though Befelstigers and Funklenk Tigers are shown in addition to the combat vehicles the Strumtiger and repair and recovery Tigers are not featured here so maybe we might see more on them in future? Fingers crossed - It is surely rare that you get to see a Tiger I by the end of the war like we have here so maybe there is more on these vehicles to come in this series. Well that is it for this title – and It leaves me wanting more – but not in a bad way. 

The square, squat bad-ass attitude of the Tiger I is captured here really well in all of these pictures which are great as inspiration and the history of the changes to the vehicles. The text which never fails to describe the unit’s often unique particular details and camouflage and wear of the vehicles on show makes it a great book for the Panzer Experten as well as modellers.

Another great book in this series which is rivalling others in the same format.

Adam Norenberg

To order yours go to  directly or your local hobby retailer for your copy