Title:  German Tanks in Normandy (The Panzer, Sturmgeschutz and Panzerjager forces that faced the D-Day Invasion)

BOOK REVIEW by Todd Shugart

Title:  German Tanks in Normandy (The Panzer, Sturmgeschutz and Panzerjager forces that faced the D-Day Invasion)

Author:  Steven J. Zaloga

Publisher:  Osprey Publishing

Price:  £11.99

Date:  2021

Pages:  48

     There are countless books on the Battle of Normandy and many books on the German tanks used in this campaign.  However, Steven Zaloga, a very accomplished author on World War Two  armour battles takes the reader on an analytical journey looking at the German units involved and the technical specifications of all the armoured fighting vehicles employed in the oft quoted “bocage”countryside of the Normandy region in 1944.  

     Many readers will be familiar with tanks such as the Tiger, Panther, PzKpfw IV and other main battle tanks used by the Germans to counter the Allied invasion.  But Steven goes further in this compact and concise offering from Osprey with numerous unit orbats, technical surveys, and colour profiles to illustrate the employment of not only these famous models but also the lesser known types such as the Sturmgeschutz III, Jagdpanther IV, Marder I and III, and captured French tanks left over from 1940.  This book looks more at the operational level of the many battles in the Normandy campaign.  It is not a collection of veteran stories and it is also not a definitive guide to various German tanks.  It looks at how the units were employed and issues associated with a lack of German air cover and the subsequent challenge of operating in an Allied area of air dominance.  As the author states, the German panzers failed at the strategic and operational levels to contain the Allied advance.  And while there were many tactical victories such as at Villers Bocage with Michael Wittman, this was not enough in the face of overwhelming numbers and Allied air superiority.  Furthermore, technical factors, a chapter on the campaign, and a battle analysis make up the majority of the book.

     This is a very compact book but it is an affordable and well illustrated attempt to analyse German tanks in the Normandy campaign.  The graphics are up to the usual superb Osprey standard and they really enhance the book.  The cover artwork is stunningly reproduced in the book showing the lesser known Geschutzwagens during Operation Goodwood.  If you are a fan of Steven Zaloga’s work, Osprey’s Vanguard series, or German panzers, this is a worthy albeit thin addition to your shelves.

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