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Tank Craft 20: Tiger I: German Army Heavy Tank (ePub)

Eastern Front, Summer 1943

Colour eBooks Military > Modelling Military > Tanks Military > Weaponry Photographic eBooks WWII > Photographic eBooks

By Dennis Oliver
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Tank Craft
File Size: 15.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 64
ISBN: 9781526755834
Published: 7th October 2019


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The Tiger I tank, probably the most famous German armoured vehicle of the Second World War, might have been a war-winning, break-through weapon if it had been produced in sufficient numbers and if it had been introduced earlier on the Eastern Front, before the balance of strength had tipped towards the Soviet Union. At the Battle of Kursk there were not enough Tigers to make a decisive difference and thereafter the Tiger was forced to play a mainly defensive role as the Wehrmacht struggled to withstand the advances of the Red Army. And it is this period in the Tiger tank’s short history that Dennis Oliver concentrates on in this, his third book on the Tiger in the TankCraft series.

He uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the tanks and units of the German army’s heavy panzer battalions. A large part of the book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of the Tigers of 1943.

If you want to upgrade/improve your Tiger...this is the book for you.


I’m sure every reader of this journal will have heard of the Tiger Tank, one of the most famous and iconic Armoured Fighting Vehicles ever to be produced. Pen and Sword’s Tank Craft series recognises its popularity and this volume is one of five books in this series covering the Tiger. Tank Craft 20 focuses on the Tiger’s use in the heavy fighting on the Eastern Front in the Summer of 1943.
Dennis Oliver is the author of all five books and he uses a similar format in each. A soft cover encloses 64 A4 sized packed pages for the modeller. This book is divided into nine specific sections. After a single-page introduction to the vehicle, there is a six-page bullet point description of the operations during this fateful Summer on the Eastern Front. Two useful, easy to follow maps are part of this section.
Some 20 pages are used to describe the use of the Tiger I during this time by Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502, 203 and 505, Panzer Regiment Gross Deutschland and SS Panzer Regiments 1, 2 and 3. I especially appreciated the diagrammatic Order of Battle for each unit showing how thinly spread at times the Tiger was between some of these units, leavened and supported by – you’ll have to read the book to find out!
Breaking up the operational descriptive we have 20 full-colour side view drawings, each well captioned, some supported by contemporary photographs of the specific vehicle. These are followed by some model builds, one of the AFV Club 1/48 kit and three of the Dragon 1/35, 1/48 and 1/72. We then reach the Technical and Modification section, necessarily brief, covering just three pages.
Well-illustrated throughout with around 200 contemporary black and white photographs, the book inspires this modeller to reach into the stash and start building. Well recommended.

Richard Lane, IPMS No. 6 November & December 2021

Reviewed alongside Tank Craft 13 & 25

Verdict: Oliver's three books provide a unique insight into the Tiger, its origins, development and use while also being an excellent resource for modellers.

Classic Military Vehicle, February 2021

While this book isn’t really aimed at me, more for the model makers of this world. This is still a fascinating and interesting series and I must admit I really enjoyed this specific book. I really enjoyed the timeline during the Italian campaign, it was clear and very informative. Also towards the back of the book it looks at battalion sizes and make up which was good to learn about. As this book is aimed at model makers, it is excellent and includes everything a model maker and a person interested in history would find of interest. I enjoyed this book so much it even made me think about building models myself in the future. An extremely good book that I would highly recommend.


Read the full review here

UK Historian

The Tank Craft series of books are designed for the model maker who wants to know some of the historical background of the AFVs they are building. This book is a must for model makers that are interested in the iconic Tiger of this period. Highly recommended.

Tom Cole, Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicles Association, September 2020

Tiger I, German Army Heavy Tank, Eastern Front Summer 1943

Tank Craft Series
Author: Dennis Oliver
Published: Pen & Sword Books
ISBN: 9781526755827
Get this impressive title here now at Pen & Sword Books

Soft back, extensive colour and black & white photography, 200 illustrations, 64 pages

Bookshelf Browse with Geoff Coughlin (October 2019)

Take a browse inside now

This is another excellent title in the Tank Craft series. The quality of modelling is high and will prove invaluable to any of you armour modellers thinking of building a Tiger I.

Highly recommended.

Watch the full video review here

Scale Modelling Now

As featured on FineScale Modeler

FineScale Modeler

The Tiger 1 tank is one of those described above in Anthony Tucker-Jones's Tank Wrecks book but here it gets a splendid profile all its own courtesy of Dennis Oliver. There are people who make use of models of this tank in their war games, and equally there are people who are fascinated by the hardware and vehicles involved in armed conflict. This brilliant book and the one that follows will satisfy all types of reader.

Books Monthly

Oliver narrates Tiger operations on the Eastern Front in 1943 complete with numbers and organization diagrams for the various units. He also includes some useful black and white photographs of Tigers, but it is the core section of colour plates and exemplary models, beautifully photographed, that makes this book a valuable addition to the hobbyist’s library. For its narrow but enthusiastic audience, Tiger I is highly recommended.

Read the full review here

Amazon Customer, Robert Neil Smith

The book, of a series that shines for its brevity but also immediacy, adds, thanks to the great experience of Oliver on the subject, to the bibliography on the Tiger another excellent book that helps modellers to orient themselves in the field modifications to portray their models in more realistic way and the historian can not but also like it, thanks to the information contained, the color profiles and the beautiful photos.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

Another addition to the very popular Tank Craft series, taking the Tiger I story on. There is a concise analysis of the tank’s design, development and variants with in-action photographs and specially commissioned full colour drawings and exhibition grade models of a selection of available kits. – Very Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here


"This book is a must for model makers that are interested in the iconic Tiger of this period. Highly recommended and many thanks to Pen and Sword for the review book."


The closing section deals with Technical Details and Modifications, telling us about the adaptations made to the tanks once they were in service, and supported as ever by a good selection of archive images. Another book aimed squarely at the armour modeller and once again Dennis has done a very good job of it.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The Tank Craft series of books are designed for the model maker who wants to know some of the historical background of the AFVs they are building. This book is a must for model makers that are interested in the iconic Tiger of this period. Highly recommended

Read the full review here

Amazon Customer, Tom Tank

In common with his other books in this series, Dennis Oliver sets out the many iterations and variations of the Tiger tank in forensic detail, with carefully chosen illustrations of primary sources.

Chapters outline the context, in which the Tiger was used operationally, and the units it was deployed in. A useful series of pictograms and strength tables are found here.

A chapter is devoted to the camouflage and markings of the tank, with the usual masterclass examples from modellers. Most of the eye-candy resides in this section. Sometimes it is easier to deduce details from looking at a model, than from a primary source picture.

A chapter is devoted to Waffen SS units, as a large proportion of output went to these units for the battle of Kursk, and a further chapter outlines the many technical details and modifications that the Tiger underwent. Wargamers will find this section useful.

Not Quite Mechanised, Chris Kemp

As featured on The View from the Turret

The View From The Turret Vlog

Dennis Oliver has garnered a place with me as a firm favourite due to his writing style and how information is presented to the reader. This is one of the latest releases in the series from Pen and Sword and being a Tiger 1 Tiger 1 title I am sure will prove a must have for many. The text was a joy for me to read and I was especially impressed with the photographs that have good captions for the viewer and clearly identifying what they are looking at.

Read the full review here


Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, October 2019

Another exceptional book from the Tank Craft series. The pattern of detailed technical information coupled with operational histories is excellent and as ever the modelling detail is inspiring. An excellent book on an iconic tank.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Dennis Oliver

Dennis Oliver is the author of over twenty books on Second World War armoured vehicles including Panzer III: German Army Light Tank, Operation Barbarossa 1941, Panzer III: German Army Light Tank, Tripoli to El Alamein, 1941-1942 and Stug III and Stug IV: German Army and Waffen-SS, Western Front, 1944-1945.

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