Jagdpanther vs SU-100: Eastern Front 1945 (Anglais) Broché – 22 avril 2014
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
"I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in these vehicles and Eastern Front operations." --Jim Mesko, Armor Modeling and Preservation Society
"A focused look at one minor detail of a big war." --Strategy & Tactics magazine
Présentation de l'éditeur
As World War II in Europe reached its end, armor development and doctrine had experienced several years of massively accelerated change, especially within the crucible of the Eastern Front. The German Jagdpanther and Soviet SU-100, both turretless tank destroyer designs based on a 'traditional' turret-tank chassis, were the culminating examples of how the progression of experience, resources and time constraints produced vehicles that were well suited for roles of defence and offence, respectively. The Jagdpanther represented a well-balanced solution and an excellent use of limited resources, while the SU-100 was a natural progression of the rudimentary but numerous SU-85.
As the role of tanks broadened from essentially infantry support to anti-tank, armor thickness and armament increased to enable AFVs better to survive such encounters. Expensive and hard to upgrade with larger armament owing to the constraints imposed by turret-ring size and suspension, turreted tanks gave way in some contexts to new designs. The Soviets and the Germans alike found that more powerful guns could be installed directly into the hull, which in turn reduced the vehicle's silhouette, and allowed for increased armour protection for the weight. A rapid arms race resulted in the East with each side attempting to develop a battlefield edge, if only for a limited time.
For the Germans the 8.8cm-armed Jagdpanther was intended for more defensive roles, such as ambushing or flank protection at long range where its superior sights and high-velocity rounds imparted an advantage. Its sloped armor and relatively light weight meant, unlike the more massive (and less practical) Jagdtiger (a Tiger II derivative), it could also operate in a more mobile capacity. Its superior optics offered key firepower advantages, but its origins in the overengineered Panther design meant it was susceptible to breakdown and mechanical problems.
In contrast, the closest Soviet equivalent, the SU-100, was designed to operate alongside armor and mechanized forces in an offensive capacity, where its 100mm main gun would help counter heavier enemy armour when encountered. Although its speed and armour protection were comparable, the greater numbers fielded late in the war often proved decisive against an adversary increasingly forced to fight despite inadequate logistics and training. By this stage of the conflict, the Germans were forced to adopt ad hoc battle groups to coordinate their decimated parent formations' assets. The Soviets in turn possessed operational momentum, and were perhaps less concerned with tactical losses, in part as immobilized vehicles could be more easily recovered and reintroduced into combat.
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The book does a very good job at describing the physical characteristics vehicles, how their development proceeded, the doctrine surrounding their use (and how reality caused deviations from this) and the battle itself where the two vehicles engaged each other (in some number) . With respect to the physical characteristics, development, build and doctrine the book deserves five stares in that it provides excellent detail, especially for the connoisseur. For some this may be too much detail but for the connoisseur/specialist it hits the nail on the head. The book also does a very good job at describing the campaign the two vehicles were involved in, from the initial strategic situation to how the campaign progressed. The reader gets an idea of what the two sides strategic goals were, the tactical struggle and what contributed to Soviet victory (primarily overwhelming Soviet brute force) in the rather lop-sided and impossible battle (from the German perspective).
Unfortunately and, ironically, where the book is weak is in the comparison, in battle, of the two vehicles. One does not even obtain an idea of who was the winner in terms of tete-a-tete battles. Never mind an analysis of ratio of losses/gains of the individual battles these behemoths were engaged in or, more importantly, what factors were of importance in the individual head to head actual battles. In terms of these factors the book only rates a two star. However, despite this serious weakness, the strengths previously mentioned relating to doctrine, physical characteristics, etc. more than make up for this weakness. This is especially considering the case of the paucity of decent material on either vehicle. This reviewer hence highly recommends this book to those interested in both of these vehicles.
This volume does a good job with what were probably sparse pickings. The writing is clear, the artwork is good, and the descriptions of the two AFVs are clear and instructive. The actual battling is pretty sparse. That doesn't make it a bad book; there apparently isn't a lot of Jagdpanther literature/history out there. If you know that ahead of time, you won't be disappointed.