The Second World War campaigns in North Africa, on the Eastern Front and in northwest Europe were dominated by armoured warfare, but the battles in Italy were not. The mountainous topography of the Italian peninsula ensured that it was foremost an infantry war, so it could be said that tanks played a supporting role. Yet, as Anthony Tucker-Jones demonstrates, in the battles fought from the Allied landings in Sicily in 1943 to the German surrender after the crossing of the Po in 1945, tanks, self-propelled guns and armoured cars were essential elements in the operations of both sides.
His selection of rare wartime photographs shows armour in battle at Salerno, Anzio and Monte Cassino, during the struggle for the Gustav Line, the advance on Rome and the liberation of northern Italy. And they reveal the full array of Axis and Allied armoured vehicles that was deployed – most famous among them were the German Mk IVs, Panthers, and Tigers and Allied Stuarts, Chafees, Shermans and Churchills.
This volume in Anthony Tucker-Jones’s series of books on armoured warfare in the Second World War gives readers a vivid impression of the Italian landscapes over which the campaign was fought, the wide range of military vehicles that were used, and the gruelling conditions endured by the men who fought in them.
In the early days of World War II, the US Army developed many specialized vehicles based on the standard US halftrack chassis. One such vehicle, the M3 Gun Motor Carriage, was engineered to be a self propelled antitank gun, melding the venerable 75mm 1897A4 cannon – the famed ‘French 75′ – with the then-modern halftrack chassis built by Autocar. The ever-increasing armor protection of German tanks combined with advances in fully-tracked tank destroyers led the Army to eschew the vehicle after limited use in Europe, notably in Sicily. The US Marines, however, used the vehicle in several campaigns in the Pacific, where the Marines brought the canon to bear on comparatively thin Japanese armor as well as bunkers. Chronicles the development and combat use of the M3 Gun Motor Carriage through vintage photos, as well as thoroughly documenting the only fully restored example in existence through an additional full-color images. By David Doyle. Illustrated with 237 photographs; 80 pages. Available in Softcover (SS39002) and Hardcover (SS79002).
The tank that has gone down in history as the Pz.Kpfw.38(t) was originally christened the LT vz. 38 or ‘Light Tank model 38′ by its Czechoslovak manufacturers before World War II. Intended for the Czechoslovak armed forces, its early models were also supplied to Sweden, Iran, Peru, and Switzerland, and saw action during the 1941 conflict between Peru and Ecuador. But like the Czech lands themselves, the tank and its industrial producers were seized by Nazi Germany when Hitler’s forces took over the Central European country on the eve of World War II. Pressed into German service, the Pz.Kpfw.38(t), as the vehicle was renamed, became one of the most widely used Czechoslovak fighting vehicles. The Pz.Kpfw.38(t) saw extensive action during Germany’s invasions of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. The tank accounted for a significant part of the armored units that poured across the Soviet frontier on 22 June 1941. The excellent chassis was later used as a basis for tank hunters, self-propelled artillery, and antiaircraft vehicles, and in the last year of the war for a Jagdpanzer 38 ‘Hetzer.’ By Charles K. Kilment. Illustrated with more than 186 photographs, detailed line drawings and color profiles; 80 pages. Available in Softcover (SS12052) or Hardcover (SS55052).