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French Tanks of World War II (1): Infantry and Battle Tanks (New Vanguard, Band 209) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 18. Februar 2014

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  • French Tanks of World War II (1): Infantry and Battle Tanks (New Vanguard, Band 209)
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  • French Tanks of World War II (2): Cavalry Tanks and AFV's (New Vanguard, Band 213)
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  • Tanks of Hitler's Eastern Allies 1941-45 (New Vanguard, Band 199)
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in History from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over two decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union. The author lives in Abingdon, MD.


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e01036c) von 5 Sternen 30 Rezensionen
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa49c55f4) von 5 Sternen Disappointing effort on French tanks. 8. April 2014
Von Stone Dog - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Osprey New Vanguard #209, "French Tanks of WWII (1)" by Steven Zaloga has all the usual Osprey characteristics: lots of period photos, excellent color plates, text intended as an overview of a topic. In this case, it's about French infantry and battle tanks - that excludes cavalry tanks like the Somua. Strangely enough, it includes the tiny Renault UE two-man utility vehicle.

This work covers the Renault and Hotchkiss small infantry support tanks, the unusual Char Leger FCM 36 and the Char B1 bis. The author has chosen to, after setting the stage with the early development (or lack thereof) between the wars, write mainly about the design competitions and production for these tanks. There was some information on suspension, hull construction and engine development.

I was very disappointed in this Osprey offering in that there was very little about the weapons systems on these tanks or their effectiveness. There is nothing about their effectiveness in combat - except the mention in the captions of some photos that tell that the tank in this or that picture was destroyed near this or that town in 1940.

Osprey titles are sometimes hit-or-miss in regard to quality of the text. In some ways, that's understandable since the author has so little room to work with. But, in this case, the author simply didn't do enough research to give the reader anything of value. There's not one evaluation of combat between French and German tanks. Not one instance. The main thing in regard to any military weapon is how it performed in combat.

Aside from the value the photos and color plates have for modelers, this book just doesn't offer enough for the reader. Very disappointing. Just okay and gets three stars.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9dedb0f0) von 5 Sternen An excellent volume on the subject despite its short length 7. April 2014
Von Yoda - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Any review of this product would have to start by stating that it is part of Osprey Publishing’s “New Vanguard” series. This implies that the book is quite short, at only 48 pages in length (roughly a third of which consist of illustration of one type or another). Hence if one is looking for an academic tome on the subject, this is not the book. However, given the paucity of material on French tanks during WWII, this is one of the few books, in English, available on the subject. The relevant question should be, how well of a job does the book do given its short length. The answer is very, very good.

The author, Steven Zaloga, one of Osprey’s best and most prolific writers, uses his command of the French language to examine and analyze French sources (both primary and secondary) and distills his research into this short book. He does so very well. The book covers primarily the physical characteristics of the French tanks in use during WWII, how French design developed between the wars, what influenced (and more importantly, what limited it) and what the outcomes were in actual tanks that resulted.

Mr. Zaloga points out that there was little French advance in tank development during the 1920s. The main reasons were that France was stuck with what it developed and used during WWI and that there were serious financial constraints after the war. He discusses how French design started to develop at a quicker pace with the Nazi party coming to party but that this development and the resulting tank production was glacial in terms of both quantity and quality. Tank development was slowed down by financial constraints, labor problems, design problems, technical difficulties and French military dithering with respect to coming down to decisions regarding what to produce. It seems that French design and production was slowed down by every possible factor.

By the German attack of 1940, however, the Franch managed to field more tanks than the Germans and the quality, in general (at least in terms of armor and fire power) was better than German tanks. This is despite the fact that French tanks were really, in Mr. Zaloga’s words “more designed for the 1920s than the 1940s”. They were slow, did not have much range and usually only had one man turrets and, in many cases, did not even have radios. In addition, most of the tanks were delivered only near the beginning of the German assault. This prevented French crews from obtaining much needed experience and prevented the French from developing operational experience with the vehicles. Hence they not only had poorly trained crews but there was not enough experience, by the high command, in how to service and maintain the vehicles as well as to how to use them. Contrary to popular opinion, the French used these in some force concentration (they were used in company level strength) but, unfortunately, the Germans concentrated their fewer and less capable tanks into far greater and decisive concentrations.

All and all an excellent book that covers not only the physical characteristics of French tanks but also their development, doctrine of use and why they actually proved to be of so little practical use. This despite the book’s very short length. Five stars.
HASH(0x9decce70) von 5 Sternen Pick up part 2 while you're at it 4. Januar 2016
Von Paul Lawrence - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Number 209 of the New Vanguard series by Osprey, written by Steven J Zaloga and illustrated by Ian Palmer deals with French tanks of World War Two and in particular Infantry and Battle Tanks (number 213 deals with cavalry tanks and other AFV’s). The book covers developments within the French military towards tanks in the interwar years and discusses a lot of the tactical thoughts behind certain decisions. The strength of the French armoured units at the start of the war is shown and the issues leading to French defeat are also looked at very briefly (in a book of this size little more can be accomplished).

The work is very much like every other volume in this extensive series, nice layout, concise discussion of the vehicles at hand and colour plates and many photographs. The work is basically laid out in a logical chronological format and there are a couple of comparative tables. A very brief addenda at the end talks about future plans for French AFV’s which of course came to nothing.

What is pleasing is the way a range of AFV’s are discussed and oft-times their pros and cons and while of course the Char B1 bis was the main tank that has caught historical attention the others are dealt with as well. Furthermore a couple of more tracked AFV’s are discussed – vehicles intended to be used to supply infantry. While not armed they are a good addition to the book and were something completely unknown to myself.

This book should ideally be bought along with the part 2 volume which looks at the cavalry tanks and armoured cars of the French Army.
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HASH(0xa49c63a8) von 5 Sternen I would not recommend spending more than a few dollars on this book 25. Oktober 2014
Von Tiber - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
While the line drawings of the Charbis are interesting, the rest of the book is very flat. There is nothing in here you cannot find with a simple search on google. I would not recommend spending more than a few dollars on this book, and only if you are looking for something specific in it, which I was, because I needed the drawing of the inside of the Char-bis for some modeling.
HASH(0x9dd9a81c) von 5 Sternen Excellent illustrations, clear text and a vast amount of information wrapped in a small volume. Good value for money. 22. Oktober 2015
Von Andy McKinney - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
As usual with Mr. Zaloga and Osprey this volume has a lot of information packed into a slender volume. This subject has been neglected too often, no doubt due to the short time that the French tanks had to make their mark. I was particularly intrigued by the tribulations of interwar French political struggles and how they impacted tank production for the worse.
The basic concepts of the French tanks produced before WWII had many flaws, as Mr. Zaloga presents with clarity. The photos are numerous and the color plates will be useful for those who make models of the tanks of the era.
We come away with a sense of regret for the brave tankers who went into battle with too little training, with organizations that were ill founded and with technical defects that could not be overcome.
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