After tremendous initial success, the German invasion of Russia has stalled. A major factor in the Soviet resurgence is their new heavy tanks, better armed and armoured than the vaunted Panzers that once swept all before them, as Von Schroif and his German tank crew are discovering on a daily basis. Desperate for a counterweapon, the Nazis are developing an even heavier tank – the famous Tiger – but can Von Schroif and his men get it ready in time? And how will it fare on the battlefield against the Russian tactical genius known as “the white devil”?
This book has an odd genesis. It is based on one of a series of scripts written by an (unidentified) WW2 German tank commander, only published now after the successful conclusion of involved legal wrangling. Based on real-life experience, it has an authenticity not even the most talented non-participant writer could emulate. It’s not just descriptions of the famed Tiger tank in action, either. The involved plot goes into espionage, treason and politics, and there’s also a strong revenge motif.
Unfortunately, the translation from German has deadened the writing considerably, as the authors freely acknowledge. Even worse, the manuscript was obviously unfinished, and the gaps haven’t been filled in very evenly, which is a pity, as there are the bones of a very good story here. Still, it’s entertaining enough, and very attractively priced too.