Panzer IV vs Char B1 bis: France 1940

Panzer IV vs Char B1 bis: France 1940


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The Battle of France in 1940 involved the first large-scale tank-against-tank battles in history. The massive clashes at Stonne, Hannant, and Gembloux involved hundreds of tanks on both sides, yet have faded from memory due to the enormity of the French defeat. This book examines two of the premier opposing tanks of the Wehrmacht and the French Army, the German PzKpfw IV and the French Char B1 bis. With a complete history of the design, development, and deployment of these armored fighting vehicles, the story of these great battles is brought to life in a highly illustrated format.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849083782
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 01/18/2011
Series: Duel Series
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 635,983
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Chronology 7

Design and Development 8

Technical Specifications 20

The Combatants 29

The Strategic Situation 52

Combat: Duel at Stonne 57

Statistics and Analysis 72

Further Reading 77

Index 80

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Panzer IV vs Char B1 bis: France 1940 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very helpfull
jcbrunner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Osprey's Duel series usually doesn't quite work. Warfare is not about the Transformers one-on-one battle the Duel concept evokes and falsely propagates. Steve Zaloga fortunately breaks with the usual Osprey presentation and offers an excellent short introduction to the pre-WWII armor evolution. He expertly combines the findings of Karl-Heinz Frieser (which the author manages three times to misspell Freiser!) with French hagiographies to their armored troops. Contra Frieser, Zalonga shows that the Char B1's fuel consumption was not that much worse (even better) than the Panzer IV. The German fueling advantage came from better logistics and using common car fuel. Tactically, the Char B1 suffered from overtasking its crew which crippled the performance of its superior armament. The Germans had the better concept and more experience in handling tanks on the move and in battle.While both Char B1 and Panzer IV were the most powerful tanks of their respective forces, they were far from typical for the 1940 battle of France. Panzer IV constituted only around ten percent of the tanks deployed, the Char B1 even under ten percent. The light tanks Renault 35, Hotchkiss 35/39 and Pz II were much more numerous. They also feature prominently in the Duel action vignette of Stonne.Overall, a highly recommended title, with the usual Öspryu caveat: Osprey sucks at foreign languages, the casualties range from typos to bizarre misspellings and word creations. The walking wounder of the British education system spread their ignorance among an unsuspecting public.
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