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About Guns, Tanks and war machines


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#1 bigoc

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:23 AM

I know there are people on this forum who know a lot of history of world war II guns, so I would ask you to recommend me a good book to find out about the issue, thanks!



#2 Major Mishap

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:12 AM

 Crikey, an actuall book, made out of paper and stuff?  Don't know if one exist I have a whole shelf of them.  If you are after date then you can't go wrong with a set of WW2 wargame rules as these will have all the gun and armour characteristics for you.  There are good online sites such as this: javascript:void(0);/*1324134763549*/



#3 Hanomag

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:51 AM

 There is always the great Wiki.  If you really want a book through, it will be hard.  I cannot think of just one that covers so much.  You would need several, and they would be divided by type (tanks, guns) and then by country.  Perhaps a WWII encyclopedia?

I would try wiki and google first though.

-Jeff



#4 Loophole Master

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:58 AM

I have a feeling this is a topic for Gimp.



#5 Gimp

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:06 AM

Hanomag said:

 

 There is always the great Wiki.  If you really want a book through, it will be hard.  I cannot think of just one that covers so much.  You would need several, and they would be divided by type (tanks, guns) and then by country.  Perhaps a WWII encyclopedia?

I would try wiki and google first though.

-Jeff

 

 

Don't you feel dirty saying 'Wiki' and 'Great' in the same sentence?

Actually, I have found wiki to be a reasonable source for WW2 vehicles, just one where I check any facts if their validity is important.  Sometimes, wiki is enough to help me remember which book to check in my library.  I have an armor historian friend who depises wiki overall, but still will look things up to jar his memory sometimes.  Sometimes the jarring might be because he found something he knows is wrong, but it still does the job.

There are some nice technical encyclopedias of WW2 vehicles and armor, but they tend to be written in a shorthand you need to understand to be able to decipher.  Otherwise, I'd also suggest going online, and starting to build a library if you find you enjoy it.

An important thing to remember on any source is that most WW2 vehicles went through some significant changes during the course of the war, so if a book references the Panzer IV, realize there were multiple versions of the Panzer IV that varied significantly.  The Panzer IV went from a short barreled 75mm HE firing support tank to several long barreled 75mm tank killer with a lot more armor before things were done.  The most common variants were the F & G, for the 6th and 7th versions, but they didn't stop there.  The Panzer III went through over fourteen variations.  Lots of books fail to mention variations, and concentrate on a limited set of parameters.



#6 Hanomag

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:45 AM

Loophole Master said:

I have a feeling this is a topic for Gimp.

You should play the lottery.

Gimp: I think of using the wiki akin to asking my friendly neighbor something. It's probably right but not to be taken as true fact.

-Jeff



#7 bigoc

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:20 AM

Thanks, but I like paper books! jaja. I don't care if are dificult to undertand. I want the best books about infantry guns, about vehicles, so tell me please, even if they are ten or more different books. I am a journalist, so I'm used to investigate topics that do not know, history is not uknown to me, although weapons.



#8 Major Mishap

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:18 AM

I've got these as a good start for organisation and development, they are not a list of vehicles and stats though: www.amazon.co.uk/purnells-history-Books/s

A good set, but old, WW2 rules that give good representation of tank abilities www.amazon.co.uk/World-Wargaming-Airfix-Magazine-Guide/dp/0850592305/ref=sr_1_13

Airfix also had books on tanks in the same series, German, Russian, American/British which are a great reference list most if not all varriants of tanks. www.airfixcollector.co.uk/guides.htm

Yeah, my collection of books is over 30 years old :)



#9 asbestos

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:06 PM

 My library is more directed at aircraft and naval vessels but this is a pretty useful website for all things German (well, German Army)

 

javascript:void(0);/*1324188392823*/

 

I'll poke around and see what I can turn up.



#10 Gimp

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:21 AM

Hanomag said:

Gimp: I think of using the wiki akin to asking my friendly neighbor something. It's probably right but not to be taken as true fact.

-Jeff

I thought you probably did, but couldn't resist the chance to tease. Wiki is a social forum, instead of verified research, but it can be a good place to start.  Not something to trust, but as you said, it's like asking opinions from people around you, with the advantage of having access to people who at least think they know the answers on just about any topic.

On this topic:

I'm not really sure what you want.  Are you considering deployment, capabilties, TO&E's, tactics, or what?

 

A publisher I ran into that's a nice basic set of info is put out by Amber Books:

http://www.amberbooks.co.uk/

 

I have some books from their Essential Vehicle Identification Guide series that give a nice basic overview of units fighting in WW2.  I have the books on the Panzergrenadier Divisions 1939-45, Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions 1939-45, Soviet Tanks 1939-45, and Western Allied Tanks 1939-45.  They give deployment information, basic TO&E info, and a brief history of different units through the war.

Amber puts out some other decent reference books on types of small arms and artillery.

Iron Ivan Games puts out Disposable Heroes/Coffin for Seven Brothers as an historical WW2 game that gives fairly accurate weapon penetration information and armor values for multiple facings on a large number of vehicles.  I haven't found anything that didn't match the other references I've used, so their books come as a very cheap, but fairly accurate, representation of weapon capabilities, but they don't list things like weight or actual travel speeds.

I've actually used The Military Book Club:

http://www.militaryb...weaponry-books/

As a nice clearing house to find titles and references several times.  That's where I found the Amber Books titles, as well as several other references.

Several of my favorite books are no longer in print, with a couple in friends' libraries I have to pillage on occasion.

People can list a lot of titles, but there's a lot of different kinds of information in those titles, so we need to know what you are looking for, and realistically, what you want it for.  Books with penetration data for anti-tank guns won't help if you're trying to find out how many of each different gun were made, etc...



#11 bigoc

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

What I'm looking for are books about guns, in general term, the guns used by each faction. No details. Example, flamethrower, machineguns, rifles, etc.



#12 Major Mishap

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:28 PM

Those Old Airfix books will be ideal.



#13 bigoc

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:18 AM

Thanks!  Search and Destr... ehh, and Buy :P



#14 Gimp

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 03:19 PM

bigoc said:

What I'm looking for are books about guns, in general term, the guns used by each faction. No details. Example, flamethrower, machineguns, rifles, etc.

That's a lot more clear.  I'm an old soldier, so saying 'guns' means tube artillery, as opposed to small arms and support weapons for infantry.

Airfix or Osprey will have good books to check out.  The Disposable Heroes game books I mentioned also cover all of the weapons in a fairly cheap format, as well as giving you a historical game for when you want something different.

On a quick note, all armies used rifles, SMG's, individual and crew served machine guns (weapon with someone carrying extra ammo vs tripod mounted with a bigger crew), flamethrowers, pistols, and grenades.  Most armies also wound up using captured equipment sometimes.

Most armies used bolt action rifles, though the US relied mostly on the M1 rifle and carbine that were semi-automatic.  The Germans deployed a semi-automatic rifle, but not widely.  The Soviets did as well, but again in very limited quantities.  The Germans deployed the first assault rifle with the StG44 (sometimes noted as the MP44).  Everybody used accurate rifles for snipers, but not purpose built sniper rifles like those used today.

The British used the Piat launcher for infantry anti-tank work, while the US used the bazooka, and the Germans the various panzerfausts and the panzerschrek.  Russia used lend-lease bazookas and captured German weapons.  The Japanese had no rocket launchers, though they did deploy anti-tank charges on poles.  Everyone also used rifle grenades, both for anti-tank and anti-personnel work.

The Germans, Russians, and British had good anti-tank rifles, that wound up usable more against light vehicles and as sniper weapons towards the end of the war.

Everyone used mortars in a variety of sizes, from 50mm up over 120mm.  Close support mortars were normally 50-82mm.

If that's all you were looking for, great, but the sources noted give you some nice places to look for more.



#15 Gobbo

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:02 AM

 A lot of the Osprey books are available for my Kindle Fire!  AWESOME sauce!



#16 bigoc

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:19 PM

Thanks a lot, I have Disposable heroes, but never read it, I'm going to do it!



#17 Kriegschatten

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:57 AM

Reviving an old thread here.

Dust Tactics has inspired me to read up on various WW2 weapons.

 

I'm interested mostly in German small arms, tanks, artillery, aircraft, etc.  I don't mind buying different books for different topics.

 

What I'm most interested in, I suppose, is the development history.  Stuff like how encounters with heavy Russian tanks affected the development of the Tiger tank or how the Sturmgewehr 44 was developed to replace both submachine guns and rifles. 

I'd also like to read about operational history.  Stuff like how the Tiger's treads ended up being problematic from a reliability standpoint.  I find that kind of thing fascinating.

 

I already have Cormack and Smedley's "German Small Arms of World War 2" which has lots of photos, but not enough text.



#18 Fenton

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:17 AM

I find that most WWII books on small arms and artillery are picture heavy and not a whole lot of text or scholarly research.  To get a deeper understanding of their use and why, you may need to check out "tactics" books like the many Stephen Bull books from the Osprey series (of which there many titles are pretty thin and not cheap) or his  SECOND WORLD WAR INFANTRY TACTICS: The European Theatre from Pen and Sword, or maybe Panzer Tactics: German Small-Unit Armor Tactics in World War II by Wolfgang Schneider or the two Panzertruppen books by Thomas Jentz for armor tactics and battle reports.






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