German Heavy Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War

From Tiger to E-100

Kenneth Estes

The German army faced a gun-armor race and placed a premium on technological quality and superiority over mass production. The army and Adolf Hitler pushed for larger and more powerful tanks than had ever been built. The heaviest tanks and assault guns developed and fielded by Germany continue to capture interest confirmed by current restorations.
Date Published :
March 2018
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Color and B&W photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781556467
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The German army faced tanks of superior size, armor and firepower from the outset of World War II. Although their Panzerwaffen handled the Polish campaign, war with France meant confronting superior heavy and medium tanks like the Char B and Somua, with 47 mm high velocity cannon that penetrated German tank armor with ease. French infantry disposed of effective antitank weapons and a portion of their 75 mm field guns were detailed as antitank guns. Even greater challenges emerged with the Russo-German War, for the Germans had no initial answer to the KV-1 heavy tank and T-34 medium.

The successive technical shocks of superior tanks introduced by each side produced a gun-armor race that continued in some manner even after the war’s end. The Germans placed a premium on technological quality and superiority over mass production, for which their industry (and, arguably, their regime) remained rather unsuited. Not satisfied with the advantage they obtained with the Tiger and Panther series tanks, the army leadership and Adolf Hitler himself pushed for larger and more powerful tanks than had ever been built.

About The Author

Kenneth W. Estes, a Seattle native, is a defence consultant, professor of history and writer who pursued a 24-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps. Graduating in 1969 from the Naval Academy, he trained as a tank officer and served as a company grade officer in the 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions, interspersed with academic tours of duty. After completing a variety of command and staff assignments in the U.S. Marine Corps he retired in 1993.

Ken earned his master's degree in History at Duke University in 1974, the doctorate in Modern European History at the University of Maryland in 1984 and taught at Duke University (1981-84) and the Naval Academy (1974-78), all while a serving Marine Corps officer. He also completed the Army Advanced Armor Officer Course and attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He edited the Marine Officer's Guide and the Handbook for Marine NCOs 1983-2009, wrote ten other books since 2000, contributed chapters in other works, and has written extensively in military journals for over 40 years. Since retiring, he has continued to teach at colleges and universities in Europe and Seattle and engaged in consulting work in support of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies, the US 1st Armored Division, and Marine Corps University.


“This is a well written book for the military reader to see the inner workings of German engineering and back story to the development of these vehicles.”

- Bob Peterson, A Wargamers Needful Things

“The all inclusive nature of this book will be of great use to all but the most serious of folks with an interest in this subject, and those who are extremely well versed in the subject will still find this book of interest as a “one stop shop”… The photos are generally of good quality and interest. The text is well written and clearly written, the author makes his points in a quite “readable” manner. Highly Recommended”


More from this publisher