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Mike

Ferdinand/Elefant Detail in Action - Squadron Signal

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Ferdinand/Elefant Detail in Action
Squadron Signal


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The Ferdinand was a development of the unsuccessful entry in the contest for a new heavy tank which led to the Tiger. Nicknamed the Porsche Tiger, Porsche were left with 100 chassis that now had nothing to do. Instead of resting on their laurels, Porsche began developing a large tank hunter that would use the chassis, with a new fixed superstructure to house the gun, which was to be the long barrelled Pak 43/2 L/71 gun, which had a limited travel and elevation.

It wasn't a huge success, and in 1943, the lot were recalled and improved with the addition of the commander's cupola from a Stug III, a crew operated MG34 machine gun, zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste, and some minor armour changes. It became known as the Elefant, and although it was an effective tank killer, its weight and lack of available spares counted against it.

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The book is split roughly in half, detailing the design changes, versions and so forth that resulted in the development of each vehicle. There are drawings of the main variants of both the Ferdinand and Elefant, followed by contemporary photos of it in action, and after the battle, showing knocked out vehicles in various states of destruction. The final section of each half is a photo-walkaround of each vehicle from the Kubinka tank museum for the Ferdinand, and the US Army Ordnance Museum's Elefant, the sole survivors of each type.

As is to be expected with any book by Squadron, the picture quality is matched by the informative captioning, and the preserved examples are all reproduced in colour. The first few pages detailing the development on the Tiger (P) are especially interesting, as is the comparison between it and the Ferdinand.

Conclusion
A perfect-bound landscape A4 publication running to 80 pages, this will be an interesting reference for the armour fan and the armour modeller. The contemporary photos are very well presented, and should give inspiration for many a diorama in due course.

Highly recommended.

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