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It was obviously very important that the armored vehicles of the Wehrmacht in World War Two be well camouflaged, but it was also important that they be recognizable and to this end a complicated array of marking was devised over the course of the war. This book focuses on those markings, which identified vehicles as friendly to other axis forces and which marked out vehicles as belonging to a particular force or unit, and illustrates them with rare and unpublished wartime photographs. The book is arranged vehicle-by-vehicle and each photograph is accompanied by a detailed caption. It also includes a color section, featuring side views of a selection of vehicles, and a number of wartime photographs expertly colored to show how the tanks in question really appeared in the field.
Hundreds of photos, many never published before, of Germany's rarely seen tank destroyers, including the Ferdinand, Elephant, and Jagdtiger Color illustrations focus on unit markings, numbering, and camouflage Accompanying text chronicles the unit's combat operations plus there are personal accounts from the men who rode in these mechanical monsters German Heavy Anti-Tank Unit 653 was equipped with the heaviest tank destroying vehicles of the German armed forces. Initially activated as an assault gun battalion and redesignated in April 1943, the 653 received its first Ferdinand heavy tank destroyers (later modified and renamed Elephants) in May 1943 and went into action on the Eastern Front a month later. In 1944, the unit converted to the even more massive Jagdtiger. The seventy-five-ton, heavily armored Jagdtiger was the behemoth of the battlefield and boasted a 128mm gun-as opposed to the Ferdinand's 88-with a range of more than thirteen miles, making it deadly despite its limited mobility. Outfitted with these lethal giants, the 653 saw service in Russia, Italy, Austria, and Germany.

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