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on 17 April 2014
This book is very good, and marred only by a few errors. David Higgins provides a very good technical survey, a very readable account of these vehicles’ use in combat, organisational details, and gun performance data – so often overlooked by writers yet the ‘business end’ of any AFV. The artwork is excellent, and the comments about camouflage while concise are accurate and helpful to modellers. I particularly like the author’s depth of knowledge the problems of armour plate manufacture that bedevilled German industry in the later war years, his correct understanding of German terminology and – for a change in an Osprey publication – correct German spelling. Similarly, although David is an American citizen, the book is written with British spelling which I think is only right for a book published here. My only gripe is the unfortunate use by many authors, not just David, of the imprecise term ‘HVAP’ (High Velocity Armour Piercing) instead of the equally concise but more descriptive APCR (armour piercing composite rigid) or – for British wartime guns – APDS (armour piercing discarding sabot).
The errors are as follows. Page 29 states that the German Pzgr 40 APCR round “had a smaller explosive charge” than Pzgr 39 APCBC/HE round. In point of fact, APCR and APDS shot had no explosive fillings; they were inert as “shot” as opposed to “shell” implies, and fitted only with a tracer to aid gunnery. A cavity filled with explosive would have been self-defeating, as it would have weakened the structure which already had enough impact stresses to overcome, and a fuse would be similarly challenged. Moreover, any HE filling would be lighter than solid metal, thereby reducing the weight of the projectile and so degrading long range performance even further, which in APCR shot at least was already badly affected by the adverse light weight-to-large calibre ratio. On this page, David has not translated ‘Stahlkern’ (steel core) or ‘Weicheisen’ (soft iron, or sometimes taken to mean pure iron).
The lower photo on page 34 is incorrectly captioned, as the tank is a later production M4A2 75mm Sherman, and not an M4A2 (76) W [76mm gun with wet stowage] as stated. The appliqué armour on the hull side near the front to protect the ammunition bins is distinctive, as is the turret shape and the split cupola lid and the handrail in front of this. Finally the turret itself is the 75mm pattern, which was both smaller and rounder than the T 23 turret used on the 76mm Shermans.
The upper photo caption on page 51 is also incorrect; the standard towing vehicle for the 88mm FlaK 18 or 36 was the 8-tonne SdKfz 7, and not the 12-tonne SdKfz 8 as stated. On page 59, the photo caption is also incorrect; the vehicle in the left forewground is a SdKfz 250 alt light halftrack, and not the larger SdKfz 251 medium APC as stated. The other vehicle to its left is not an SdKfz 7 8-tonne prime mover, but rather the smaller SdKfz 10 1-tonne halftrack used to tow the smaller anti-tank guns.
On page 73, the gun performance data gives no figure for the complete Pzgr 40 APCR round, and most sources fail to quote it. However, at least one source states that the complete round weighed 19.9 kg. Other sources give slightly different projectile and complete round weights, and the 88mm penetration data quoted in other sources often gives a higher performance, though David's are probably more realistic values.
Overall, a fine effort.
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on 11 May 2014
I agree with comments made by previous reviewers, particularly the positive points about some technical issues (e.g. armour composition) and the negative ones about inaccurate photo captions. My main feeling about the book, however, is that there is way too much general description of the German armoured offensives in Hungary in early 1945. This contains very little specific to either the Jagdpanther or Su100. In contrast, the recent book in the same series, M10 Tank Destroyer vs Stug III Assault Gun is much better at using detailed combat reports to highlight how the 2 vehicles were used in combat. The end result is that you really don't feel you have a much better idea of the relative effectiveness of these tank destroyers, which is - for me - the 'bottom line' for a publication in this series. This is why I have only given it 3 stars.
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on 31 May 2014
The Duel series is a firm favourite of mine and I have bought most of the tank related books. Based on the titles of the books, the buyer can hope to expect that the focus will firmly be on the two vehicles named and hopefully be able to read of detailed incidents of their performance in the same battle and if not, then at least how they compared in similar actions. I have noticed that some of the Duel titles can wander away from the core subject at times and in such slim volumes, this can be quite a distraction.

Unfortunately, this is very much the case here as the narrative starts to give way (substantially) to the campaign in Hungary and the subsequent westwards advance of the Soviet armies, with much of this general history being centred at the corps and divisional level and it feels that when the Jagdpanther or SU-100 are mentioned, it is almost incidental. It actually feels like two different books rolled into one, a mix of general history and one of technical specification.

I really feel disappointed that I am highlighting the negative aspect of the book, as I really like the writing style of David Higgins. His work is informative and enjoyable to read, it is just that it wanders away from the subject that I thought I was buying into. I don't particularly feel this is the fault of the author, but I would have hoped that Osprey could have kept this on track and I think that Osprey need to decide what exactly they want this series to do as I recently experience a similar issue with the panther Vs sherman book that wandered off into the Bulge campaign. To date Panzerjager Vs KV-1 seems to have been the best of the tank based books that I have read.

For an enjoyable read, or if you would like to know some general history on the 1944 / 45 east front operations or if you collect the series, then the book can be recommended. If you are specifically interested in seeing a substantial description of how these vehicles operated at the tactical level, then too much of the thin volume may leave you disappointed. For the actual authors work, I would be happy to go with 5 stars, to satisfy my interest in the title subject, I am regrettably only able to offer 3 stars.
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on 13 November 2014
I was very disappointed in this book. The author seems to have lost track on the subject and instead written a brief history of the German offensives in Hungary in Mar 1945.
I struggled to find any description of the duel mentioned in the title, apart from a few brief lines towards the end of the book.
I was also puzzled to see so many pictures of other vehicles with no relation to the subject matter (17 if I counted correctly). A harsh review possibly, but this is not the book I expected it to be.
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on 1 July 2014
This is one of the poorest of the 'Duel' series. The parts of the book that actually deal with the Jagdpather and the SU-100 are very good indeed but it's almost as if the author had run out of things to say about these vehicles, because the narrative repeatedly shifts to the combat between the Wehrmacht and Red Army in Hungary in early 1945. Whilst there is some mention of both these types of AFV in these chapters these are incidental rather than core components of the text. The comparisons between these vehicles and what it was like to fight in them respectively could have been described in much greater detail than this.
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on 22 June 2014
Interesting subject, but it just never caught my imagination. I'm a bit disappointed to be honest. There isn't enough Jagdpanther vs Su100 in it, just two parallel histories and descriptions in the one book. I love this series though.
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on 26 August 2015
great purchase, well pleased with the book
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on 25 May 2014
Having bought the duel kingtiger v JSII another late war title i was drawn to this. It did not disappoint overall. It provided useful details on both types and also gave insight into a theatre of war previously neglected.
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on 31 January 2016
Excellent new condition.
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on 26 November 2015
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