Munch: Combat History of German Heavy Anti-Tank Unit 653 in World War II. Paperback

  • Combat History of German Heavy Anti-Tank Unit 653 in World War II.
  • Karlheinz M√ľnch 2005
  • Paperback, 370 pages, colour & b/w photos, 280 x 215 mm
This work includes hundreds of photos, many never published before, of Germany's rarely seen tank destroyers, including the Ferdinand, Elephant, and Jagdtiger; colour illustrations focus on unit markings, numbering, and camouflage. Accompanying text chronicles the unit's combat operations; Personal accounts from the men who rode in these mechanical monsters. The 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 re-designated in April 1943, the 653 received its first Ferdinand 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 armoured 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.