Tiger Tank: Owners' Workshop Manual
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 15 Nov 2013
Full list of authors: David Fletcher, David Willey, and Mike Hayton
There was a point in time when my interest in cars inspired me to get my hands dirty installing larger intake manifolds, scrubbing down dirty throttle bodies, or simply just doing the routine oil changes. Thus, Haynes repair manuals were not foreign to me. Tiger Tank: Owners' Workshop Manual, however, was a bit different than the Haynes manuals that I had referred to, to say the least!
Co-branded by Haynes and Zenith Press, Tiger Tank used the history of British Tank Museum's "Tiger 131" to provide the starting point to the many technical diversions that the author would make. When discussing its heavy weight (and thus unable to use some bridges), for example, a segment on the Tiger tank's ability to travel under water was introduced, accompanied by technical details such as intake and exhaust air flow diagrams for when the tank was traveling in normal mode and in submerged mode. When explaining the tank's fearsome 88-millimeter gun, step-by-step instructions for firing complemented cut away diagrams of the turret. Just like how I would expect a Haynes guide to explain on a Ford Focus or a Toyota Camry, this book provided detailed diagrams on the starter, the transmission, and fuel pump. Even seemingly trivial things such as the fact that the emergency hatch could not be closed from the inside and that later models of Tiger tanks had larger luggage bins than the early models did not escape unmentioned. As I expected, the diagrams were further reinforced by many historical photographs of Tiger tanks as well as contemporary photographs of surviving examples. One piece of useful information I had taken away was that despite these tanks were larger than most of their contemporaries on the battlefield, they were by no means lumbering hulks; in fact, their speed and maneuverability were very much on par with their smaller T-34 and M4 Sherman adversaries.
WW2DB readers with interest in tanks would find this book a treasure. For those who also tinkered with cars on weekends? Tiger Tank: Owners' Workshop Manual might need to be on your wish list for that upcoming holiday. On the other side of the token, of course, would be that the shop talk might be a bit over the heads of some.
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Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937