The Combat History of German Heavy Anti-Tank Unit 653

in World War II

Book Description

  • 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.

  • About Munch, Karlheinz

    Karlheinz Munch, a veteran of the modern German Army, has also written a history of German Heavy Anti-Tank Unit 654.