Der Tiger Volume 2

Schwere Panzerabteilung 502 by Volker Ruff reviewed for Military Modelling by John Prigent

This is the second volume in a series intended to cover all the Tiger battalions and like Volume 1 about sPzAbt 501 it does a very thorough job. The first thing that strikes you on picking up the book is that both front and back covers have full-page photographs of those intriguing white-camouflaged Tigers with random-looking black blotches that many modellers have copied. 

The text is divided into chapters, each with its own group of photographs with detailed captions – wherever possible the place, date and company are identified. In fact these are not just photos from official archives and private collections but in many cases were taken by members of 502. Quite a few have not been seen before.

An index gives the basic timeline of the chapters and is sub-divided into specific places and times so that if, for instance, you want to check on actions in the Oranienbaum bridgehead, the index tells you which page to go to for the text and the start of the photographs set there.

This is, as stated on the cover, a pictorial documentation so the text doesn’t go into enormous detail. The captions, though, do give a great deal of information – some of which will surprise readers. Those front and back cover photos, for instance; reading the book reveals that (a) the blotches were not always random but sometimes served as identifiers, and (b) they were not black.

The photo coverage is excellent. Some are lower in quality, but still worth seeing for their rarity such as the one showing the ‘handed’ early tracks on an in-service Tiger. In fact they’re an absolute treasure trove for Tiger fans. Of course, there are very few photos of the Abteilung’s eventual Tiger 2 re-equipment, a disappointment for some but to be expected when one takes into account that they were only received at the end of March 1945. Highly recommended!


ISBN: 978-3-9816908-1-1

Price: £26.99

Pages: 128

Format: hardback (landscape) – 305mm x 250mm

Publisher: Volker Ruff