Anti-Tank Weapons (World War 2 Fact Files) by Peter Chamberlain

By Peter Chamberlain

From the experimental ordinance of WWI to the high-tech armaments of current, this illustrated heritage tells the tale of anti-tank weaponry with assistance from archival and glossy images and line drawings.

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Cold and snow always slowed the movement of troops. When snow began to fall, armies at war had to provide shelter for their equipment, men, and horses. This time, however, the war dragged on through the fall months without letup, causing death and hardship across a wide swath of France and Belgium. As the German army advanced, it committed atrocities against the civilian population. If Belgian snipers attacked the German troops, German officers ordered immediate reprisals against civilians. indd 38 10/9/15 11:26 AM children who were taking no part in the war.

Most of the seasoned German soldiers and older, toughened veterans had been sent to the Russian front. Younger and less experienced soldiers who were recruited first, or who quickly volunteered, boarded trains for the western front. Likewise, in the United Kingdom, young men rushed to join the war for the personal glory they thought they might achieve. Many acted out of fear the war might end before they could get to the front. As the war dragged on through the fall of 1914, however, youthful enthusiasm faded.

The Germans had set up strong defensive positions on the hilly, forested terrain of the region, which strained communications for the French units. French infantry, still wearing their brightly colored nineteenth-century uniforms, began their advance in the first week of the war. German machine guns mowed them down by the thousands. In Belgium, the German armies rushed through lightly defended cities and surrounded the strongholds at Liège and Namur as they moved toward their ultimate goal, Paris.

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