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Mike

Panzerjäger on the Battlefield - Volume 15 – World War II Photobook Series (ISBN: 9786155583070)

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Panzerjäger on the Battlefield

Volume 15 – World War II Photobook Series (ISBN: 9786155583070)

Peko Books

 

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The term Panzerjäger refers to the German description of tank hunters, which during WWII were separate from the Panzer crews, and tasked with the destruction of the enemy's armour.  They used existing tank chassis with anti-tank guns attached in place of the turret, the chassis and barrel diameter increasing in size to combat the newer tanks that were constantly coming on stream.  The initial Panzerjäger mounted a 47mm PaK on a Panzer I chassis, and was soon replaced by the Marder series of vehicles that ended with the Marder III with a 75mm PaK on a Panzer 38(t) chassis.

 

The Dicker Max, Sturer Emil, Hornisse/Nashorn and eventually the Elefant completed the line, with the latter mounting a formidable 88mm PaK on a left-over Tiger (P) chassis, and a fully enclosed casemate.  In addition, there were the infamous StuGs and Hetzers that benefitted from their low profile, and in the case of the latter, small size and heavily sloped armour, which gave them a distinct advantage over larger, more sluggish opponents.

 

The Jagdpanzer later replaced the Panzerjäger, although the two often fought side-by-side on the battlefield until the end of the war.

 

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The Book

This new volume from Peko's World War Two Photobook Series, and as the name suggests it is primarily a book of photos, which isn't too difficult to divine.  It is hardback bound with 112 pages, finished in an overall white cover, which was quite difficult to scan, as you can see!  The photos are almost without exception full page, with space left only for the captions, which are in Hungarian and English, each one adding valuable insight to the photo, which may not be immediately apparent without it.  For the modeller there are plenty of diorama possibilities, as well as opportunities to see how the crews actually stowed their gear on their vehicles (or otherwise) in real-world circumstances.  Seeing how they come apart when blown up is also useful for diorama purposes, but thankfully there are no grisly scenes accompanying the destroyed vehicles.  Quite a few of the photos must be from private collections, as there are a substantial quantity of soldiers standing in front of damaged or abandoned vehicles after the fighting is over, plus a number of groups investigating the wreckage after a cataclysmic explosion of the tank's magazine, or demolition by the escaping crew.

 

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Of course the source photos are all black and white, and some are a little challenged by both the photographer's skill, equipment and the ravages of time, but the reprints are as high quality as is possible to obtain.  It is nice to see such large prints too, as crowding several photos onto one page results in postage stamp sized pictures that are little use as a source of detail, even with magnification.

 

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Whether you are a history buff or a modeller, there's a lot to recommend this book, and with the solid binding, it should give you good service over the years.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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