Panzerkampfwagen I is published by the German Military publishing-house Tankograd Publishing and written by Marcus Zollner. The book is similar to other titles in their 'Specials' series and contains 64 pages. The soft-cover book is A4 size and contains 118 black and white photos. The text contains German and English and the translation is well done.
between the pages
The book is divided into three sections, History, Technology/Variants, and Specialized Vehicles.
The History section consists of just a few paragraphs that gives a brief history on how Germany went about developing tanks following WWI with the restrictions that were placed on them and how the Pz. I came to be.
Technology/Variants is somewhat brief but breaks down what the differences were between the Ausf “A”, “B”, “C” and “F” models. The Variants section contains several paragraphs on each variant and supporting photos later in the book. This section describes in good, although brief, detail the conversions that were based on the chassis of the Pz. l. Those being:
• Drivers Training vehicle
• Command Vehicle (Sd. Kfz 265)
• Maintenance and Repair Vehicle
• Ammunition Carrier (Sd.Kfz 111)
• Anti-aircraft tank (Flakpanzer)
• Laube Ammunition Carrier
• 150mm Self-propelled Infantry Gun s.I.G.33 (Bison)
• Panzerjager I Tank destroyer
• Demolition Carrier
• Bridge layer
• Flame Thrower
• Movie Tank (Used for propaganda films)
• Ambulance Tank (Krankpanzer)
While these were the “Official” conversions, there were many others that were sometimes a “one-off” field modification and there was little to no documentation of these other than what a passing soldier happened to photograph. However, there are a couple of pictures included that show these rare vehicles.
I feel this is what sets this series of books apart from the competitors. The printed photos are sharp and clear and show a wealth of detail for the modeler, not just of the vehicle, but of the environment and theaters they operated in. I have never seen these photos before unlike many other books that seem to re-visit the same pictures over and over. These are a fresh and welcome change. Besides the images of the vehicles themselves, the photos are a great reference of how weather and climate affected the vehicles and the crew.
This is an excellent book of a surprisingly interesting subject. While the Pz. I wasn’t the most widely produced, most powerful, or most anything really of the German army, it’s important to remember that this is what German tank crews were trained on before moving on to the “Big Boys”. The crewmen who manned the Panthers and Tigers cut their teeth on these not-so-giant vehicles and this book does a very good job of profiling and describing that tank. The first eight pages contain the text about the vehicle and the remaining pages are the photographs and they speak volumes more than any text could. Highly recommended.
Highs: Great photos. Just enough technical info that it doesn't become confusing.Lows: Lack of scale plans.Verdict: A very worthwhile book in my opinion. Highly recommended.
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