Published in the summer of 2009, Nuts & Bolts
Volume 24 focuses on the Panzer II Ausf. D/E along with all its variants. Bearing only a slight resemblance to the other series of Pz.Kpfw.II’s, production began in 1938. Firepower consisted of a 2cm Kw.K 30 and a MG 34, both turret mounted, and the tank was manned by three crewmembers; driver, radio operator and commander/gunner. The Pz. II D only served combat duty in the Polish Campaign in 1939. Afterwards, the remaining chassis were converted into variants with some remaining in service well into 1944.
a peek inside
Written by Joachim Baschin
, this soft cover volume contains 162 perfect bound pages with both English and German text. Over 230 B&W period photos grace the pages, with 2-3 images per page for the most part. More than 270 photos are included in total, along with technical drawings and color plates. Inside the front cover is a timeline showing the evolution into the variants along with small photos of each.
Panzer II Ausf. D/E:
The book begins with an introduction of the Pz. I & II leading up to the development of the Pz. II D and E. The chassis, armament, superstructure, camouflage/markings and active service are all covered in separate sections, and the pages are sprinkled with technical tables and line drawings. In typical N&B style, a lot of information is included here in an easy to read, and understand, format.
Following the text are 24 pages of B&W photos, with informative captions describing the scene and/or highlighting points of interest. Since the Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. D was earmarked for the Panzerabteilungen (verlastet)
, (armored battalion on lorry), it’s nice to see that images of the Faun and Sd.Anh. 116 toting these tanks around in parade shots and in the field are included. Separate images of the inner turret, TZF 4 sighting device, radio set, pioneer tools, HL 62 TRM engine, etc. are also included.
John L. Rue provides the excellent 1/35 scale drawings of the D1, D2 and E versions, along with isometric drawings of the D1. Also included here are technical drawings of the running gear, hull, cooling system, general layout, muffler, turret, dashboard and front hatches.
This short chapter covers the first Pz. II Ausf. D conversion as an armored bridge layer. The turret and armament stayed in place with a wooden superstructure built around it. This limited the firing position of the gun to forward only, as the turret could no longer be rotated.
Four 1/35 scale drawings by John L. Rue are included, along with two B&W images of this rare vehicle.
The next 38 pages deals with the Pz.Kpfw. II (f) Flammpanzer and begins with a short introduction followed by chapters covering the changes in armament, turret and hull complete with technical tables. A service history with organizational and deployment charts and camouflage/markings rounds out the first 7 pages. Period photos span 26 pages with some very welcome shots of the elusive Ausf. E, of which only 5 were produced.
A few of the photos show the Flammpanzer in the company of Pz. III’s, 38(t)’s, other Pz. II’s, a s.I.G. 33 Pz. I, and more. The final 5 pages of this section contain the 1/35 scale drawings of the D1, D2 and E versions, with isometric drawings of the D1 and a layout diagram of the flame thrower and smoke candle systems.
Pz.Sfl. I für 7,62cm Pak 36:
Better known as the Marder II, production of this tank hunter began in 1942 with an original order of 150 units. The D2 chassis that were allocated to be converted to the Flammpanzer were used for the Marder II instead, and this initial production run finished in May 1942. An additional 60 were ordered which used the D1 chassis, although only 52 were completed as there were no more chassis available.
This section comprises 38 pages and follows the same format as the previous segments. 25 pages of B&W photos provide an excellent all around view of the exterior of both factory fresh and in the field examples. Photos of field modifications, crew stowage and camouflage are an asset to the modeler. John L. Rue finishes this section up with the technical drawings of the D1, D2 and radio layout.
Fahrschulpanzer II Ausf. D:
A short 3 page section on the driving school use of the Ausf. D including 2 period photos and 2 1/35 scale drawings.
With the chassis assigned to the Marder II, the Flammpanzer turrets were put to further use as ringstands. A short description of the 232a and 232b versions, along with a technical table and line drawings are included here. 4 pages of color photos show surviving bunkers in Norway sporting both the Bauform 232a and Bauform 232b Flamm turrets.
Tony Greenland provides the info on modeling the Pz. II Ausf. D/E, Flammpanzer and Marder II along with 6 pages of color photos of the three finished models. A model overview of available kits and accessories at the time of publication is also included.
Laurent Lecocq’s beautiful color plates span 14 pages and cover the Ausf. D, Flammpanzer and Marder II. Inset with each scheme is a thumbnail image of the original vehicle that the plates were based on. Ammunition and markings, along with descriptions, are also provided here.
Though not produced in vast quantities, the Pz. II Ausf. D & E played an important role in Germany’s history, and the Nuts & Bolts team have published an outstanding volume covering this vehicle. No present day walk-arounds are included in this volume besides the ringstands, as I don’t believe any surviving vehicles exist. Highly recommended for the historian and modeler alike.
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