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Book Review
Panzer Vor! 5
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]

Introduction

The armored divisions were the backbone of Hitler’s mighty military war machine. The tank and the armored car were the key components in the blitzkrieg warfare tactic during the early fighting of World War Two and continued to be a force to be reckoned with throughout the war in all areas such as the Western and Eastern fronts and the fighting in North Africa. Germany fielded several different types and variants of the tank and the armored car and several of these designs helped set the example for armor development up to present day.

Panzer Vor! 5 is a 72 page book by Frank V. De Sisto and it is published by the Concord Publications Company with a 2011 copyright. The ISBN is 962-361-176-5. The book is a soft cover book with a 3 page introduction and history. It contains 176 black and white photographs as well as 16 color artwork prints by artist Laurent Lecocq. The book starts with a 3 page introduction with the remainder of the book being dedicated to the wide array of photographs and the color artwork prints. The book focuses on World War Two German armor from the Panzer I up to the Maus as well as various armored cars such as the 231 6-Rad. The phrase “Panzer Vor” is German for “Tank Forward”.

The book

The three page introduction goes into great detail discussing the early victories and success of Germany’s Panzertruppen. It discusses the combination of nine key components of the military functioning as one cohesive military unit. There are each discussed under their own headings. The nine separate components are:

- Tanks
- Reconnaissance
- Infantry
- Artillery and Air Support
- Combat Engineers
- Command and Control
- Logistics
- Use of Terrain
- Tactical Formations

Photographs

Shown throughout the book are a wide variety of black and white photographs. The photographs range from action scenes to more relaxed casual scenes. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several new photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain. The majority of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have a blurry out of focus look to them. I don’t know if this is due to the original photographer or if it is from them being enlarged for the book. Then again I have seen several photographs from WWII that have this look to them so maybe that was just typical for the period. I do know that several WWII military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could part of the reason as well. With all of that said the quality of the photographs is no fault of the author. The photographs are a mixture of wide large area photographs showing several vehicles to close up detailed photographs of a single vehicle. The close up detailed photographs will be a definite bonus to the detailed armor modeler as well as the armor enthusiast. The photographs also cover different seasons such as winter and summer as well as various field conditions such as dry dusty areas to the harsh Russian mud.

Color prints

Artist Laurent Lecocq has provided 16 color prints. The color art work prints are done very well and show nice representations of:

- Schwerer Panzerspähwagen 6-Rad (Sd.Kfz.231), unidentified unit, possibly France, 1940

- Schwerer Panzerspähwagen 8-Rad (Sd.Kfz.231 Ausf. B), post-February 1943, unidentified unit and place

- Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. A, 4.Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 4, 2.Panzer-Division, pre-war Germany

- Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. B, 4.Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 4, 2.Panzer-Division, pre-war Germany

- Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. B, 2.Kompanie, 7.Panzer-Division, France 1940

- Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. A, 3.Kompanie, unidentified Panzer-Division, Poland, September 1939

- Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. A, 7.Komapnie, 1.Panzer-Division, Ostfront 1941

- Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. A, B or C, 1.Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 5, 21.Panzer-Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Libya 1942

- Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf. B, C or D, unidentified Panzer-Division, probably in France, 1940

- Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf. B, C or D, Panzer-Regiment 21, 20.Panzer-Division, Ostfront 1941

- Tauch-Befehlspanzer III Ausf. H, Panzer-Regiment 18, 18.Panzer-Division, Ostfront 1941

- Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H or J, 5.Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 130, 130.Panzer-Lehr-Division, France 1944

- Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I, 9.Kompanie, III.Abteilung, Panzer-Regiment “Großdeutschland”, Panzer-Division “Großdeutschland”, Ostfront July 1944

- Panzerjäger “Elefant”, 1.Kompanie, Heeres schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653, Soriano, Italy, 1944

- 7.5cm PaK40/3 auf SfI.38 Ausf. H “Marder III”, Panzerjäger-Abteilung 171, 71.Infanterie-Division, Esperia, Italy, May 1944

- Sprengladungsträger (Sd.Kfz 301) B. IV Ausf. A (modified), Panzer-Abteilung (FkI) 315, France, 1944

Captions

The captions that accompany the photographs are well written and go into great detail in regards to the various armored vehicles shown. It is obvious that Frank V. De Sisto has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that they are well detailed and point out several items of interest. The author goes in depth describe each individual vehicle, its variants, modifications made to each, the different weapons, specific vehicle uses and the specific military unit and its markings shown. De Sisto also provides information in regards to areas (countries) of operation, non-armored vehicles, field guns, various military personnel shown and even minor details such as the camouflage covers on the German M35 steel helmets. As I read through the captions I did notice that there is odd spacing between the words in some of the captions. By odd I mean that there are large gaps between the words. I imagine this is from the way the caption wording was aligned to fit it with the photograph. This doesn’t take anything away from the informative captions however it is odd in appearance.

As with my other book reviews I like to mention certain things shown in the book that I hope will provide additional information and will be of interest to others.

Some of the German armor shown and discussed in the book include the:

- Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (Sd.Kfz. 222)
- Panzerspähwagen (Sd.Kfz. 232) (6 Rad)
- Schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd.Kfz.232) (8 rad)
- Schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd.Kfz.231) (8 Rad)
- Panzerfunkwagen (Sd.Kfz.263) (8 Rad)
- Panzerspähwagen 5cm KwK L/60-armed (Sd.Kfz.234/2)
- Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. A
- Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. B
- Panzerkampfwagen I (Pz.Kpfw. I ohne Aufbau)
- Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen (Sd.Kfz.265)
- Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. A, B or C
- Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. E or F
- Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. G
- Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. G
- Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. J
- Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. L
- Panzerbefehlswagen Ausf. E
- Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. B or C
- Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. D or E
- Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H or J
- Panther Ausf. D
- Panther Ausf. G
- Tiger I
- Tiger II
- Schwerer Panzerkampfwagen Maus
- 15cm Schwerer Infanteriegeschütz (mot S) auf Panzerkampfwagen I (Sd.Kfz.101) ohne Aufbau Ausf. B
- PanzerJäger II für 7.5cmPaK40/2 (Sd.Kfz.131)
- Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B
- Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.G
- Geschützwagen III/IV für s.FH18/1 (Sf.) (Sd.Kfz.165) “Hummel”
- Jagdpanzer IV L/70 Lang
- Flakpanzerkampfwagen IV (2cm FlaK38 Vierling)
- Flakpanzerkampfwagen IV (3.7cm FlaK43)
- Jagdpanther (8.8cm PaK43/3 L/71) (Sd.Kfz. 173)
- Panzerjäger Tiger (P) (8.8cm PaK43/2 L/71) (Sd.Kfz.184) “Ferdinand”
- Panzerjäger für 7.5cm PaK40/3 (Sd.Kfz.138) Ausf.H “MarderIII”
- Panzerjäger für 7.5cm PaK40/3 (Sd.Kfz.138) Ausf.M “MarderIII”
- Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer
- Sprengladungsträger (explosive charge carrier) B IV
- Ardelt-Rheinmetall 8.8cm PaK43 L/71 Waffenträger

A variety of German non-armored weaponry and equipment is also covered. This includes:

- Ju-87 “Stuka”
- Sd.Ah. 115 tank transporter trailer
- Sd.Ah.116 Tiefladeanhänger für Panzerkampfwagen
- 7.5cm Pak 40 anti-tank gun
- Kettenkraftrad
- Zugkraftwagen 8-ton (Sd.Kfz.7)
- Volkswagen Typ82 “Kubelwagen”
- RSO tractor
- 15cm s.IG33 heavy infantry gun
- Zugkraftwagen 5-ton (Sd.Kfz.6)
- Rampenwagen (Pf. 12) (bridging ramp trailer)
- BMW or Stoewer light cross-country car
- Büssing-NAG three-ton truck
- Zugkraftwagen 3-ton (Sd.Kfz.11)
- Übergangsschienen (engineer bridging ramps)

Other armor shown and discussed in the book include the:

- American M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage

A favorite subject of mine is captured/commandeered equipment and weapons. I was very pleased to see that is was mentioned in this book.

Some of the captured/commandeered items include:

- Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf. B, C or D
- Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf. E, F or G
- French Remorque UK (trailer)


Conclusion

All in all I am very impressed with the book. The variety of German armor and the several variants covered will appeal to the armor modeler as well as the armor enthusiast and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library. I have reviewed other Concord Publications Company titles and I have been very impressed with all of them. I would have no hesitation to add other Concord titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.

References

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Worlds Tanks and Fighting Vehicles
Christopher F. Foss
Chartwell Books, Inc.

German Leichte Panzer at War
Frank V. De Sisto
Concord Publications Company
Leichte Panzers in action
Uwe Feist
Squadron/Signal Publications

Panzerspähwagen in action
Uwe Feist
Squadron/Signal Publications

Tanks of World War II
Duncan Crow
Exeter Books

The Great Tanks
Chris Ellis and Peter Chamberlain
Hamlyn

German Tanks Of World War Two In Action
George Forty
Arms and Armour

An Illustrated History Of Fighting Vehicles
Armin Halle/Carlo Demand
Crescent Books
SUMMARY
Highs: Several unique photographs that cover a wide array of WWII German armor. Well written, researched, and detailed captions, 16 color artwork prints by artist Laurent Lecocq.
Lows: Some of the photographs have a blurry, out of focus look to them. Odd spacing between the words in some of the captions
Verdict: A nice reference book with many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. Variety of German armor and several variants covered will appeal to the modeler as well as the armor enthusiast and be a welcome addition to a personal reference library.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 962-361-176-5
  Suggested Retail: $19.95 US
  Related Link: DragonUSA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Oct 30, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.02%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.



   

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