German Panzerjaegers were born of the same idea as U.S. tank destroyers. It was thought that the best offense against a tank was not another tank but a highly maneuverable, lightly armored vehicle carrying a high velocity gun. This certainly was the case when tanks were big, under-powered, slow vehicles. More powerful, lighter, and smaller tank engines would rectify some of those limitations of course as the war progressed.
The first tank destroyers were make-shift affairs mounting an existing gun in an open-topped enclosure on existing chassis. The problem with these vehicles was that they ended up being too tall and there was not enough armor to protect the gun crew. The Germans decided that better protection was needed and designs were made with a fully enclosed gun compartment. The Jagdpanther was a tank destroyer based on the Panther chassis, mounting an 88mm gun. It was produced from May 1944 until the end of the war.
"Panzer Tracts 9-3: Jagdpanther" was created by Thomas Jentz with scale plans by Hilary Louis Doyle. It was published in 2005 by Panzer Tracts (ISBN 0-9771643-0-6). This is the third volume covering fully enclosed tank destroyers although it is the first of the set to be published. The book has 92 8.5"x11" pages. The vehicle scale drawings (top, left, right, front, and rear view) are 1/35 scale while the many drawings of external details are 1/10 scale.
"Development" covers the evolution from an 88mm gun mounted on a Panzer IV chassis its mounting on the Panther chassis.
"Production" is a brief chapter on Jagdpanther production with tables showing who produced how what quantity and when they produced them.
"Modifications Introduced During Production" also covers modifications made after the vehicles were issued to units. Abteilung 654, the first to get jagdpanthers, made some modifications of their own. There were a myriad of modifications allowing a modeler to "personalize" their particular build.
"Organization and Tactics" covers the organization of Jagdpanther units and how they were used. There is also coverage of unit strengths over time.
Panzer Tracts books I've reviewed before usually fall into one of two categories: One vehicle with many variants, or many vehicles with few variants. This book covers one vehicle with few variants, but what "JagdPanther" lacks in text, it more than makes up for in scale drawings. If there were no good kits of the Jagdpanther, you could scratch build one just using this book. Note that the caption for the back of the book has the two versions switched.
Highs: Unprecedented amount of scale plans for the vehicle and external details.Lows: Use of German terms that are not found in the glossary.Verdict: If you are doing a Jagdpanther kit, this is a must-have reference item.
About Gary Kato (GaryKato) FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
.After long thought, I am just a kit assembler, not a true modeler. I build with what the kit provides; no after market parts.
I am also a builder rather than a painter. I don't bother if a color is too green or too blue.
Currently, I am just trying to finish up the kits I've started, mostly ...