BOOK REVIEWS

BOOK REVIEW 2

Pen and Sword Books latest Images of War Special: The Panther Tank, Hitler’s t-34 Killer does an excellent job of giving the reader an excellent overview of what drove the design and development of one of the most famous tanks of World War 2. The Panther had it’s flaws, but was a feared adversary for Allied tankers during World War 2, and its influence on tank design extends to currently deployed main battle tanks. The book’s organization is well suited to the military modeler because it illustrates the subtle differences between the Panther variants. Plus, Pen and Sword has included quite a few new photographs that I hadn’t seen before, which is always great to see because it gives the military modeler guidelines as to how German crews camouflaged and added stowage to their Panthers. Finally, the book discusses some of the major campaigns and battles that Panthers took part in, and helps balance the tank’s formidable technical specifications against its combat record. As author Anthony Tucker-Jones discusses, the Panther was a fearsome opponent, but poor reliability and inexperienced crews limited the tanks ultimate impact on the battlefield. I have been a fan of the German Panther tank for a long time, and this book is a welcome addition to my military history library.

 

BOOK REVIEW  1

Summer is a busy time here in the Rockies, we haven’t had much time to work on RC tanks, but as modelers we still enjoy reading about history.  One of our favorite sources of historical reference photos is the series of books called IMAGES OF WAR, published by Pen & Sword over in the UK.  Our little group has several of their books.

The latest book added to our reference library is;

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This book reveals a collection of photographs taken by a professional photographer, Walter Grimm, who was inducted into the German army in 1940.   It shows in vivid detail, his experiences as a Landser (foot soldier) from basic training in Germany, through summers and winters fighting in Ukraine, then finishing with a chapter about the honored and the fallen.  The author’s caption for each photo, often explaining details of the equipment or vehicles shown, is a rich treasure trove of information, both for the historian as well as the scale modeler.  

After years of reading and researching WWII, I was delighted to lose track of the new things I was learning, about half way through this book.  Photo after photo of men working with trucks and equipment showed many details of things I had never seen, new details of things I did know about but never understood, and some things I had never imagined.

 I think the best part of this book, is how the photographer’s and the author’s work have combined into something greater than the words or pictures themselves.  Their work has combined into a snapshot of history that pulls the reader into the German Army, into WWII, into the daily lives of those men, the men who made our history.

 I’ve picked a few pictures from the collection that struck me as showing a deeply human side, to a very inhumane time and place.   I’ve hallmarked the photos out of respect for the author and photographer, and used them here with the permission of the publisher. 

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Basic training – gas mask

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A Ford truck in the German Army…     ”they used 100 different trucks, 53 types of car, and 150 models of motorcycles” pg. 33

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 Till I read this book, I never would have believed the German’s used camels in Ukraine in WWII.

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The real guys who made history!  Them and millions like them.  

 

Pages and pages of high quality photos, accompanied by maps and text, make this book a treasure for any library.

 

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