Panzer Regiment 1, 1935-1945 ...
...from Schneider Armor Research via Casemate Books
Title: Panzer Regiment 1 1935-1945.
Author: Wolfgang Schneider
Publisher: Schneider Armor Research
A landscape format hard-cover book covering what was the first Wehrmacht Panzer Regiment in a fine photo reference. The text, including all the photo captions, are presented in both German and English languages. The 112 pages of this book are packed with nearly 300 archive photos covering the history of this unit, from its' formation through to the end of the war. Virtually none have been published before, as they all come from veterans personal photo collections. So not the kind of posed propaganda images, but very much the personal pictures that soldiers took for their own personal memories, themselves and their mates.
The majority of the photos cover the period of the first half of the war, clearly the troops had less time or inclination to take photos in the later part of the war. So what we see are some super photos of the pre-war period, while the regiment was training and getting used to their new armoured vehicles. For the modeller there are some great details to be seen, such as a variety of frame aerials being tried on the early command tanks, not just the Pz I Befehlswagen but also on a standard Pz I Ausf A. Others include a mix of Pz II variants, along with the early Pz III and IV. They are seen in training in Germany pre-war as well as in action in Poland, and France. The later versions of the Pz IV, with the longer barrelled 75mm gun are seen in Greece and Italy. There is later coverage when the regiment was equipped with Panthers in the final years of the war, and we see them on the Eastern Front leading to Eastern Poland and finally in Hungary right at the end.
To accompany the super photo collection is the history of the regiment, with the initial formation and training, details of formation organisation and markings. Tables detail where the regiment was deployed throughout the course of the war as well as the changing vehicle establishments between the early and late war periods. It will be of great interest to the panzer historian but particularly to the modeller who can see lots of detail on the early tanks especially, along with plenty of diorama ideas as we see them on rail flats, bridging and in service in a variety of settings throughout Europe.
Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.