Hitler's Light Tanks...

 

...from Pen & Sword

 

Title: Hitler's Light Tanks

Author: Paul Thomas

Publisher: Pen & Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52674-166-0

 

The German Panzer is again the main topic of this new Images of War title, this time their light tanks in particular. The author has split the topic across 4 chapters after the introduction and then all rounded off with an Appendix that lists all the variants of the different types of light tank used by the German military in WW2. The gun tanks were largely outclassed by the later war years, but their variants, particularly the Panzerjager, remained effective right through to the end.

The first chapter looks at Bltizkrieg, in 1939-40. Here we see a good mix of both Pz I and Pz II variants, along with the captured Czech tanks, the Pz 35(t) and the Pz 38(t). Plenty of detail to be seen amidst the selection of archive images, both for the vehicles and their crews. On particular picture that grabbed my eye was an Sdkfz 9 towing an Sd Anh 115 trailer, which has a Pz 38(t) on board, and in the process of crossing a pontoon bridge, a scene that might tempt a number of modellers. Chapter 2 moves on to the Balkans and the Easter Front in 1941. Similarly useful pictures here, including variants such as the Aufklarungspanzer 38(t) as well as a few 'snowy' images. For chapter 3 the story moves on to Battles in Russia 1942-43.  More snow and mud and obvious evidence of the wide open spaces in Russia plus some impressive columns of AFVs that must have impressed those who saw them. We also see some of the later panzerjager, such as the Marder II and III. In the final chapter, Last Years, 1943-45 is the smallest section and features the later weapons such as the Wespe, the Marder III and the Hetzer, all of which continued to perform useful roles up to the end of the war.

Nice to see good coverage of the German light panzers, in particular the Pz I and II as well the Pz 38(t).  A good addition to the series.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin