TankCraft 8, Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer...
...German Army and Waffen-SS Western Europe 1944-45, new from Pen and Sword
Title: TankCraft 8, Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer
Author: Dennis Oliver
Publisher: Pen and Sword Books
Book No 8 in their TankCraft series from Pen and Sword, and another in this series by author Dennis Oliver. It's another one which is excellent for the armour modeller and equally useful for the military historian interested in the Panzers of WW2, specifically with the German Army and SS units which operated the Jagdpanther in Western Europe from 1944 through to 1945.
The Jagdpanther was possibly the best of the heavy tank destroyers of WW2. The book follows what is the common format of this series now, starting with an Introduction that provides the basic design history behind it, followed by 8 pages of significant dates that provide a timeline from D-Day through to the end of the war in 1945, illustrated by a map of Western Europe and some archive photos. It goes on to give a diagram illustrating the structure of the vehicles allocated to a Schwere (Heavy) Panzerjager unit at the start of tackling the Jagdpanther in Service, going through all of the units which operated the type. This takes a break from page 17, when you get 8 pages of fine colour profiles, along with accompanying notes, and leading into the next 12 pages of Modellers Showcase. This showcases some very nicely finished models from a number of fine armour modellers, including completed models in 1/35, 1/48 and 1/72 scales. That in turn leads to another 12 pages on Modelling Products which has details of kits by various manufacturers from 1/16 through 1/35, 1/48 and 1/72 from a variety of manufacturers such as Tamiya, Dragon, Italeri, Revell and more. If the kits themselves were not enough, then etch, metal and resin accessories from Eduard, Royal Model, Voyager, ET, Black Dog and Griffon Models among others.
Pages 49 -59 sees the second half of the individual unit histories while pages 60-63 contains the Technical Details of the Jagdpanther. Not only the main differences between those with the single piece main gun barrel and bolted or welded mantlet but Dennis also provides even more detail covering the smaller details that were made as well. These final sections are also well illustrated with a selection of useful and appropriate archive photos which help illustrate the text. Among all those archive photos I found myself fascinated by one in particular, showing three wrecks all together in a field in Belgium as late at 1947.
Another useful addition to the Tankcraft series from Dennis Oliver and an ideal modellers reference.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.