|CONCORD: Panzerkampfwagen III & IV 1939-45|
Jurgen Mares takes a look at this title from Concord - thanks to Casemate!
Panzerkampfwagen III & IV
Supplier: Casemate Publishing
Author: Tom Cockle
Softcover, 80 pages
With news of Dragons late variant Panzer IV’s hitting the shelves soon and Tamiya's wonderful Panzer III offerings, we modellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to variants of these workhorses that were the backbone of the Axis forces. With this in mind, Concords newest offering covering these vehicles is a welcome companion.
The 3 page introduction lists the major variations of the Panzerkampfwagen III and IV, starting with the initial run of Pz.III Ausf A to the final versions of the Pz.IV. Each variant (including the Tauchpanzer variant) has a paragraph detailing the modifications, additions and deletions carried out from previous versions or born out of field experience and even war material resources when covering, for example, the final Pz.IV Ausf Js’. For those wanting further information, a concise bibliography provides all the extra reference material you’ll need.
Main Content - Photo References
Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf.A to Ausf.J
A great selection of period photos, displaying all the variants of the Pz.III family.
Each photo has accompanying text which describes the individual and unique characteristics of the particular version in question, highlighting key components of the vehicle pictured. Also described are any unit markings, colours/camouflage and theatre of operations with accompanying dates. Field modifications or irregularities are also highlighted.
Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf.A to Ausf.J
As with the Pz.III, the photos have accompanying text describing the structural characteristics particular to the version being displayed. Unique divisional specific modifications are covered, as well as modifications made due to environmental conditions (i.e. Ostketten/Winter tracks)
There are 16 beautifully illustrated colour plates of each variant, again with accompanying information on RAL colouring, camouflage and unit markings encompassing all major theatres of operation.
Tom Cockle has provided us with a great pictorial history and evolution of the Pz.III through to the Pz.IV. Although this is not a technical manual with a plethora of schematics and data tables, it does contain enough textual information to keep those wanting variant details satisfied, from the very small production numbers of the Pz.III Ausf A to the enforced changes on the Pz.IV Ausf J due to war material shortages. Those preferring purely technical and statistical information rather than an offering leaning more towards pictorial content may be disappointed.
For me, the beauty of this title is that pictorial content. It is jammed packed with great period shots of all Pz.III and IV variants, including Tauchpanzers and the ‘Where’s Wally (or Waldo if you prefer)’ of the Pz.IV offshoots, the Bruckenlager, and as such is a gold mine for modeller, history buffs or anyone with a general interest in the subject alike. Photographs of later versions of the Pz.IV clearly show the different types of zimmerit applied, again a bonus for the modeller.
Taking in consideration the great pictures, ample details and wonderful colour plates, this book will provide project inspiration to any modeller with a interest in Panzerkampfwagen III/IV’s. Images of a Panzer III Ausf J hurtling along side a railway line into action, or the abandoned Panzer IV Ausf C with its discarded road wheels and drive sprocket strewn around the vehicle, are just two examples that immediately spring to mind.
With the major manufactures (Dragon, Tamiya and Trumpeter) all offering a wide variety of Pz.III’s and Pz.IV’s, and more on the way, and if like me your stash includes a few of them, this title becomes a must. It really is a one stop shop for the Panzerkampfwagen III and IV family. Recommended.
My thanks to Casemate Publishing for the review sample.