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Panzers in the Gunsights, German AFVs in the ETO 1944-45 in US Army Photos

by Steven J. Zaloga

Concord Publications, ISBN 962-361-093-9. Price: unavailable.

Well-known for his studies on US and Soviet equipment, this book is a departure for Mr. Zaloga as it deals exclusively with German AFVs, although with a bit of a twist. The photos depict abandoned, destroyed or captured AFVs. The text is therefore quite minimal, consisting of only a single page. In the text, the author goes into a bit of detail concerning how one finds photographs in the US National Archives system. Serious independent researchers will benefit from this information, while the average modeler will gain a better understanding of the processes involved in compiling a book such as this.

The book contains 185 B&W photos, broken down by subject matter (or in this case, vehicle type). So, there will be a group of photos depicting the Pz.Kpfw.IV series, Panther series, etc. Coverage also includes assault guns, half-tracks, SP artillery and the odd foreign AFV in German service. Some vehicles, such as the Jagdtiger have an excellent assortment of detailed photos taken of a specific vehicle, which will be of more than passing interest to a modeler. Likewise, Tiger II, tactical number “332” is covered in some detail, to include some interior photos as well as a photo of it displayed at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds immediately post-war. There are a number of interesting photos of panzers on rail flat cars, as well as less usual vehicles such as the SWS and prototype 10.5cm howitzer on Pz.Kpfw.IV chassis. Golioth demolition vehicles as well as armored trains are also covered. Finally, a small assortment of panzerstellung concrete-emplaced panzer turrets are depicted.

The quality of the photo reproduction is good, while the captions are informative, if less detailed than one usually sees from this author. I also think there is a glitch in one caption on page 72, center, left. The panzerstellung turret is a Pz.Kpfw.II type, although it is mounting a 3.7cm gun from a Pz.Kpfw.III; the author designates it as a Pz.Kpfw.III, which may or may not be correct.

There are some very unique AFVs represented in the color plate section, including those captured intact and used against their former owners. These in particular will benefit those modelers who want something a bit different. For instance the following AFVs are described: Pz.Jgr.38(t) Ausf.M, 15cm Sd.Kfz.135/1 on Lorraine chassis, two 7.5cm PaK40 Sd.Kfz.135 on Lorraine chassis, three Panther Ausf.A, one Marder III SD.Kfz.139, two Panther Ausf.G (one in French use), two Tiger II (one in US Army use), two Tiger I (one in French use), one Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J (one in French use) and one Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D (in US Army use). In all cases, the color schemes and/or the vehicle markings are colorful or quite unusual.

While this book might appear to be “nothing fancy”, don’t let that fool you; there’s loads of good stuff here for modelers.


Frank De Sisto

Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.

Concord Publications are available from retail and mail order shops. For details see their web site at: www.concordpublications.com.