Panzer Tracts No.3-1
Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. A, B, C, und D
|Publisher and Title||Panzer Tracts No.3-1 Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. A, B, C, und D, development and production from 1934 to 1938, plus the Leichttraktor and Krupp’s M.K.A., created by Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle, Panzer Tracts, P.O. Box 334, Boyds, MD 20841, USA|
|Media and Contents:||72 pages; Soft cover|
|Review Type:||First Read|
|Advantages:||Good photography; technical drawings; covers all variants; designed with modellers in mind.|
This book covers not just the early Pz IIIs, but also the Leichttraktor that came before them.
It was Germany’s first post-WWI gun tank, so belongs here in the Panzer Tracts sequence. Two types were built, by Krupp and by Rheinmetall, with different chassis but the same rear-mounted turret.
Technical specifications are given, with many photographs, side-view plans by Mr Doyle, and drawings with dimensions that give enough information for scratchbuilders to produce models of either version. Then comes the Panzer III coverage, starting with the prototype chassis ordered from Daimler-Benz and from M.A.N. and trial turrets from Rheinmetall and from Krupp. The Krupp turret was selected, with the Daimler-Benz chassis and its coil spring suspension used for the Ausf A. Daimler-Benz produced further test chassis with differing leaf spring suspensions that became the Ausfs B, C and D. All four types saw action in the 1939 Polish campaign of 1939 but, apart from a few Ausf D used in Norway, were replaced by Ausf E before the French campaign.
Development and use is described in detail, with the modifications made during testing and those after issue to the troops. Although there’s a 4-view 1/35 scale plan only for the Ausf D, there are side views of Ausfs A to C and of course many photographs including interior views of the Ausf A turret and full interior and exterior stowage layouts for the Ausf D.
The book ends with the M.K.A., a design intended for export but never given official approval for sale. This was not a development of the Pz III series but a completely different tank, and completes the story of gun-armed Panzers up to 1938.
Some of the photographs are from my own collection, but that doesn’t influence my opinion: this is an essential reference for Pz III fans.
Thanks to Panzer Tracts for the sample