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Panzer Tracts 6 - Schwere Panzerkampfwagen DW to E100 including the Tigers

John Prigent

PANZER TRACTS No 6, Schwere Panzerkampfwagen D.W. to E-100 including the Tigers, assembled by Thomas L. Jentz, scale prints by Hilary Louis Doyle, ISBN 0-9708407-1-3, US$19.95, Panzer Tracts, P.O. Box 334,  Boyds, MD 20841. 

This latest in the Panzer Tracts series is the first to be published since their amicable split from Darlington Productions, and is still produced to the same standard – in other words, don’t worry, it’s uniform with the earlier books!  As with all Tom’s work it’s entirely based on research in surviving contemporary records with no post-war rumours included, so it’s totally reliable.  Since what it gives are straightforward translations of the original German records I regard it as a primary source in its own right. 

The book kicks off with a single page covering the genesis of German heavy tank development.  Next come five pages on the PzKpfw VI VK 30.01 or D.W.  It came as a surprise to me to learn that four of these were actually completed with turrets in 1942.  Other turrets were used in fixed fortifications, and a photograph of one is included.  Hilary’s four-view 1/35 scale plans show the turret too, so a model of this rare tank should be buildable. 

The following seven pages deal with VK 36.01, the redesigned VK 30.01 with heavier armour and a 7.5/5cm tapered bore gun.  Again, Hilary’s plans include the turret and there are photos of it to allow a model to be built.  Then six pages cover the Porsche Typ 100 or VK 30.01 (P) Leopard.  This one only had one hull built but no turret fitted, but the plans include the turret and of course it was the one fitted to the “Porsche Tiger”.  More fodder for scratchbuilders! 

Now Tom and Hilary move on to the better-known tanks.  First, ten pages show the Tiger (P) with plans and photographs of both the ordinary gun tank with the original lower turret roof and the command tank used by sPzJagAbt 653 with the turret as fitted to Henschel Tigers.

 At this point we’re only halfway through the book, on page 30 of 60.  Twelve pages cover the Tiger I, with plans and photos of both the early type with its Pz IV turret bin and the late steel-wheeled version.  The next eleven pages deal with the Tiger II, and the plans are of the “first 50” tank with “Porsche” turret and a command tank with star antenna and production turret.  Four pages on Maus and four on E-100 complete the book, and here the Maus gets only a side-view plan and the E-100 a four-view of the hull without any turret, both to 1/48 scale instead of the 1/35 of all the others.  Scaling up is easy enough, and this does avoid the need to spread such large vehicles across a page join so I’m in favour of it.

 There’s a lot of solid information in this book, and as I’ve indicated it’s the best source for anyone wanting to model the early heavies.  The Tigers are of course covered in more detail by Tom and Hilary in other books, but this “potted” version is well worth getting if you can’t afford the big books but want some of the plans.  Either way, get this one!

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