Panzer Tracts No. 11-1: Panzerbeobachtungswagen
(Armored Observation Vehicles) Sd.Kz.253 to Pz.Beob.Wg.Panther
by Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary
Panzer Tracts; ISBN 0-9708407-9-9; 42 pages.
This is the last word on its subject, as one would expect from the Panzer
Tracts team. It covers the Kleine Panzerbefelswagen I in its observation
role, the Sd.Kfz253 light halftrack, the Sd.Kfz. 254 wheel-and-track vehicle,
the Sd.Kfz. 250/5 light halftrack, the Sd.Kfz. 250/12 for sound ranging
and flash spotting, five version of the Sd.Kfz.251 medium halftrack, the
251/20 Uhu infra-red searchlight carrier, an 8-wheeled armoured survey
vehicle, and the armoured fire control vehicle on 8-tonne halftrack chassis
used for V2 rocket fire control. On the fully-tracked side we get the
Pz III and Pz IV observation tanks and the one and only observation Panther.
All these are documented in the usual Panzer Tracts style with information
taken only from German wartime archive material, so the coverage is as
authoritative as it could possibly be. The photographs are well-chosen
and clearly reproduced, and in some cases very rare. Fancy a look inside
the V2 control vehicle? It’s here! Hilary Doyle’s 1/35-scale
plans show the Panzerbefelswagen I in four views, the Artillerie-Beobachtungswgaen
IV in three and the Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther in four, and there
are a number of Doyle side-views as well including both sides of the V2
If you want to know about German observation vehicles this one is a
“must buy”. Highly recommended.