by: Roman [ ]
PeKo publishing started a few years ago with their «WW2 Photobook series» and these titles quickly became a source of inspiration for many modellers. Usually each volume is dedicated to one particular vehicle, but this new Volume #15 covers a number of subjects from a common category – Tank Destroyers of Panzerjäger in German.
Similar to other volumes of the series it is a book with a hard cover, landscape layout and 112 pages. The text in the book is in both English and Hungarian and there are over 100 photographs inside. The print quality is exceptional as always.
This title is authored by Jon Feenstra and starts with a complimentary introduction. Here the author outlines the origin of the mobile tank destroyer concept which became evident in 1939 when it was obvious that artillery installed on the half-track chassis does not have enough mobility and protection while the tanks themselves are lacking anti-tank capabilities. Therefore in 1940 the first Panzerjäger appeared – Panzerjäger I which was a Panzer I chassis with a Czech 4.7cm gun in a five-sided superstructure. Further development included installation of Soviet 7.62cm F-22 gun on the chassis of Panzer II Ausf. D and Pak40 on the chassis of Panzer II and Panzer 38 (t), both called Marder II. As the war continued a proper designed vehicles appeared including Marder III, Nashorn, and Ferdinand. All those steps are covered in the introduction and it also includes author’s thoughts on assignment of anti-tank roles to originally infantry supporting StuG III and appearance of proper anti-tank vehicles like Jadgpanzer IV.
After the introduction we move to the main focus on the book – high quality large scale photographs from private collection of the owner of the PeKo publishing, Peter Kocsis, with minor addition from other sources. Each photograph is accompanied by the legend which points to important features of each example and identifies units and locations where possible.
Panzerjäger I (14 photographs) is a rather rare subject and when I was building my model a few years ago such book would have been a great help. Here one can find 5- and 7-sided superstructure examples, Western and Eastern front as well as a captured vehicle in Northern Africa. This is followed by 7 photographs of Marder II (with F-22 gun), all at the Eastern front and 12 photographs of Marder II (with Pak40). These examples provide interesting stowage and painting options and would also be a great source for a modeller who wishes to build a Bronco or Dragon kit.
Marder III (with F-22 gun) are shown on 12 photographs and more than 20 photographs depict of Marder III Ausf H and M. Different theatres of war with vehicles in different conditions, different seasons and camouflages.
Hornisse and Nashorn are depicted on 9 photographs and I have to admit almost each of them is a pure inspiration for a model – unique camouflages, markings, thick mud, winter whitewash, and short-tracked vehicles – only a few unique features that caught my attention. That part is followed by 18 StuG III and IV photographs and it is amazing that there are still new images coming out to public on those seem-to-be well covered vehicles. A couple of wrecks are included as well. Finally, there are 11 Ferdinand/Elephant photographs: different vehicles in different conditions with a number of unique features e.g. relocated stowage boxes and camouflages.
In conclusion, this is a very good title which will provide a lot of inspiration for modellers interested in the mentioned subjects. One can study vehicle camouflage, individual features, stowage aspects and even crew uniform here.