Book Review
The Panzer IV Hitler's Rock
The Panzer IV Hitler's Rock
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The following introduction is as provided by Pen and Sword:
The Panzerkampfwagen Mk IV proved to be the one constant in Hitler's Panzerwaffe throughout the Second World War - the German equivalent of the American Sherman and the Soviet T-34. In this companion volume to his best-selling visual histories of the Tiger and Panther tanks, Anthony Tucker-Jones provides a concise account of the Mk IV's design, development and performance in combat. The Mk IV served on every major front, in France, the Balkans, North Africa, the Soviet Union and, at the end of the war, in Germany itself - it was a key weapon in the blitzkrieg attacks launched early in the war and in the later desperate defence of the Reich.

Using over 150 rare wartime photographs, plus a selection of specially commissioned colour, he describes how the initial design of the Mk IV was modified and refined throughout the course of the conflict to counter the threats posed by ever more formidable Allied tanks and anti-tank guns on the battlefield. While the Mk IV was never produced in the same numbers as the leading Allied tanks, it was without doubt one of the principal armoured vehicles of the Second World War, and Anthony Tucker-Jones's highly illustrated history is the ideal introduction to it.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering ‘The Panzer IV Hitler's Rock’ has been authored by Anthony Tucker-Jones with illustrations by David Lee Hemingway. This title from Anthony Tucker-Jones is just one of 51 titles listed against this authors name with armour being the main theme throughout. The contents of this title are provided over 123 pages of good quality semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are presented as follows:

Photograph Sources
Chapter 1 - Early Days - Ausf A-C
Chapter 2 - Ramping Up Production - Ausf D-F
Chapter 3 - Something Special - Ausf F2
Chapter 4 - Panzerwaffe Backbone - Ausf G-H
Chapter 5 - No Frills - Ausf J
Chapter 6 - The Rhino and Other Beasts
Chapter 7 - Inn the Desert and Mountains
Chapter 8 - From Barbarossa tp Berlin
Chapter 9 - Beyond the Seine
Chapter 10 - Hitler's Rock
Further Reading

This offering from Pen and Sword covers the Panzer IV family very well and its progression is covered in photographs by the author. The Panzer IV was the workhorse of the German armoured forces and while it started life with a low compression gun its progression saw a very well balanced and capable tank emerge over time. More attention is usually given the Tiger and Panther tanks, but the Panzer IV was far more numerous and variants in service.

The author does a fair job of following the Panzer IV as it gradually became better armed and armoured tank. The progression of the panzer IV saw a very good armoured vehicle come out of the mix that was a match for most of the vehicles it would come up against. It was when the Panzer IV J came out that things stepped backwards as the Panzer IV had all of its bells and whistles taken away and was pourer for it.

The author could have stopped there, but instead he carried on by looking at the vehicles that came into being based on the Panzer IV hull; of the vehicles built the Hummel and Hornisse were possibly the most effective at their intended role. The Hornisse was a particularly effective weapon in a defensive position despite the limited traverse of the gun. The author brings the title to a close with a look at some of the zones of conflict where the Panzer IV operated.

The period photographs provided in this title are fantastic reference for the modeller, particularly those modellers who finish their models in dioramas and vignettes. Despite the age of the images the quality is very high and allows some great details to be seen. The captions vary from what you would expect to very good due to the level of information made available. Unusually for this series there are a number of colour prints provided; these cover the Panzer IV from the front, rear, side and top, it is the top views I found most helpful.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of the Images of War series is a great release and a must for the Panzer IV modeller. The mix of written word, period photographs and captions make this one of those titles that is handy to have near and grab hold of as required.

Darren Baker takes a look at a Pen and Sword release as part of their Images of War series in the form of 'The Panzer IV Hitler's Rock'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781473856752
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Nov 01, 2020

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.