Book Review
Panzer III
Panzer III German Army Light Tank, Operation Barbarossa, 1941
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Tank Craft series and is on this occasion looking at Panzer III German Army Light Tank, Operation Barbarossa, 1941. This book as with all of the titles in this series are I feel an attempt to offer the modeller a combination package covering both reference on the vehicles and a look at the models available to replicate the Panzer III Tank as a scale model.

The following portion of the introduction is from the Pen and Sword website:
Panzer III: German Army Light Tank, Operation Barbarossa, 1941. TankCraft 27. The Pzkpfw III tank was the mainstay of the Panzer divisions during the Blitzkrieg era, which could fairly be said to have ended with the Germans' failure to take Moscow in the winter of 1941. Although less heavily armoured than many of its opponents and somewhat outgunned by the latest Soviet types, the Pzkpfw III was at the forefront of the advances made over almost impossible distances during the summer and autumn and provided the core of the armoured reserve that fought the defensive battles of the winter months. In Dennis Oliver's latest volume in the TankCraft series he uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the Pzkpfw III and the units that operated this deservedly famous armoured vehicle along a 1,000-mile front during the battles of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. A key section of his book displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined, providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic tanks.


This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Dennis Oliver; Dennis Oliver has authored Twenty of the titles in this series and is at home covering both Allied and Axis armour. This is a soft backed book with a good card cover protecting 64 pages of semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are laid out as follows:

The Eastern Front 1941
The Panzer III Units
Camouflage and Markings
Model Showcase
Modelling Products
Technical Details and Modifications
Product Contact Details

This offering from Pen and Sword looks at the Panzer III tank and it is hard to believe that the Germans put these small tanks into Russia facing off against the KV 1 and 2; I dread to think what went through the minds of the Panzer III crews as they came up against these huge tanks and could do little more than give their crews a headache. The author has done a good job in a small number of pages in providing the reader with a back story on the vehicle, its use in the Soviet campaign and the units that put it into use. The mix of period photographs and well written text make this book a pleasure to read or just browse depending on your level of interest.

What I think of as the modelling sections of the title starts with the camouflage and markings and this shows a number of Panzer IIIís from the left or right aspect. A nice inclusion with these drawings is a number of period photographs showing either specific areas of the tank or the tank replicated. I do appreciate that the author has had various insignia replicated in their own right which are details that can all too easily be missed. The models covered here are basically just builds and while it shows what can be achieved it does not explain how to get there. The models are as follows:

PZKPKW III Ausf G - Panzer Regt 3 - 1/35th by Mike Tipping
PZKPKW III Ausf J - Panzer Regt 36 - 1/35th by Masahiro Doi
PZKPKW III Ausf J - PANZER rEGT 2 - 1/48TH by Masahiro Doi
2 of the images against different coloured backgrounds shows just how much different the colour of the tank looks to the viewer.
PZKPFW III Ausf H Tauchpanzer - Panzer Regt - 1/35th by Sungjun Jang
PZKPFW III Ausf F and Ausf A - 1/35th by Sungjun Jang

The models and aftermarket offerings are reasonably well covered and even made me aware of some unknown offerings. The section covering aftermarket tracks is another area I found of interest, but I know there are others available to the modeller. With that said the author has done a fair job of covering both the kits and the aftermarket options to at least give the modeller an insight.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Tank Craft book series and this time looking at the Panzer III is another great addition to the series. Looking over this title it is hard to pick fault, but the text is still broken by the modelling section and this tends to throw off your train of thought. The Panzer III is an important tank to cover where Germany is concerned during WW2 as it was the tank designed for tank on tank combat at the time.
Darren Baker takes a look at one of the latest offerings from Pen and Sword as part of their Tank Craft series covering the Panzer III German Army Light Tank, Operation Barbarossa, 1941.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781526771711
  Suggested Retail: £16.99
  PUBLISHED: Nov 25, 2020

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís 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 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

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