by: Phil Monteith [ ]
IntroductionThe Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer is one of the most popular and recognizable German fighting vehicles of the second World War. As such it has been the subject of many model kits and reference books over the years. One of the more recent reference books on the subject comes from the well known publisher Kagero out of Poland. Kagero has many previous reference books to their credit, being well known with scale modelers for their excellent books on both aircraft and armored vehicle subjects. The Kagero books often follow a similar format, including bonus items for the modeler (masking foil, decals, etc), with the books themselves providing lots of good quality photos of surviving examples in addition to high quality scale line drawings for further reference.
ContentThe Hetzer & G-13 book is the second book in the new Photosniper series published by Kagero. It is an 88 page softcover book printed on good quality heavy paper, which shows the photos and illustrations very well. The book follows loosely the format of the previous Kagero books released on armored vehicle subjects, however it is said to be “enhanced and expanded” on the front cover (more on that later). The book starts off with a four-page history of the Jagdpanzer 38(t) “Hetzer”. It explains that the design was the response to a call by General Heinz Guderian in 1943 for a new light tank destroyer which could meet the threat posed by allied tanks while conforming to the limits of available resources and effectively replacing current solutions (Marder, towed Pak, etc). The book follows on with 7 pages of good quality black & white period photos of the Jagdpanzer 38(t) vehicle in action.
After the brief history and period photos, the book follows up with 47 pages of high quality photos taken of surviving Jagdpanzer 38(t) or G-13 examples from various exhibits. The basic subject of these photos is as follows:
• G-13 at 2nd Armored Productions, Clarksville, IN - 43 Color and 36 B&W photos
• G-13 restored to Hetzer at Patton Museum, Fort Knox, KY - 44 B&W photos
• Original Jagdpanzer 38(t), Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen MD - 4 B&W photos
The book goes on to feature 16 pages of good quality scale line drawings of Jagdpanzer 38(t) vehicles as well as a number of vehicle variations such as the G-13 vehicle (post-war version), the Flammpanzer 38 (flamethrower version), and the sIG 33/2 auf Jagdpanzer 38 (Infantry gun version) . The final few pages include a short bit about a Jagdpanzer 38(t) which was pulled from the water off the Hel peninsula in Poland and three pages of good quality illustrations showing camo patterns found on actual vehicles.
ConclusionThe marking on the front cover of the Hetzer & G-13 book states that it is an enhanced and expanded release. I’m assuming this is in reference to past Kagero book releases on armor subjects (those books not in the Photosniper series). In direct comparison to two of the older Kagero armor books that I own (the Flak Auf SdKfz.7 book and the Wespe SdKfz.124 book) I would say that the new Photosniper series is a considerable improvement over the past series of armored vehicle books. The older books in comparison only contained around 50 pages of content where the new Hetzer & G-13 book has 88 pages. Also the older Kagero armor books that I have included less than 30 pages of detail photos, where the Hetzer & G13 book includes just less than 50 pages of high quality detail photos.
Overall I am very happy with this book and find it very useful for info on the “Hetzer” series of vehicles. If you plan to build a Jagdpanzer 38(t) kit any time soon and are in need of some good reference material, I think you would be pleased with the content of this book. There are however two minor issues that I have with this book, which I feel should be noted. The first issue is with the books price, which I feel is about 20% more than I would have expected for a softcover book under 100 pages in length. The other issue I found was with some of the photo captions, while they are provided in English they appeared to have been translated into English using an automated tool. This is unfortunate as the intro section is very well written and the text in the captions is very important to modelers who will be using the book as reference. With all that said, I am still very much looking forward to future releases in the Kagero Photosniper series, and the good with this book far outweighs any negative.