by: Bill Plunk [ ]
Introduction Periscopio Publications has released their #2 volume in their Photo Gallery and Profiles Series, this one dealing with the Panzerkampfwagen III Sd.Kfz. 141. The book is a soft cover edition measuring 8.25 by 11 inches and consists of 64 pages printed on high quality glossy paper and authored by Nikos B. Livadas with color plates done by Manuele Villa.
Review Designed as a photographic reference, the book contains as its main content 120 color walk-around reference photos of several different variants preserved in museums around the world. Each photo is accompanied by a detailed caption identifying the area of focus and the photos are organized by vehicle sections including both the interior and exterior of different variants.
The book is organized into several sections beginning with an 8 page section briefly describing the different Panzer III variants A-M as well as the Tauchpanzer, Flammpanzer, Panzerbefehlswagen, Panzerbeobachtungswagen, and Bergepanzer. 16 small black-and-white photos support this section to aid in identifying the various vehicles under discussion.
The next section is brief at 2 pages and is titled “General View” with the main purpose of providing overall shots of several preserved museum pieces that will be used for the walk-arounds in the detailed sections. These are the III-F at Saumur, III-L at Bovington, III-M at Munster, and III-M at Bovington. The walk-arounds are organized conveniently by area of the vehicle and reference all the above vehicles where appropriate within the captions to point out differences among the production series.
• Superstructure Front: 14 photos focusing on the front hull
• Superstructure Right: 11 photos including the fenders
• Superstructure Rear: 16 photos including close-ups of the Ausf-M wading mufflers
• Superstructure Left: 12 photos including the fenders
• Running Gear: 13 photos on the different evolutions of the running gear
• Engine-Transmission: 4 photos, 3 of the Maybach HL 120 and 1 of the transmission
• Tank Turret: 33 photos including details on the interior and exterior of the hatches and vision ports
• Tank Interior: 11 photos focusing mainly on the turret interior and driver’s compartment
The book concludes with a section of what appear to be computer generated images vs. the traditional artist-type color plates. This section consists of 17 pages of color plates for 15 different vehicles in various units and time periods with many of the vehicles given multiple plates showing different angles/views of the same vehicle. A wide variety of paint schemes and units are provided, spanning the operational history of the Panzer III.
Conclusion Priced at under $20 USD, this will make for an inexpensive and handy photo reference of preserved museum pieces for anyone with an interest in the Panzerkampfwagen III. The photos are clear and focused in on a variety of the important details often hard to see in period photos and are accompanied by captions that clearly explain the variant and details in each photo. While not designed to deal comprehensively with the entire family of Panzer IIIs, the book does provide a good introduction and the added bonus of the color plates helps fill in the gaps on some of the vehicles not featured in the museum walk-arounds. Recommended for those looking to start or add to their photo reference library.