Book Review
Beute-Panzers Vol 1
Beute-Panzerkampfwagen Vol 1 (Czech, Polish, French tanks)
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by: Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]


Panzer Tracts 19-1: Beute-Panzerkampfwagen was created by Thomas Jentz and Werner Regenberg. It was published in 2007 by Panzer Tracts (ISBN 0-9771643-7-3). The book has 60 8.5"x11" pages. There are no scale drawings. All photos are period photos in black and white.

This is the first of two volumes covering the use of captured tanks by the German Army in World War II. Variants built on the captured tank chassis are covered in volumes on those variant types (i.e., the tank destroyer built on the Renault R35 hull for example is covered in Panzer Tracts #7-1: Panzerjaeger). These books are a bit different from the usual Panzer Tracts. Since these were foreign vehicles mostly used in original form, there is no coverage on design or development. The chapters mostly concern themselves with modifications made (if any) distribution (who got what and when) and combat reports to illustrate how well they worked in German service.

The Chapters

Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) covers the German use of the Panzer 35t in their Polish, French, and Russian campaigns. Note that the Panzer 38(t) has its own book since it was produced for the Germans (Panzer Tracts #18). There are 9 photos of the Panzer 35(t) in German service.

Polish Beute-Panzer is a short 4 page chapter covering Polish tanks in German service. Actual use seems to have been scattered amongst various units. A company of 7TP was ordered formed but the orders were soon changed to equip them with the Panzer 38(t). There are 1 photo of the TKS and 5 photos of the 7TP in German service.

French Beute-Panzer takes up the vast majority of this book. The Germans used the Char B, Somua S35, Hotchkiss H35/39 (both referred to as H38), Renault R35, and Renault FT-18 (no mention is made of the FCM 36). Most of the text of this chapter is devoted to what units used French tanks and their strength over time. They were used in France (obviously), the Balkans, Russia, Norway, and even on the Channel Islands. The development of the flame-thrower version of the Char B1 is covered. There are combat reports from units in Russia as well as one report from an exercise in France.

There are 2 photos of S35, 14 photos of S35 with German-modified cupolas (one with a Panzer II cupola, one with Panzer III cupola), 3 photos of H35 (all German cupola), 12 photos of H39 (all German cupola), 1 photo of R35 and 2 photos with German-modified cupolas, 4 photos of FT-18, 3 photos of Char B1 and 1 photos of Char B2(Flamm), 6 photos of Flamm modifications (3 of the operator visor, 1 of the flame-thrower fuel tank plus 1 photo each of 3 different flamethrower mounts).


There is quite a lot of information about what units were equipped with captured tanks, especially French ones. There are a lot of nice pictures as well. I do miss the nice scale drawings of the regular Panzer Tracts books.
Highs: Quite comprehensive list of units using French tanks with some very nice pictures.
Lows: No scale drawings, not even of the German modifications.
Verdict: If you are interested in what units used captured tanks, this is a great book.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 0-9771643-7-3
  Suggested Retail: $19.95 USD
  PUBLISHED: Apr 11, 2009

About Gary Kato (GaryKato)

Copyright 2021 text by Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]. All rights reserved.


Hmmm, very interesting. I've seen this on ebay, but this article really helps out my decision to eventually acquire one, thanks! I wonder if that section on the Polish beute-panzer discusses their fate...
APR 10, 2009 - 04:37 PM
Gary, thanks for the review, I got to pick up some of these someday. Joe
APR 10, 2009 - 04:51 PM
The section of Polish tanks is real short. Panzer Tracts is based on first-hand reports (usually official German) to keep things as true as possible. Many units used Polish equipment while on occupation duty but there really isn't much on them as it might have been on an ad-hoc basis (unofficial).
APR 10, 2009 - 10:02 PM

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