Book Review
German Armoured Formations in the OZAK 1943 – 1945
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book from Tankograd takes a you on a pictorial guide through the vehicles and units stationed in the OZAK region in the lasts years of World War Two. The OZAK region (Operations Area Adriatic Coastline) encompassed a large area consisting of the North East border region of Italy. Parts of Slovenia, and Croatia.

Below is the introduction to this book written by Tankograd;
"Aside from the well-known battlefields in the West, on the Eastern Front and in North Africa, there was a small area were the Panzers ruled as well: the OZAK (Operations Area Adriatic Coastland). What makes the OZAK so special are the unusual German armored formations deployed there with an exceptional range of strange vehicles that could be found nowhere else on any other front-line of World War Two. This publication grants a deep look into that interesting border area of Wehrmacht Panzer history."


This book consists of 64 pages and has 137 black and white pictures plus some graphics to clearly show identification marks. This books author is Stefano Di Giusto who also supplied the photographs in the book unless otherwise stated in the captions. Jochen Vollert provided the German English translations.


The book begins with five pages of text which briefly covers the story behind the OZAK area formation, and then provides a breakdown of the units that served there during 1943 – 1945 period. The infantry units are not examined in this publication but the armored units that saw service in the region are and broken down into;

Italian and Slovenian units

Panzer Jager Abteilung 171
Panzer Jager Abt.171 is the first picture segment in the book and offers among other things a fantastic insight into the Marder family. The picture quality considering the age of the pictures is fantastic and will be excellent for reference. The Opel Olympia and Fiat 500 Toplina and Fiat 508C are great reference with all the soft skin vehicles that are making a showing in the hobby currently.

Panzer Regiment 1
The section titled Panzer Regiment 1 will keep the fans of the Panzer IV happy as there are some fantastic pictures in this section of the book. The Sturmgeschutz III and to a lesser degree the Marder also make an appearance in this segment of the book.

The Gottschee / Kocevje Battle
This section of the book really made me wish I could sculpt figures as one of the pictures shows 14 SS Polizei regiment 14 climbing on board a Panzer IV, and that is just the figures I can count and has resulted in the engine deck and turret to disappear beneath the human tide. There is also an interesting picture of engineers removing mines planted by partisans. The vehicles depicted here are a good mix of armor covering tanks and half-tracks, and this area also has a nice smattering of Italian vehicles.

SS Polizei 14 and SS polizei regiment “Bozen”
These two sections of the book are quite short but again have some excellent picture of predominately armored cars of Italian design. In addition to the armored car a few panzers do get a look in including the elusive Panzer II Ausf J.

Panzer Abteilung 208
This section of the book looks at the tanks, armored vehicles, and soft skinned vehicles in use with the Panzer Abteilung 208 while in the OZAK area. The pictures in the book features a good selection of Panzer III and IV’s with good examples of uniforms worn by both crews and support units. The armored trucks in the middle of this section are also an interesting inclusion for the modeller as are the range of camouflage patterns displayed. The section finishes with a nice selection Italian tanks and a German L6/40 light tank and Pz.Kpfw 38 t.

Polizei Panzer Kompanie
This section of the book is really going to appeal to fans of enemy armor that has been captured and pressed into service. This section has a good number of various T34 tanks in use with Axis forces and is great reference for painting captured vehicles, I would also suggest that it would also make for a great title in its own right.

Karstjager Panzer Kompanie and Kriegsende
The last two sections of the book starts with a section covering the Italian P40 and is a great reference for this specific vehicle. The other section covers a vehicle dump after World War Two had come to a close. There is a broad selection of vehicles covered here and depicts a number of them being recovered by the victors which may be of interest to some members. One of the pictures depicts a tank with some graffiti art on the rear of the turret, the art depicts Baron von Munchhausen flying on a cannonball.


As a modeller this book provides a wealth of pictures with a great selection of vehicle and their camouflage, the locations and interactions between the troops and the vehicles will I suspect get the artistic juices flowing as i would love to attempt this some of the scenes in these books. If your area of interest is in the OZAK area and the history of the conflict this book is not really the one for you. If you are a fan of German and Italian armored fighting vehicles and soft skinned vehicles for that matter this book is very worthy of your consideration, the captured vehicles that have been pressed into service with the Axis forces are also an excellent reason for buying this book.
Highs: For me the quality of the pictures and the fantastic situations included sell this book for me.
Lows: If it is the history of the conflict that interests you this book is not the one for you.
Verdict: I highly recommend this book as a pictorial reference for modellers.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 4019
  Suggested Retail: €14.95
  PUBLISHED: Apr 15, 2013

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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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.


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