bookPanzerkampfwagen III in Combat

By Markus Zollner

Tankograd Wehrmacht Special No 4006.
Soft cover, A4 size, 64 pages

Review by Peter Brown

The Panzerkampfwagen IV was designed as a heavily armed tank to support the Panzer III series in the Panzer Divisionen. Like the its lighter brother, it was up-armoured and up-gunned to keep pace with its opposition, but unlike the PzIII it was capable of mounting a long 75mm gun which allowed it to remain effective on the battlefield right to the end of the war.

As with earlier Tankograd Wehrmacht Specials, this book uses photos taken by German soldiers to show the PzIV series in action. It gives us a brief development history, basic statistics of armour protection, armament and numbers produced before launching into a series of 107 well-produced black and white photos. Coverage is of the gun tank only with nothing on specialist variants. Some photos are shown full-page and most are no smaller than two per page.

Few if any of these photos will have appeared in print before. While they were not intended as part of a technical study they do show the tanks and often their crews as they were. The tank is shown type-by-type with the differences between marks and the additional armour fitted illustrated and described. Coverage is on all fronts, from Poland through Belgium and France, North Africa, the Russian campaign, Italy and even Greece. Tanks are shown on the firing range, in ditches, carrying extra stowage, knocked out, bogged down, on trains and in great detail. Some call out to be modelled, how about one on the march with transmission compartment hatches open for cooling or another with its gun barrel protected for travelling?

This is not a complete study of the tank, so that while details and changes are pointed out, anyone wanting to know all the changes made to these widely-produced and widely-used tanks may want to look elsewhere. But that is not what this books is about as they show what they looked like in the field, in action and in day-to-day use. Text and captions are dual German and English with only a few cases where something could be lost in translation. Where possible locations and even units are identified, and anyone wanting to model the Panzer IV will find plenty of inspiration in this highly recommended book.

Available from Tankograd distributors, for more details contact the publishers Verlag Jochen Vollert on My thanks to Justin Gainham at Bookworld for the review copy.

Page created March 6, 2006

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