World War Two Photobook Series
Panzerwaffe on the Battlefield 2
This latest of a long line of books in the World War Two Photobook series is authored by Jon Feenstra, and follows the standard format for volumes in the series. Many ( indeed most..) of the previous volumes in this series focus on a single vehicle model or series, this book does not. This volume spans a wide range of vehicles fielded by the WWII German Wehrmacht, including some based on captured enemy vehicles.
A distinguishing characteristic of books in this series is the use of full page images, many of them previously unpublished.
Format - hardcover, landscape format
Page Count - heavyweight, glossy paper, 112 pages
Size - 8.75" x 11.75"
Photos - all black and white
Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - None
All text and photo captions are given in English and Hungarian
What's in the Book?
This book has no Table of Contents. Rather oddly in my opinion, there aren't even page numbers.
Following a three page Introduction where the author discusses the origins of the Panzerwaffe and its various types of units, the book begins it's photo coverage with the panzerkampfwagen I. The book moves methodically from the early Panzers all the way to the King Tiger, with varying numbers of photos of each. The book then moves into pages of halftracks, then wheeled armored cars, panzerjaeger, the Sturmgeschutz, self-propelled artillery, and finally closes with a lone image of an Sd Kfz 7/1 halftracks mounting a 2cm flak gun. So you can see that there are photos of a wide range of German AFVs in this book.
Above - photographs throughout this volume are generally well chosen for interesting subject matter such as the wrecked Panzer I seen on the trailer above.
Above - another highly interesting image, check out the hull front on the lead Panzer III.
Above - this image of the DAK tank crews sacked out in hammocks while in an assembly area would be a terrific idea for a diorama. The use of full page sized images allow the reader to really study the photos for details. The exclusive use of full pages images is a real plus for this series of books.
Image quality in this volume is generally quite good, with just a couple of images here and there being slightly grainy, faded, or "washed-out" looking. However, as the subject matter interest level is uniformly quite high, the occasional imperfect image is greatly preferable to no image at all.
Photograph captioning throughout the book is of good quality, with well written text describing what you are viewing. The author does a very nice job of describing any points of special interest in the photographs. The bi-lingual captions are presented in a wide by side manner, Hungarian and then English.
As almost all of the other books in this series focuses on a specific vehicle type, I found this volume sort of a curious mix. I cannot help but wonder if this book is made up of "leftovers" from prior books in the line, very solid images that just missed inclusion in those focused books. Or are they recently discovered images that the publishers wanted in print as soon as possible? In any case, the images presented here are very good ones, and the subject matter is highly interesting.
As noted above, there are a couple of images that are less than perfect, but still acceptable given the subject matter. The text / captioning work is quite good, and a very major plus for any of the works in this series of books is the use of full page images.
If you are looking for a broad overview of German WWII AFVs, this is a very nice photographic sampler.
Thanks to Casemate Publishing and PeKo Publishing for the review copy
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
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