Panzer IV im Kampfiensatz – Panzerkampfwagen IV in Combat
One of the most recognizable tanks of the Second World War is Germany’s mainstay, the Panzerkampfwagen IV (Pz. IV). This medium weight tank began rolling off the assembly lines in 1937 and production of subsequent variants would continue until the end of the war. It didn’t take long for the Pz. IV to gain the advantage on the battlefield over its stablemate, the Panzer III. Numerous variants of the Pz. IV were created throughout the war including the Ausfuhrung (Ausf.) A, B, C, D, E, F, F2, G, H and J. Jammed in between all of these were command versions along with a few prototypical designs; not to mention the off-shoot self-propelled guns (SPGs) created on the Pz. IV platform that were created- but this review is all about the Pz. IV.
Panzer IV im Kampfiensatz
Tankograd Publishing recently release the latest edition under their Wehrmacht Special series, Panzer IV im Kampfiensatz – Panzerkampfwagen IV in Combat. This is actually a partial re-release previously offered back in 2006 under the same title; however, Tankograd has added an additional sixteen pages. A total of 85 new photographs are listed as being added bringing a total of over 150 black and white photos provided from private collections of the soldiers taken during combat. This book is presented in a softcover, A4 format and illustrated throughout with black and white photographs. In what has become a standard practice of Tankograd Publishing, the book is published in both German and English.
Within the eighty-two pages Panzer IV im Kampfiensatz book, the authors present the Pz. IV variants from Ausf. A to Ausf. J. The book begins with a brief historical accounting of the development of the Pz. IV between its initial creation up until the final production runs at the end of WWII. Following the introduction, there is a table defining the Panzerkampfwagen IV series-production variants. While there is no formal Table of Contents included in the book, the chapters are clearly defined with page heading according to Pz. IV variants by their Ausfuhrung designations.
Each chapter is beautifully filled with period photographs of the specific variants defined by the chapter headings. While some of the photographs contained within this book, approximately 71 pictures, were in the previous release many years ago there has been 85 (60%) more unreleased photographs covering sixteen newly added pages with this edition. Each of the photographs contain German and English text describing some of what we are seeing in the provided pictures.
If the PZ. IV and variants thereof sit a the top of your interest meter, then Tankograd Publishing’s Panzer IV im Kampfiensatz – Panzerkampfwagen IV in Combat is probably another must-have for your personal library. This book is filled with around 150 black and white period photographs of the Pz. IV and its variants, many unique and some previously unreleased.
I was a little disappointed with the Ausf. J variant section at the end of the book, basically because this consisted of one photograph of this version. There is a sort of disclaimer to this, claiming that while the Ausf. J was the most widely-produced variant, it was also the least photographed. Aside from the lack of photos from this one variant, the book is still an amazing collection of historical photographs documenting the growth of the Pz. IV tank platform during the Second World War.
Highly Recommended to German armor fanatics; specifically those of the Pz. IV variety!
Thanks goes out to Tankograd Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Todd Michalak
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