American Panther Tanks: An Examination of the Five Surviving Panzer V Tanks including The Rare Panther II.
Author Craig Moore
Panther's In America! Well four in Georgia and one in Massachusetts. Here we have a great resource of five surviving Panther’s and one of which is a rare Panther II. The book provides a background on each Panther and its location as of time of writing which is noted. Let us look more closely.
The first chapter is dedicated to the Panther II located at Fort Benning, Georgia. The author breaks down basics of development, suspension, track, driver and radio operator, power unit, tank belly, turret and production. He also delves into the surviving hull. Which is then followed by several pages of color photographs of every angle of the tank and close ups of details on the tank including my pal Rob Riviezzo’s favorite….weld seams!!!, Before the photos comes a chart of specifications. In some photos, closeups of the glacis plate armor and side armor have a tape measure drawn so that one can see the thickness. The photos span about 2 pages and have 3 per page plus a caption. Everything from sprockets to brackets are included. No doubt the photographs will be of great use to model builders alike!
Chapter 2 Is Panzer V Ausf. A at Fort Benning, It had the turret number 328, belonged to the 3rd SS Panzer regiment, 1st SS when it was captured near Mortain, Normandy. Again, introduction and description of the key elements followed by the specifications chart and close up photos from cupola to exhaust pipes. Also included are photos of the engine cooling air intake vents on the engine deck and stowage bins and close ups the suspension system and rubber rimmed steel wheels.
Chapter 3 brings us Panzer V Ausf. G, Late production and is “fitted with a “chin guard” on the gun mantlet.” This tank was recovered in Europe and shipped to the U. S. As for its operational history, the author notes, none has been discovered. This tank has cut away sections and was used for educational training. The chapter follows the same format as the others with great photos to which provide detail of the depth of steel body. This chapter does provide a couple photos of the turret interior.
Chapter 4 introduces us to the Panzer G born April of 1945 at Grafenwohr. It was surrendered to US troops outside Salzburg, Austria. It carries a nickname from the time it was displayed in front of the Imperial Cinema in Karlsplatz….Munich Panther tank. A photographed of it in Munich is included in the introduction. Again photos make up the body of work form the rear turret hatch lock to the rear mudguards.
Chapter 5 brings us to the Panzer V at the American Heritage Museum. Panther tank 501 is located in the 1944 Clash of Steel section of the museum. This is a fully restored Panther Ausf A including zimmerit and paint. As was the case with the others close ups of details from cupola to rear close ups of the metal exhaust securing straps! And lets not forget interior shots!
The appendix provides a listing of surviving Panthers around the world, including Canada, Jordan, Russian, and also 2 photos of the two surviving Bergepanthers. One photo and a description of each tank is included.
There is little doubt that this is an invaluable tool for the Panther fan and builder. 4 of the 5 tanks are not always available to the public as they await restoration. The fifth is a fully restored museum display. This book grants you access to details we often look for to improve our kits. As the sub title states: An Examination!
Highly Recommended for anyone interested in the Panther tank.
Thanks goes out to Casemate for this review sample.
Reviewed by Steve Santucci
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