Legends of Warfare
The Panzerkampfwagen V in World War II
Schiffer Publishing’s Legends of Warfare series is noteworthy for its wide range of subjects; aerial, naval and ground combat are all well represented in this line. Previous books that I’ve examined from the Legends of Warfare series all share similar format, physical characteristics and quality of content.
Other than the Tiger tanks, of German armor, the Panther series seem to draw the most attention from model manufacturers, authors and modelers themselves.This is only natural, as from the cataclysmic battle of Kursk ( Operation Citadel to the Germans ) to the end of the Second World War, the Panther tanks were the potent cutting edge of German armored might. Interest in this iconic tank seems to be as strong as ever.
Format - hardcover, square format
Page Count - heavyweight, glossy paper, 128 pages
Size - 9.25" x 9.25"
Photos - vintage black and white, full color images of preserved Panthers, including detail views.
Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - tables of general data, line drawings, and color renderings of paint and markings schemes.
All text and photo captions are in English
What's in the Book?
Above - the book’s table of contents which begins with the first Panther versions and moves in chronological order to the final variant.
After a brief Introduction where the author describes the need for Germany’s armored force upgrade to the Panther series (aka the Soviet T-34), he moves right to the first variant of the Panther, the Ausf. D.
Right away, it’s apparent that this volume is a bit different than those in this series which I’ve examined in the past. Note the addition of the line drawings and the full color renderings of the Panther! Above left, is a nice table giving the reader specifications on each of the three main variants of the Panther, showing at a glance the differences between them.
Above - a hallmark of the Images of War series is always the nice full page images, this book meets that standard easily.
Above - very nicely done drawings showing the Panther Ausf. D in detail from several aspects. In his opening paragraphs in this chapter on the Panther Ausf.D, the author discusses the teething problems that occurred with the rush by the Germans to get the Panthers fielded in time for the Kursk offensive.
After a thorough examination of the Panther Ausf. D, the author moves to the next variant, the Panther Ausf. A. He goes into terrific detail in explaining the changes and differences between the D and A variants. As can be seen quite clearly above, the photo captioning employed by the author is quite extensive, descriptive and informative.
Above - a nice photo of Zimmerit applied to a Panther hull at the MAN factory. This volume is just packed with interesting images.
A NOTE ON THE IMAGES IN THIS BOOK - the photos throughout this volume are much better than my reproductions of them contained in this review. The vast majority of the images are bright and clear, enabling good study of the details. The occasional slightly dark image is of an interesting subject and thus acceptable in my view. Image sizes range from quarter page sized all the way up to full page sized.
The integration of the full color renderings to the book’s content is done seamlessly, adding an interesting dimension to the historical photos that are often on the same page.
As usual, the vast number of well chosen images found within works by this author make it really difficult for me to select just a few representative samples for this review. As a result, this review may be a bit image heavy…but what great images there are in this volume!
Above - even without the Dutch text on the building, the bicycle would probably tell you that this was an image taken in wartime Holland.
Above - more eye candy in the form of multi-aspect line drawings and full color renderings.
A NOTE ON TEXT AND PHOTO CAPTIONS - the author gets more out of limited text space than almost anyone else, text blocks and photo captions alike. In an image heavy work with limited space for the printed word, it’s important that the author be concise and descriptive in the space that he has to work with. David Doyle consistently does both with apparent ease.
Images of War titles from this author usually have a nice selection of images of surviving / restored subject vehicles from museums and collections worldwide, this book is no different. Examples of various Panther variants from all the “name” armor collections throughout the world are shown, some in great detail.
Above - quite a few pages are devoted to in-detail style photographs, such as the ones seen above. These quarter-page sized images are in full color and are large enough for thorough study of detail.
Above - terrific images of the Panther as a battle taxi. Note the use of foliage as camouflage.
Above - a great “two-for” image; this is a great shot of the iconic “ambush” paint scheme, along with a look at the infrared gear mounted to the commander’s cupola.
Above - more nice full color renderings of Panther G’s in camouflage schemes.
Above - more crystal clear several aspect line drawings, this time the mid-production Panther Ausf.G.
Above - The photographic coverage of the surviving Panther tanks includes both in-detail style images as well as walk-around style images, such as the ones of this Panther G shown at it’s home at the UK’s Tank Museum at Bovington.
Above -The book wraps up with a brief look at the “Schmalturm” Panther variant, which never reached production. Some nice images of the small turret are included.
I’ve included more images from the book in this review than I typically do. I usually have a hard time in selecting just a handful for the review, but in this case the addition of all the nice line drawings and full color renderings made the job twice as hard for me! In my view, the addition of these drawings and renderings of camo and markings schemes add even more interest and value to the books.
As is typical for this author, the text work is top-shelf; being informative, interesting and very well written. The photographs are well chosen for interest, and they are well complimented by the well executed line drawings and full color renderings. All material in this book is of a uniformly high quality.
While many of us likely already own multiple reference works on the iconic Panther, there should be room for another in your bookcase, and in my opinion this book more than qualifies.
Thanks to David Doyle Books for the review copy
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
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