Pen & Sword- Panzer III German Army Light Tank
North Africa: Tripoli to El Alamein, 1941-42
Author: Dennis Oliver
ISBN: 978 1 39901 800 5
11.7 X 8.3 inches softcover, 64 pages with over 150 black and white and color photos and charts, and 20 color side profile drawings
The Tankcraft series from Pen & Sword are always a great addition to one's reference stash as they are filled with great historical and technical information, excellent color profiles, and a good source of (at the time of printing) current model kit and aftermarket accessory reports. The photos are not known to me and are full of great in-action shots and close up details abound. My apologies on some of the scans-- the book was difficult to maneuver on the scanner. On most pages, there are one to two photos, with some full page as well. In the models and technical sections, there are smaller, multiple shots of step-by-step and walkaround details throughout. The format is the usual for Tankcraft-
- The German Army in North Africa
- The North African Campaign 1941-1942
- The Panzer III Units
- Camouflage and Markings
- Model Showcase
- Modelling Products
- Technical Details and Modifications
- The Kriegsstärkenweissung
- Product Contact Details
The German Army in North Africa provides a brief history of how Germany was brought into the theater when their priorities were intended to be on setting their sights to the East and Barbarossa. Needless to say, this diversion of resources to the western desert made their goals in Russia much less tenable.
The North African campaign gives the reader a timeline of actions from their deployment into the desert through to their eventual exodus. The Panzer III Units section lists obviously those units that were active in this setting.
The center of the book brings some welcome color in the color profiles and modelling sections. The color profiles are well done and include close up art of some of the unit insignia and markings present on the included schemes. Many of the schemes are renditions of actual photos in the book of some of the tanks in combat.
The Model Showcase features works from four talented modelers:
- PzKpfw III Ausf F 1/30 Nichimo kit built by Masahiro Doi
- PzKpfw III Ausf J 1/35 Academy kit built by Taejoon Yang (mislabeled as 1/48 on the showcase title page)
- PzKpfw III Ausf G 1/35 Dragon kit built by Marcos Serra (mislabeled as 1/48 on the showcase title page)
- PzKpfw III Ausf J 1/35 Academy kit built by Sungjun Jang (mislabeled as 1/48 on the showcase title page)
The Modelling Products section lists kits in various scales from Tamiya, Dragon, Zvezda, Academy, Italeri, Attack Hobby, Rye Field Model, and First to Fight. Aftermarket accessories from Voyager, Aber, RB Model, E.T. Model, Panzer Art, Black Dog, and aftermarket tracks from various manufacturers are also present. There is no mention of the 1/16 kits that have recently made it to market.
Technical Details and Modifications covers the various Ausführung of the Pz. III and provides numerous walk around-type photos of the various modifications and a nicely detailed chart of the parts of a Pz. III. There is loads of excellent inspiration to be found in this section of the book.
The Kriegsstärkenweissung gives a bit of the Order of Battle type data for the theater and concludes the text part of the book. The following Product Contact List provides addresses and website info for the various featured model brands.
The Tankcraft series are always a good source for some photos you may not have seen prior to this book. There are some editing mistakes present in the book as mentioned, but overall I really enjoy the content and the books and thoroughly appreciate the color scheme and related information included in the Camouflage section. Overall a good pickup if the Panzer III in the desert is your jam!
Highly Recommended for anyone interested in the venerable Panzer III and its deployment in North Africa.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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