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Pen & Sword, Images of War - The Armour of Hitler’s Allies in Action 1943-1945

ISBN Number: 978-1-39908-544-1 Publisher: Pen and Sword Books
Published: Sunday, April 16, 2023 Retail Price: $26.95 USD
Reviewed By: Chuck Aleshire

Images of War

The Armour of Hitler’s Allies in Action 1943-1945

Pen & Sword Publishing’s Images of War series of books cover a wide and ever expanding array of subjects of interest to military history enthusiasts, as well as military subject modelers. The series includes a wide range of specific military vehicles or classes of vehicles, military campaigns or specific battles, and other related military subjects. The emphasis in these volumes is primarily on the photographs, with a good amount of text content typically provided as well.

This title addresses the armored forces of Germany’s WWII Eastern front allies; namely Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. These nations relied heavily on armored vehicles supplied by the Germans, although they had some quite interesting AFV’s themselves. The Italians and Finns who also saw combat alongside the Germans in the East are for some reason not a part of this work (space limits, perhaps?). 


Vital Statistics

Format - softcover, portrait format

Page Count - 127 pages

Size - 7.5” x 9.75”

Photos - 250 Black and White images

Tables / drawings / diagrams - some grayscale images of vehicles in an appendix.

All text and photograph captions are in English


What's between the Covers?

The book opens with a brief Introduction regarding the German need for their allies to support operations against the Red Army and with anti-partisan efforts, using both German supplied armored vehicles as well as with these allied nations own AFV’s.

The book’s first chapter provides an overview of how these allied nations were pulled into the conflict with the Soviets, what the status of their armed forces were, what they were initially armed with, and how they fared in the opening years of the Eastern Front campaign. The catastrophic debacle that was Stalingrad virtually annihilated the forces of these German-allied nations, particularly Romania and Hungary. This first chapter is well illustrated with many photographs of domestically produced armor of these allied nations as seen in 1941-42.

Above - the Hungarians in particular had some interesting domestic armor, such as the Csaba armored car seen above.

Above - interesting looks at the Hungarian Csaba armored car and the Nimrod self propelled anti-aircraft gun.

Chapters 2, 3 and 4 address each of the various German-allied nations and their individual experiences in the post-Stalingrad later war years of 1943-1945. (Spoiler alert- it didn’t go well….) Each of these chapters opens with a couple of pages of text which narrates the post-Stalingrad efforts by Germany to rebuild and refit the shattered forces of these allied nations. Hungarian, Romanian, and Bulgarian armored formations were largely rebuilt with German vehicles, with smaller numbers of surviving domestic vehicles seen.

Above - an interesting mix of German tanks ( Panzer III ) and German supplied war booty tanks ( Czech Panzer 35(t) ) in use with Romanian armored units. 

A Note Regarding the Photos - the photos in this book range from quite good, to some being a bit dark, grainy, or slightly out of focus. Given the conditions existing when some of these images were made, it’s understandable that some are less than perfect. And as always when evaluating a book with vintage photos, a less than perfect images of a rare subject or situation is much preferable to no image at all.

Given the time frame ( 1943 and on ) covered by this book, the photographs of the German-allied nations armor are fairly well dominated by the German supplied equipment in use. There are a LOT of images of Panzer III’s and IV’s in these pages. There are some occasional glimpses of some unusual vehicles here and there though, such as the photos above showing a cool looking Praga AV staff car in use with the Bulgarians.

The images show a good range of German supplied and satellite nations vehicles and equipment. Many are clearly unposed photos taken by soldiers themselves. Image sizes in this book are generous, with most photos reproduced at half page sized, with many being full page in size. The images are generally well selected for interest.

Above - The volume concludes with two appendices, the first gives the Order of Battle for Hungarian, Romanian, and Bulgarian forces.

The second appendix contains 8 pages of greyscale renderings of Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian AFV’s, including German produced, war booty vehicles, and domestic examples. These renderings are single aspect, and nicely done. I’d have liked to see these in full color though. Text accompanies these renderings, giving some interesting information on the vehicles.


This book provides a solid overview examination of the involvement of Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian armored forces on the Eastern Front. Good background information on the composition, use and activities of these forces is provided.

The text and photo captions are well written, and while some of the images in this book are a bit less than perfect, they are of sufficient interest to make up for this. The inclusion of the grayscale vehicle profile renderings is a plus.

This volume would serve as a good overview / introduction on the armored forces of Hitler’s Hungarian, Romanian, and Bulgarian allies during the latter years of WWII on the Eastern Front. 


Thanks to Casemate Books for the review copy

Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland

AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region


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