Panzerwrecks 25- Normandy 4
Author: Lee Archer
Softcover, 128 pages with over 150 rare or unpublished large format black & white photos, 6 artworks by artist Felipe Rodna, and 11 QR Codes that lead to Google Street View images of the current day settings of the photos.
I am always excited to see a new package from Panzerwrecks on the front step. Modelers and military enthusiasts alike have come to know this book series to be of high quality and high interest whatever the focus of the book may be. The books are full of rare to never before seen photos of these wrecks- usually taken from the other side as they occupy territory from the enemy. As mentioned before- in six instances in the book, the black and white photos are paired with artwork from one of my favorite artists Felipe Rodna as shown here:
This is the fourth book dedicated to the Normandy front and includes the following chapters:
- Rocket Attack Wrecks
- Converted French Halftracks
- RSO Evaluated
- Death of a Recon Column
As always, I had a difficult time choosing just a handful of photos for the review as so many stood out to me. Even the photos of less quality due to older camera technology and in some cases action occuring around the focus of the photo can be useful and inspiring to one looking for something out of the ordinary to recreate in vignettes or dioramas. I have placed a few of these below-- with the first one from the rocket attack section being a great way to recycle those wrecked models due to clumsy people or not so agile cats near your completed models.
I always thought the QR codes were a fascinating feature in these books-- and in many cases, surprisingly little has changed over the passage of 80+ years in the area of the photos. I actually thought to scan one and show a comparison of the wartime area with its present day setting. Obviously the areas are busier and modernized- but you can definitely see the same window and building structure present...I wonder what the GIs might have thought of a pizza-taco-BBQ grill joint back in 1944?
I found the French convert halftrack chapter to be very interesting. Some of these things were downright quirky- including the Selbstfahrlafette für 7.5cm Pak 40 auf Somua MCG featured on the back cover of the book. Giving a quick Google search- there was apparently a Brach model of this halftrack but I would love to see something a bit newer come out for that one. As is usual with the Panzerwrecks series, there is an introductory page of text from Lee Archer, with the remainder of the book's text in the form of captions that explain each photo.
It is a quick read- but one would want to take time to savor the contents inside. There is a wealth of material to contemplate and use to sprout new ideas. My brain is always overwhelmed with the possibilities of what to build next after perusing through the book. Lee Archer never fails to impress in the series- and this # 25 is the ideal "silver" volume to celebrate its popularity. From rocket attacks from Allied Typhoons to river-bogged Sturms, this is something for everyone inside. The QR code on the rear cover takes you right to the book page on the Panzerwrecks website.
Highly Recommended for anyone interested in the Normandy front of WWII.
Thanks goes out to Lee Archer from Panzerwrecks for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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