Finally a Hetzer walkaround that doesn't just show G.I's standing on top of a knocked out tank! We examine Squadron/Signal's new "walkaround" title in our review
Author: Hans-Heiri Stapfer
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications
Format: A4 Landscape sofbound
Photos: Colour + B/W + Profiles & line drawings
Squadron/SignalPublications bring us their latest in the popular “Walkaround” series that we modellers value so much. This edition focusses on the “Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzer” Germany’s late war light tank destroyer with a 75mm gun and based on the earlier light 38t chassis. Well that’s the history lesson over - what is in the book?
This book comes in an A4 landscape style book with soft cover the usual introduction to the subject in the first few pages. This sets the scene for the rest of the book which as the title suggests – is an eighty page walk around of several 38t Hetzer tanks that still exist or have been lovingly restored in museums and in private collections (the ultimate model collection)
The paragraph of text which goes along with each picture is usually a good description of exactly what is in the picture – whether it is the usual, a difference to another type or variant or an anomaly in the regular vehicle – which often happens to restored vehicles.
The star amongst these in this book is the Swiss made copy of the Hetzer the G-13. These were adopted by this neutral nation after the war and saw service up until the mid-seventies. The Swiss used many existing parts and upgraded and up-gunned their versions to make it a different version from the wartime model – it is details like this that are pointed put by the authors so you are not barking up the wrong tree – led the wrong way by a photo for which otherwise you would have taken as “gospel” otherwise. Other notable inclusions in this book are a Hetzer G-13 from the Deutches panzer Museum, a grey Swiss Hetzer from the collection of historical Armour in Thun.
To compliment these excellent walkarounds are some great “in Action” shots of Hetzers in the wartime service of the German armed forces of WWII. Pictures from the front line, captured variants and factory fresh vehicles are all relevant and the text is helpful in helping you work out when and where the vehicles were captured on film. They accompany the modern walkaround pictures quite well. Though the “In Action” series by signal usually takes the bulk of these shots they are a welcome inclusion for period camouflage questions especially.
There are some interesting profiles in the book towards the end for just this purpose. Several war time and post-war variants are shown.
Also in the book is a version by version line drawing series and text to show you how the variants changed during a large but only very short production run.
What I would have like dot have seen in this was a few bits or a page or so on the special variants of this vehicle like the Bergepanzer repair vehicle and the proposed vehicles like the E-10 which were never built. This is something I suppose for the “in Action” series and not needed to be included here so really I am barking in the wind I suppose (must be time for a cup of tea)
There is a lot of competition in the inexpensive, small-but-detailed monograph series - along with the Osprey and Kagero titles the Walkaround books by Squadron/Signal publications are usually the best books to get at a good price. This book does keeps to the winning formula, archive pictures, details the modeller needs to know and great walkaround pictures of several variants with insightful accompanying text. This a]is another great title worthy of the series. Well done.
We thank the Excellent people at Squadron/Signal Products for the book.