Monday, February 13

Read n' reviewed - Nuts & Bolts 37: Jagdpanzer IV L/48 (Sd.Kfz. 162)

Need news Nuts & Bolts on your Jagdpanzer IV? Well if you do need a new reference book on this much-liked tank destroyer, walkarounds, blueprints, period & new photos as well as modelling help on this TD, then you would include this as one of your go-to books in theory - but is it a worthy addition to the series? We have read it, so we can tell you all about this new book in our review...

Read n' reviewed: Nuts & Bolts Vol.37 Jagdpanzer IV Part 1: L/48 (Sd.Kfz. 162)  
by Joachim Baschin, Martin Block
published on November 18, 2016
soft cover
Dual German & English texts
180 pages
368 photos (152 historic, 23 of models, & 193 modern walk around images)
36 blueprints
16 camouflage schemes, tactical markings, table of organisation (KStN)
Price 29.90€ at this link...
We have recently gotten our hands on the first part of the new Nuts & Bolts series. It is actually the first in a two-parter, concentrating on the Jagdpanzer IV tank. We were surprised and any to know just how much information the team from Nuts and Bolts were able to garner on this Tank Destroyer. this necessitating two volumes on the vehicle, all the better for German armour fans out there. 
What are the vital statistics of this book?

A glossy covered soft cover, in the dimensions of an A4 in one hundred and eighty pages, these filled with a wealth of colour and black and white period photos, line drawings and coloured profiles. The text is in German and English languages side by side, and I am well used to reading just the one side of the page, though with all of the German words in some of the text you could slip over to the other side of the page sometimes, leaving you to think "gee this is hard reading" lolz. It really is not a problem at all and a bonus for those who can speak German. For those wanting to know just what is in this volume, it includes the early versions of Panzerjäger IV chassis No.V2, right up to the leichte Panzerjäger IV with the 7.5 cm Pak 39 L/48. 
The writing in the first part of this book follows the normal route, about 50 pages (actually 47) and often, having read a few of these books the text is hard going. Before I knew it, I had read right through it and the information in this mainly block text section was really very interesting and It enlightened me to this tank, an otherwise pretty unknown vehicle to me.
In this mainly block text section the author talks about what the tank is made of, the armour, armament, equipment and crew,  briefly summing up the makeup of the vehicle before we read about the production of the tank. A few nice insights here in this early part before we look at the production and the use and organisation of these tanks in their units. This text is very well supported with pictures, technical drawings and organisational tables, showing a lot about the real story of the tank. 

Several pages of this section are devoted to the units who used this tank, with the army and heavy TD units as well as the SS and Fallschirmjager units who used the tank. This text covers the use of the Jagdpanzer IV from adoption until the end of the war or their replacement. Again we see organisational tables and pictures of the unit's tanks in service, destroyed or in repair.
The next few pages of this book feature some interesting tit-bits, the application of Zimmerit, camouflage and the surviving museum vehicles that still exist today, and lastly modelling the Jagdpanzer IV. These last pages are a great handover to the next, more visual part of this book.
The next forty-six pages are dedicated as a photo essay of the technical makeup of the tank. Some great pictures of the tank in it's initial and development stage, the factory pictures with very clear film stock in front on and side plan views are great for modellers. We have interior, top-down, and equipment photos showing notable parts of the tank which is just great for detail fans who want to see the bits as they were when they were in use.
A great part of this section of period photos is the inclusion of the crews in the pictures that give a great insight, also the pictures of the tank that were broken and destroyed int he front line. 
Lots of different tanks with a bunch of different camouflages, covered with all bits of equipment in various states of repair and disrepair, this is the largest source of Jagdpanzer IV pictures I have ever seen in one place.

Next up, we have several black and white line-drawing sections in 1/35th scale. This shows each of the vehicles in the early series in front on, side, top and rear aspects of the tank. This shows a great variety of the vehicles made and helps you understand the sometimes slight differences between each version, with side skirts, command versions, armour profiles and as something new to me in this series we see the radio arrangements of the tank.
There are also isometric diagrams of the vehicles which are a nice addition for those wanting to see a different aspect of the vehicle that may otherwise be obscured from a 90-degree view.

I like this next section very much. It is the colour profile drawings part. eight pages of different tanks, often two to a page, that shows the real - or as much as can be discerned - colours and patterns f the tank when it was in service. Great for us, is that these are accompanied by pictures of the real tank in a small window next to it. these pictures are often in a larger size in another part of the book. Nealy all of these tanks have Zimmerit applied to them and they are all great motivation to a would-be modeller.
We go into the here and now next. A total of seven of the real vehicles that are spread through museums around the world are the subject of the next fifty-five pages of this book.  These tank destroyers are seen in several photo walkarounds, again with the accompanying German and English texts which support what we are seeing and any changes or peculiarities of the particular vehicle. 
These colour walkarounds and detail shots are exhaustive, but a wonderful resource to historians and modellers on the hunt for information.
The detail here is extensive, and the fact we see some of these tanks in a state of repair gets us access to some hard to find parts of the tank, engines and transmission, interior equipment including machine guns, and grenades used for self-defence, the R/T equipment for communication and the whole of the interior of the tank is shown in a wealth of information for anyone interested in this tank it's a great source.
Not to be forgotten are the seven pages of Jagdpanzer IV models that are displayed in the book. These three great models are seen from talented modeller Tony Greenland are shown, both completed and in construction. His notes are great, and little shots like the making of the Zimmerit are great for modellers who need to know more. The first page of this section is actually on the inside of the cover page, this is for ease of printing with colour pages more expensive. A great way to tie up the book I think.
 Well that is it for Volume 37 - Volume 38 of this series, which is devoted to the VOMAG and ALKETT versions with the 7.5 cm Pak 42 L/70 and the Einheitsfahr- gestell is definitely one we would be looking forward to seeing, and on the strength of this book, we can't wait to see more of the Jagdpanzer IV from Nuts & Bolts.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the Nuts & Bolts fellows for sending this to us to read, this new book is now available at the Nuts & Bolts website for 29.90€ at this link...