Tuesday, February 13

Read n' Reviewed: "Panther & Jagdpanther Units, The Eastern Front – From Operation Bagration to Berlin" by Dennis Oliver & Stephen Andrew

With all of these Panther kits coming on tot he market (Pantherquest 2018) from a bunch of model manufacturers what better time for the excellent collaboration of Dennis Oliver and Stephen Andrew? Their latest book on the Panther and Jagdpanther Units, The Eastern Front – From Operation Bagration to Berlin features this - THE model kit story of the year - see what Paul thought after he read the book in his review...

Read n' Reviewed: Panther & Jagdpanther Units, The Eastern Front – From Operation Bagration to Berlin
Authors: Dennis Oliver and Stephen Andrew
ISBN: 9780987601384
Softcover 33 Pages A4 Portrait
English Language
Available for £14.99 from Bookworld Wholesale

The Panther and Jagdpanther series of AFV’s need no introduction to the armour modelling community. Considered by many to be the best medium tank, if not the best tank of WW2, the Panther was an excellent combination of protection, mobility and firepower. The turretless Jagdpanther tank destroyer was even more powerfully armed with an 88mm in place of the Panther’s 75mm. The Panther tank appears to be the “cool” tank at the moment in terms of new releases with Tamiya, Takom, Meng, Rye Fields, Amusing Hobby, and now Trumpeter/Hobby Boss about to release one, as well as all of Dragon’s previous releases, you cannot say that there is a shortage of Panther kits to choose from.
With all these new release Panther kits, it is almost perfect timing that Bookworld Publishing has released this second volume on the Panther and Jagdpanther tank destroyer. The book comes in the standard A4 softcover format with black and white photos with some colour photos of crew equipment, and colour illustrations of various vehicles and crew uniforms from the Eastern Front.
The inside of the front cover also serves as the contents page and shows the seven sections that this book is broken up into. The introduction on the next page talks about the background to this book, and that this is the second out of three volumes, with the first covering Panzer-Regiments up to 25, with this volume covering Panzer-Regiment 26 and onwards, and also Jagdpanther units. The second section titled building the Panther battalions is basically a chronological list with a brief rundown of when particular battalions converted to the Panther tank and transferred to the Eastern Front.

Section 3 covers the Panther Battalions of the Heer covers units from Panzer-Regiment 26 to Panzer-Regiment 39, and also Panzer Abt 5. The information here is much more in-depth in its coverage of the history and formation of each unit, its conversion to the Panther tank, and where and when they saw action. The photos that accompany do not necessarily correspond with the unit being talked about, but are of good quality and very good sources of inspiration for our modelling ideas.
There are 16 colour profiles provided and they show vehicles from the autumn of 1944 to the early winter 1944. While you only get one side on the illustration of each tank, there is a variety of accompanying information such as photos of the actual vehicle, various features and markings of the particular tanks, and also the intricacies of the disc camouflage scheme and how it was sprayed with a mask. 
There are no Jagdpanther profiles featured here, although the book explains that it is because they were not on the Eastern Front in great numbers during the featured period.
There are four uniform profiles each illustrated on a full page, and like the tank profiles, have accompanying pictures of uniform details and insignia, as well as some equipment used by tank crew. While the four profiles are of the winter gear, the difference in the camouflage patterns do help illustrate the variety of uniforms that were available.
The next section covers the Jagdpanther and Jagdpanther battalions and starts off with a small section on the development of the Jagdpanther. The discussion moves onto the composition of the battalion with a brief chart illustrating the size of the battalion. It then moves onto a more in-depth discussion of each of the battalions and is covered in a similar way to the earlier section on Panther battalions covering their history and formation, equipped with the Jagdpanther and transfer to the Eastern Front and where they served.
The final section covers Jagdpanther units, and is written in the same format as above, but if it ain’t broke then why fix it? The last unit covered ends with its last deployment and action which the text says will be covered in more detail in the next volume.
The inside of the back cover gives you one more uniform profile and features the reversible uniform once again but worn in reverse with the white on the outside. These drawings by Stephen Andrew dd so much to the book - He and Oliver make for a great collaboration
Quite often it is the backstory to each vehicle that draws us into our modelling subjects and this little volume is a very handy book for those who want to do that extra bit of research into their models. 
As I mentioned at the start, we appear to be in a golden age for the Panther tank so the timing of this book is as close to perfect as it can be. Bring on volume 3. 

Highly recommended.

Paul Lee

Thanks to Bookworld Wholesale for sending this book to read and review.