Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - Tankcraft Series - German Army & Waffen-SS, Western Europe 1944-45.

Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - Tankcraft Series - German Army & Waffen-SS, Western Europe 1944-45.

ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
Dennis Oliver is the author of over twenty books on Second World War armoured vehicles including Codename Swallow: British Sherman Tanks at Alamein, To The Last Bullet: Germany's War on 3 Fronts, Westwall: German Armour in the West 1945, Viking Summer and A Sound Like Thunder. All of these books have been published by Pen & Sword Military.

Oliver has written extensively in the Tankcraft series and is an acknowledged expert in the field of tanks and tank warfare. His subject matter on this occasion is a combination of the destructive power of the 88mm gun with the outstanding mobility of the Panther tank. The Jagdpanther is probably the most well-known tank destroyer of the Second world war. The author uses contemporary photographs and meticulously researched, wellpresented colour and black & white pictures to tell the story of these lumbering, self-propelled anti-tank guns and those units that utilised them in the German defence of the Western Front.

Oliver starts his book with a timeline commencing on D-Day and ending on 7th May 1945 when Germany surrendered unconditionally. Details of the fighting on the Western Front occupy, quite naturally, the first chapter of the book, with most of the photographs showing destroyed vehicles following the allied invasion. Chapter two deals with the units that used the Jagdpanther. Most of these were Schwere PanzerJager-Abteilung (Heavy Tank Hunter Battalions).

Following the standard Tankcraft format, the next chapter is the Camouflage and Markings section with excellent colour renditions of vehicles from their photographs. Next is the Modeller's Showcase which really is a must in this series if you are a model-maker. The standard of models displayed here is fantastic and the Modeller's should be congratulated on their work. Following quite naturally from the showcase is the products section, containing aftermarket parts and kits.

After viewing the models, the book returns to the Jagdpanther in action and the units that used it. Considering how many SS Divisions were concentrated in the Normandy area, only one SS unit, SS Kampfgruppe Wiking, a company sized battlegroup were armed with Jagdpanthers. Indeed, SS Kampfgruppe Wiking were the only part of SS Wiking Division that fought in the West! The final section is ideal for the history geeks, listing the technical details and modifications.

Once again, Dennis Oliver strikes the right note with this excellent book that will suit both modeller and historian alike.

I rate this book with an excellent five out of five.
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