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Book Review
Video Review included
Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-42
The History of The Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-42
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

History
The tank was at the forefront of the German onslaught that took place in the early years of World War II. From the Blitzkrieg that overwhelmed Western Europe in 1940, through the Afrika Korps in North Africa, to the mighty force launched against Soviet Russia in 1941, the tanks of the German Army led the way

This technical and operational history is the definitive guide to the legendary Panzerwaffe, from its very infancy to the days when it made Europe its playground at the height of Nazi German power. With rare and revealing combat reports, along with photographs sourced from previously unseen private and archival collections, it uncovers the technical and operational stories of the formidable German war machine in the early years of World War II.

From its origins as a lumbering and ponderous experiment in World War I, armoured warfare was transformed by the German Army into something that could decide the outcome of conflicts. This was down to no mere technical advantage, but more to the development of a combined force with its own doctrine, organization and tactics that would prove supremely effective on the battlefield of the early years of World War II – the Panzerwaffe.

This is the first of a two-part study detailing the development of Germany’s armoured force from the very earliest days of its development in the years immediately following World War I, through to the heady years of German advance from 1939 to 1942.

Using contemporary combat reports and other operational documents, it examines the evolution and performance of the Panzerwaffe as it was first blooded in Poland before the culmination of the concept in the Blitzkrieg campaigns of 1940. It will look in detail at the war in the east, where panzers faced their greatest challenge yet.

Taken from the inside of the book’s dustcover.

Review
Osprey Publications Ltd has released The History Of The Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-42 by author Thomas Anderson as a hardback book with 304 pages. The book was conceived and edited by Jasper Spencer-Smith with design and artwork by Nigel Pell and the index by Shaun Barrington. Included with the text are black and white photographs, information charts and detailed captions. It has a 2015 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-4728-0812-7. As the title states, the book examines and discusses the history of the Panzerwaffe during the years of 1939 through 1942
The Contents
Introduction
Chapter 1: Laying the foundations
Chapter 2: The first Panzerdivision
Chapter 3: From LaS to the BW
Chapter 4: The Condor Legion
Chapter 5: 1938 – Annexation of Czechoslovakia
Chapter 6: Fall Weiss – The invasion of Poland
Chapter 7: Norway: Unternehmen Weserübung
Chapter 8: The Western Campaign
Chapter 9: Between the Campaigns
Chapter10: Sonnenblume – A war of logistics?
Chapter 11: Unternehmen Martia – The unwanted campaign
Chapter 12: Barbarossa – Offensive in the East
Index

The Text
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. The contents portion where I listed the contents of the book is accurate as to what is discussed. However the contents list does not prepare you for the wealth of information provided. Thomas Anderson goes into great detail in regards to Germany’s armor program from its initial development to its indoctrination and experiences in combat from the years of 1939 to 1942. I was very impressed with the amount of details provided in all aspects of Germany’s armor program. One can refer to the Information Charts portion of my review too view the many aspects of the Panzerwaffe that Anderson details. Well detailed information is provided on the technical data of various types of armor, structures of light and medium panzer companies, combat losses and strengths of the Panzerwaffe at various time frames, and enemy tank strengths just to name a small portion of the information provided. Anyone interested in World War II German armor and its history will find this book very informative and interesting. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors throughout the book. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing.

The Photographs
There are a total of 263 black and white photographs shown throughout the book, not counting the photographs on the book’s dustcover. There are no color photographs featured in this volume. In addition to German armor the photographs range in subjects such as uniforms, small arms, soft-skinned vehicles, bunkers, important individuals, captured armor and other such subjects in nice detail. The majority of the photographs are nice, clear, centered and focused images and are of a good quality. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before, if not all of them, and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain. The photographs will prove to be valuable to the scale military modeler as well as anyone interested in World War II German armor.

The Information Charts
There are 25 informational charts provided which provide information on:
- Establishment of the Kampwagen truppe – Mg and 2cm armed PzKpfw, 3.7cm armed PzKpfw, 7.5cm armed PzKpfw.
- Type Technical Data – Krupp Leichttraktor, Daimler – Benz Grosstraktor, Neubaufahrzeug
- Type Technical Data – PzKpfw I Ausf A, PzKpfw I Ausf B
- Type Technical Data – PzKpfw II Ausf c, PzKpfw II Ausf D
- Type Technical Data – PzKpfw III Ausf A, PzKpfw IV Ausf A
- Type Technical Data – Light Tank PzKpfw I Ausf A, Light Tank T-26 M 1933
- Type Technical Data – PzKpfw 35(t) LT vz 35, PzKpfw 38(t) LT vz 38
- Poland: strength of Panzerwaffe in 1939
- 1.IeDiv losses, Armoured Cars, PzKpfw II, PzKpfw 35(t), PzKpfw IV, PzBefWg
- Strength of the Panzerwaffe, January 1940
- Structure of a light Panzer Company (revised) Gliederung der Le PzKp bei PzRgt 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, (1., 2., und 10. PzDiv)
- Structure of a light Panzer Company (revised) Gliederung der Le PzKp bei PzRgt 25 einschl. PzAbt 66 (7. PzDiv)
- Structure of a light Panzer Company (revised) Gliederung der Le PzKp bei PzRgt 10 einschl. PzAbt 67 (8. PzDiv)
- Structure of a medium Panzer Company (revised) Gliederung der m PzKp bei PzRgt 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10 (einschl. PzAbt 67) und PzRgt 25 (einschl. PzAbt 66)
- Strength of the Panzerwaffe, May 1940
- Type Technical Data – PzKpfw III Ausf E, Somua S35, Cruiser Mk IVA (A13)
- Type Technical Data – PzKpfw IV Ausf D, Char B1, Infantry Tank Mk II (A12)
- Leichte Panzerkompanie (b) (16 July 1940)
- Leichte Panzerkompanie (1 February 1941)
- Mittlerer Panzerkompanie (1 February 1941)
- Type Technical Data – PzKpfw III Ausf G verstärkt, Cruiser Mk VI (A15) Crusader I, PzKpfw IV Ausf E, Infantry Tank Mk II (A12) Matilda II
- Strength of the Panzerwaffe, June 1941
- Combat Companies, PzKpfw I, PzKpfw II, PzKpfw 35(t), PzKpfw 38(t), PzKpfw III (3.7 cm), PzKpfw III (5 cm), PzKpfw IV, PzBefls-WG, Sturmgeschütz, Sum of all types
- Russian tank strength for Barbarossa, June 1941
- Type Technical Data – T-26 (1933), BT-7 (1937), T-34 (1940), KV-1 (1940)

The Caption:
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place in the photograph or illustration. The captions go into very specific detail as to specific military units, specific individuals, dates and locations, and other such pertinent information. As I read through the captions I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. The captions themselves are basically miniature history lessons as they detailed what is happening, or happened, in the photographs and give specific detail as to the who, what, when, why and where. I was very impressed by Thomas Anderson’s captions as they are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions I have seen that are very brief and lack detail.
Conclusion
All in all I am impressed with the book. This is a very nice book that contains many nice photographs, well detailed captions and an excellent informative and educational text. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey Publications ltd titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library. The scale modeler as well as anyone interested in World War II German armor will find this volume a useful reference source.
References
Tank And AFV Crew Uniforms Since 1916 - Martin Windrow - Color Illustrations by Gerry Embleton - Squadron/Signal Publications
Great Weapons Of World War II - John Kirk - Robert Young - Introduction by Bernard E. Trainor - Walker And Company
Panzer Colors - Camouflage of the German Panzer Forces 1939-45 - Bruce Culver & Bill Murphy - Illustrated by Don Greer - Squadron/Signal Publications
Panzer Colors II - Markings of the German Army Panzer Forces 1939-45 - Bruce Culver - Illustrated by Don Greer - Squadron/Signal Publications
Panzer Colors III - Markings of the German Panzer Forces 1939-45 - Bruce Culver - Illustrated by Don Greer - Squadron/Signal Publications
Tanks of World War II - Duncan Crow - Exeter Books
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Worlds Tanks and Fighting Vehicles - Christopher F. Foss - Chartwell Books, Inc.
Tanks Of World War II - Chris Ellis - Chancellor Press
Tanks - An Illustrated History Of Fighting Vehicles - Armin Halle - Illustrated By Carlo Demand - Crescent Books
German Tanks of World War Two ‘In Action’- George Forty – Arms and Armour

The hardback version of The History Of The Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-42 at the Osprey Publishing web site: HERE Live links
Osprey Publishing also has The History Of The Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-42 available as:
- eBook (ePub)
- eBook (PDF)
The hardback version of The History Of The Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-42 is available on the Amazon web site: HERE Live links
Look inside the Kindle Edition of The History Of The Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-42 at the Amazon web site: HERE Live links
SUMMARY
Highs: Well written and detailed text and captions Nice subject specific photographs
Lows: None to mention
Verdict: An excellent book that is well researched and details the history of the Panzerwaffe during the years of 1939 through 1942 in great detail.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-4728-0812-7
  Suggested Retail: UK £30.00 / US $39.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 14, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.20%

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2018 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


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