Panzerwrecks 3 was released November 2006. The book contains 96 softbound pages loaded with 125 rare or unpublished black and white photos, many of them in a large landscape format that takes up the whole page. The book contains 4 sections that focus on a particular unit surrender or destroyed vehicles, with other photos mixed in between those sections.
The book begins with the section titled “Schwarzbach 7 May 1945” on pages 1 through 15. This series of photos documents the surrender of elements of both the 11th Panzer Division and Pz.Jg.Abt. 553 in Schwarzbach, located along the Czech/Austrian border. There are several great photos of Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzers, some of which are very heavily camouflaged with tree branches and other brush. There is an interesting photo of a DKW car passing a line of Maultiers with an interesting tiger stripe type camouflage pattern of gray and some other color. There are a couple of photos of an M3 Personnel Carrier captured by the Germans and modified with four pivoting mounts for Wurfrahmen 40 (Wooden frames that were used to launch artillery rockets).
Pages 16 through 30 include various photos of knocked out or captured vehicles. Included in this batch is a very nice photo of the steel wheeled Panther 221 of SS Pz.Rgt.1, which was a part of Kampfgruppe Peiper, knocked out in La Gleize during the Ardennes offensive. There are two very interesting photos of a knocked out StuG M42 (Semovente) in German service that were knocked out in Italy. There is a neat series of photos of a StuG III that had been converted into a recovery vehicle, apparently by the British as the jib mounted on the rear deck is a British design. There are two photos of Panzerkampfwagen-Nachbildung (training vehicles) and finally a photo of a knocked out Sd.Kfz. 231.
Section two of the book is titled “The end for 1./s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 512” and documents the surrender the heavy Jagdtiger company commanded by Panzer Ace Albert Ernst. Albert Ernst received a Knights Cross for his actions while serving with s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 519 on the Eastern Front. He earned the nickname the “Tiger of Vitebsk” for his heroic actions in his Nashorn knocking out 14 Russian tanks with 21 rounds. This section contains a fantastic series of photos documenting the surrender over a period of 2 days and includes many photos of the three remaining JagdTigers; X1 (commanded by Albert Ernst), X2 (commanded by Oblt. Heinz Rondorf) and what is believed to be X8 (commanded by Lt. Tarlach). I have to admit I was especially thrilled with this series of photos as I recently began construction of Albert Ernst’s JagdTiger. Weeks of research still left many unanswered questions, all of which were answered by this book! This section alone is worth the price of admission! There are many photos, including several of the Germans piling up rows of Panzerfausts and other weapons. Included in the series are photos of their Bergepanther, halftracks and other supporting vehicles. One of my favorite photos is that of Albert Ernst wearing his Knights Cross, posing for his American captors.
Pages 60 through 68 document various vehicles including a captured French tank in German service, a Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F in Yugoslavia, Tiger I, JagdTiger, StuG III Ausf. G early and late, and a StuG IV.
Section three, pages 69 through 73, is titled “Pz.Kpfw. IV of 6./Pz.Rgt.15”. There are a series of photos and close ups of a knocked out Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J.
Pages 74 through 86 include knocked out Panthers, a Mobelwagen, StuG III Ausf. G Late, Sd.Kfz.251, Marder 38t and finally a Sd.Kfz. 10.
The final section titled “Surrender at Oldenburg” from pages 87 through 95 feature a series of photos taken at the Eclipse dump in Oldenburg Germany on May 7 and May 10. There are many photos of various Pz. IV/70 from s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 655 and Marders and a JagdPanther from Pz.Einsatz.Abt. 20.
The book wraps up the last two pages with two photos of knocked out Hummels, one on the outskirts of Cisterne Italy and the other in Budapest Hungary. The last photo that was taken in Hungary is ironic in that the destroyed Hummel is being used as a playground for a group of Hungarian children.
Panzerwrecks 3 an outstanding photo resource for anyone interested in late war German armored vehicles. Many of the photos are rare or have never been published. The section on the surrender of s.Pz.Jag.Abt. 512 is of particular interest and is very well documented. I highly recommend it!
Highs: Excellent photos, well captioned, high quality paper, a wealth of information!Lows: A few of the pictures are low quality, but are included because of their uniqueness.Verdict: Excellent photo reference of late war German Vehicles. I highly recommend Panzerwrecks 3!
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About Scott Espin (Spiff) FROM: NEVADA, UNITED STATES
I have been an avid student of military history for over 35 years, especially World War II with my focus mostly on German military equipment (tanks and aircraft). I'm especially interested in anything relating to the Eastern Front and North Africa.
My Dad ignited my passion for modeling when I...