by: Dave O'Meara [ ]
As most people know, I am not a "GAB", although I've been known worldwide to be a "Crab".
What's a "GAB" I heard you mumble, well, a "GAB" is short for "German Armor Builder", something I'm surely not. In fact my knowledge of German armor goes as far as being able to tell a Panzer I from a Panzer II, and don't ever ask me what the Ausf is!
But I do believe I can do an unbiased review of this book, especially since I did find it not only interesting, but also informative. But it still hasn't made me into an expert, nor do I have an overwhelming desire to run out and suddenly start building Tigers and Panthers.
Call me strange, (you won't be the first to do this, I want y'all to know) but I couldn't help wonder what happened to the poor souls who crewed these vehicles, and if any of them survived the war, much less the incident that put their vehicle into such shambles. I also wondered if perhaps they could have been unmanned when attacked.
An interesting facet covered by this volume of Panzerwrecks was the installation of demolition charges, which to my understanding was standard fare on German Panzers, (and something new I learned-- which is what I think books of this nature are for-- Learning!). So I did learn a few things, which is good, BUT-- I'm still no expert, nor will I ever pretend to be one. It also helped ease my senile mind, as perhaps some of the devastating destruction of these vehicles could have been done by these charges, minus crew. (See--- and now y'all are finding out about my sensitive self!)
I found the photos to be crisply printed on nice heavy stock, glossy paper, and I believe most modelers who do German Armor will love this book. It covers the Panzers used in Italy, so besides the wrecks, most have some pretty heavy weathering. Not all photos show a totally destroyed vehicle, and you need to look closely for the damage, and again I found myself wondering if the crew survived, or just abandoned the vehicle, and the shot holes were simply put into it by passing Allied tanks to make sure it was dead.
I'm sure the dedicated GAB, will find loads of interesting photos to turn into interesting destroyed vehicle dioramas.