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Book Review
Panzerwrecks 6
Panzerwrecks 6 German Armour 1944-45
  • CCI00088

by: Bill Plunk [ WBILL76 ]

Introduction
The Panzerwrecks series of books by Lee Archer and Bill Auerbach are well known for their diverse collections of wrecked or surrendered German equipment. #6 in the series continues that tradition and the authors always issue the disclaimer that many of the photos were taken by ordinary servicemen in the field using basic equipment and are included for their interest and historical value vs. their photographic quality.

Review
The volume is soft bound and consists of 96 pages and 119 black-and-white photos and measures 8.25 x 11" and is printed on high quality glossy paper. The pages are arranged in 4 sections: Panzerjager and Flakpanzers of Meppen, Panzer Remnants on a Czech Road, Flammpanzer 38t in and out, and Quick Fix: Rocket Firing SPWs.

Even with the disclaimer issued about photo quality, the vast majority of the photos are presented as full page photos of the vehicles in question. The editing work to produce as clear a photo as possible is evident as well as the effort devoted to providing multiple photos from the same set of vehicles or scene where possible. The vast majority of the photos come from the private collections of the authors but others are from US Army archives and from other contributors who are thanked in the short introduction on the inside of the cover page. The photos are accompanied by detailed captions which the authors credit much of their information as coming from the Panzer Tract series by Jentz and Doyle. A small handful of the photos represent vehicles featured in other Panzerwrecks volumes but from different angles or with different details featured as the focus of the photo and those are noted in the captions where applicable. In addition the two photos of RSOs on pp. 46-47 and credited to the US Army have recently been published in other works.

A wide range of vehicles are presented in various states and conditions including the following:

Karl-Gerät
Jagdtiger
Tiger II
Tiger I
Panther Ausf.D
Panther Ausf.A
Panther Ausf.A w/Flammenvernichter mufflers
Panther Ausf.G
Jagdpanther
Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H

Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J
Sturmgeschütz IV
Panzer IV/70(A)
Panzer IV/70(V)
Flakpanzer Möbelwagen
Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.G
Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.D
Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.G
Sturmhaubitze 42
Jagdpanzer 38
Flammpanzer 38

Pz.Sfl.2 für 7.62cm Pak 36 (Sd.Kfz.132)
Pz.Kpfw.Turm II (Normalserie) - Bauform 229 Bugpanzerdach
Panzerjäger I
3.7cm Flak 43/1 auf Sfl. (s.W.S.)
2cm Flakvierling 38 auf Sfl. (Sd.Kfz.7/1)
RSO/01
RSO/03
m.S.P.W. (Sd.Kfz.251)

m.Fu.Pz.Wg. (Sd.Kfz.251/3)
m.S.P.W. (Drilling) (Sd.Kfz.251/21)
m.S.P.W. (7.5cm Pak) (Sd.Kfz.251/22)
Sd.Kfz.251 w/T-34 'Calliope' rocket launcher
le.S.P.W. (2cm) (Sd.Kfz.250/9) Ausf.B
2cm Flak 38 auf Sfl. (Sd.Kfz.10/5)

As demonstrated by this listing, the contents cover a lot of ground. Many rarely photographed vehicles are present such as the Loki on rail transporters and an intact Sdkfz 234/2 on p. 79. Other photos also show Panzerjager Is and StuG III Ds still in service in 1944-45, most likely pressed into service from training units, but still fascinating to see them show up and in unexpected paint schemes. Likewise for a Marder III Sdkfz 132 sporting dunkelgelb and line camo patterns at Meppen at war's end. Photos are also included showing clear hard-edged camo patterns on Hetzers and Sdkfz 251/22s as well as the Flammpanzer 38.

Of particular interest will be the final two sections in this volume. The "Flammpanzer 38 in and out" section consists of 13 pages and 16 photos of "Hetzers" converted to Flammpanzers with most of them devoted to the interior of the fighting compartment and the arrangements for the flamethrower mechanism.

The other section, "Quick Fix: Rocket Firing SPWs", consists of 16 pages and 24 photos and detailed captions showing the conversion of an Sdkfz 251 and a towed PaK 40 to fit a "Calliope" 60-tube rocket launcher into a "Frankenstein" design by the US Army. Particularly fascinating are the pics showing the use of cutting torches and welders to fashion this design as are the shots showing it being test fired. The captions note that it was necessary to modify the 251 with the PaK 40 in order to provide a suitable stand-in for the "normal" Sherman turret mount of the launcher mechanism.

Conclusion
The excellent standard set in the preceding volumes in the series is continued here in Panzerwrecks 6. The quality of the photos is high even with the poor quality of some of the original snapshots and the presentation of the photos and captions is well laid out. The wide range of subjects insures a little something for everyone and the sections on the Flammpanzer and rocket-firing SPW are a special treat. Highly Recommended.
SUMMARY
Highs: Wide subject matter, large photo formats, good captions explaining each of the photos.
Lows: A few photos are from vehicles already featured in other Panzerwrecks volumes.
Verdict: Good quality photo reference of damaged/destroyed vehicles as well as rare photos of intact surrendered equipment. Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-097541836-9
  Suggested Retail: $29.95 USD
  PUBLISHED: Jul 23, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.80%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 94.33%

Our Thanks to Panzerwrecks!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Bill Plunk (wbill76)
FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES

Like many, I started out in the hobby as a kid building airplanes to hang from my bedroom cieling. I took a long break from the hobby, returning in 2001 with an interest in armor inspired mostly by online gaming. WW2 armor, 1/35 scale, is my preferred genre with a special taste for the stranger vehi...

Copyright ©2019 text by Bill Plunk [ WBILL76 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

This series of books look outstanding, the quality of the photos is excellent. I'll have to go pick this up, thanks for the review Bill
JUL 22, 2008 - 02:46 PM
Excellent book!I am intertest in it!!
JUL 22, 2008 - 05:23 PM
Didn´t know what all the fuss was about until I bought one myself. Now I have 4 of them and the panzertruppen. Its only a matter of when (no ifs) when the others are purchased. Love these books. And this one sounds just as a exciting. Thanks for the review Bill.
JUL 22, 2008 - 10:04 PM
My pleasure gents, the Panzerwrecks series is indeed a great collection to have, you never know what you're going to find in the pages. The rear cover indicates #7 is coming sometime in Winter 2008, so looks like more to come in the future.
JUL 23, 2008 - 02:25 AM
Also good news. Hope they make "Panzertruppen - the early years" into a series as well.
JUL 23, 2008 - 02:41 AM
I'm almost convinced it's more fun to get the reference material than to model. I got to get the others I don't have, after I get a camera. Good job on the book Bill Joe
JUL 24, 2008 - 09:03 AM
Thanks Joe, I find myself these days actually spending more on reference materials that I do on kits and AM stuff believe it or not!
JUL 24, 2008 - 10:02 AM
   

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