GERMANY’S PANTHER TANK - The Quest For Combat Supremacy

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GERMANY’S PANTHER TANK - The Quest For Combat Supremacy

Post  John T on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:07 am

GERMANY’S PANTHER TANK - The Quest For Combat Supremacy. Development - Modifications - Rare Variants – Characteristics - Combat Accounts.

Author: Thomas L. Jentz
Scale Drawings: Hilary Louis Doyle
Published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1995
224 pages
Over 170 photographs, line drawings
ISBN 0887408125
Price as printed on the back US $59.95

The first things I noticed about this book are the solid binding, hard cover and thick glossy pages. Flicking through, you see that there are abundant, high quality B&W photos and scale drawings, as well as many tables of data supplementing the text.

To the information itself, the author claims that over 20 years of research went into this publication. This includes exhaustive searches through records from the design and assembly firms, the Heereswaffenant (the weaponry office for the Wehrmacht), the Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen (Inspector General of Panzer troops), plus other sources. This was supplemented with thousands of photos and first hand inspections of almost all surviving Panthers.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: Design and Development
Chapter 2: Panther Ausf. D
Chapter 3: Panther II
Chapter 4: Panther Ausf. A
Chapter 5: Panther Ausf. G
Chapter 6: Panther Ausf. F
Chapter 7: 8.8cm Panther-Schmalturn And Other Fantasies
Chapter 8: Production History
Chapter 9: Operational Characteristics
Chapter 10: Operational History

In Chapters 1 to 7, each variant of panther is presented in the text, which describes major components, external features and specifications, with the help of scale drawings and photos. Also, modifications in the design and manufacture along the way are specified. This information is quite comprehensive, and appears to be backed up by original documents and orders found with the designers and factories, with the date and source of the order usually given. As a result one can define the features a Panther had, based on when it was produced.

However I should also add that the book concentrates on the technical nature of the tank, but does not delve deeply into field practices. For example, the only notes concerning camouflage relate to official orders to the factory. There are no colour plates illustrating colour schemes or typical markings.

Chapter 8: Production History sets out where, when and how many Panthers were built. Major production problems are also mentioned, plus there are photos and an interesting diagram showing details of the assembly line at the MNH plant in Hannover.

Chapter 9: Operational Characteristics includes data on the 75mm gun and ammunition, vehicle performance and survivability. This is another interesting inclusion with tabulated comparisons of armour penetration ranges between the Panther, Sherman 76mm, T34/85 and other tanks and guns of the time.

Chapter 10: Operational History describes the deployment of the Panther during WWII using only data sourced from original reports written during the war. Included are reports of those who actually used the panther in combat, plus reports American tankers wrote expressing their opinions of the Panther.

There is some interesting information in this book, and if you want to ensure the accuracy of your model Panther, then you will find this publication to be an excellent resource.

Highly recommended.

JT

John T
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Re: GERMANY’S PANTHER TANK - The Quest For Combat Supremacy

Post  Jenny Ryan on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:37 am

Sounds like a must have to the library , does it go into detail on any of the variants ? Jagdpanther , Bergpanther etc ?

Great review John Wink

Jenny flower

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Re: GERMANY’S PANTHER TANK - The Quest For Combat Supremacy

Post  John T on Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:37 am

Jenny Ryan wrote:Sounds like a must have to the library , does it go into detail on any of the variants ? Jagdpanther , Bergpanther etc ?

Ahhh Good question! The answer is, well no.

No mention of these or flakpanther, or that one with the panzer iv turret, etc.

Cheers
JT

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Re: GERMANY’S PANTHER TANK - The Quest For Combat Supremacy

Post  ShawnGehling on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:29 pm

JT,
Excellent review... Thanks for sharing this great info.
Shawn

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