German Panzerjaegers were born of the same idea as U.S. tank destroyers. It was thought that the best offense against a tank was not another tank but a highly maneuverable, lightly armored vehicle carrying a high velocity gun. This certainly was case when tanks were big, under-powered, slow vehicles. More powerful, lighter, and smaller tank engines would rectify as the war progressed.
The book was written by Thomas Jentz with scale plans drawn by Hilary Louis Doyle. It was published in 2005 by Panzer Tracts (ISBN 0-9744862-9-9). The book has 96 8.5"x11" pages. All scale drawings are 1/35 scale with most of the left side only. All photos are black and white. All interior photos are of the gun compartment. This book is the second of three covering Germany's development and use of purpose built open topped tank destroyers during WW2. While the first volume covered only one of the major production vehicles to see combat (4.7cm on Panzer I), this volume covers the tank destroyers built on the Panzer II and Panzer 38t chassis which saw extensive service.
"7.62 cm F.K.(r) auf gep. Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz. 6/3)" covers the mounting of a captured Russian field gun mounted on a 5t half-track in a large open top armored box. There are 3 exterior photos and 3 interior photos. All nine built were actually used by the Deutsche Afrika Korps from January 1942.
Pz.Sfl.1 fuer 7.62 cm Pak 36 (Sd.Kfz.131), Panzerjaeger II fuer 7.62 cm Pak 36 (Sd.Kfz.132)" covers the bored-out version of the captured Russian field gun mounted on a Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.D1 chassis. There is 1 scale drawing (left side only), 11 exterior photos, and 1 interior photo although 1 of the exterior photos is from the back and shows some of the gun area.
"Pz.Sfl.2 fuer 7.62 cm Pak 36 (Sd.Kfz.132), Panzerjaeger 38 fuer 7.62 cm Pak 36 (Sd.Kfz.139)" covers the bored-out version of the captured Russian field gun mounted on a Pz.Kpfw.38(t) chassis. There are two scale drawings (left side only) and 15 exterior photos, although 2 are from the back and show some of the gun area.
"7.5 cm Stu.Kan. auf Pz.Kpfw.38(t)" covers the 75mm from a Sturmgeschuetz mounted on a Pz.Kpfw.38(t) chassis. This chapter is a single page as only a prototype was made. There are 2 exterior photos.
"'Marder I' Panzerjaeger LrS fuer 7.5 cm Pak 40/1 (Sd.Kfz.135)" covers the 75mm PAK 40 mounted on French Lorraine Schlepper chassis. There are 10 exterior photos and one scale drawing (left side only).
"'Marder II' Panzerjaeger II fuer 7.5 cm Pak 40/2 (Sd.Kfz.131)" covers the 75mm PAK 40 mounted on a Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.A/B/C/F chassis. There are 12 exterior photos (some showing part of the interior), 2 interior photos, and 1 scale drawing (left side only). This chapter includes a rather extensive combat report not only on the Marder II but also about the other equipment and organization of a Panzerjaeger Battalion.
"'Marder 38T' Panzerjaeger 38 fuer 7.5 cm Pak 40/3 (Sd.Kfz.138) Ausf.H" covers the 75mm PAK 40 mid-mounted on a Pz.Kpfw.38(t) chassis. There are 11 exterior photos (some showing part of the interior), 1 interior photo, and a 5-view scale plan. There is an interesting combat report of an action in Tunisia with a unit equipped with this vehicle, some Lorraine mounted PAK 40s, and a captured US self-propelled artillery vehicle (but they don't say what type) which was used as a command vehicle. I thought it would make for an interesting diorama. Another report from the Russian front shows how the Soviets changed tactics to lessen the effects of anti-tank units.
"'Marder 38T' Panzerjaeger 38 fuer 7.5 cm Pak 40/3 (Sd.Kfz.138) Ausf.M" covers the 75mm PAK 40 rear-mounted on a Pz.Kpfw.38(t) chassis. There are 14 exterior photos (some showing part of the interior) and 2 5-view scale plans and a 3-view plan of the command version.
This is a very good book with a very nice selection of photos centered on the vehicle itself. I wish all the vehicles had been covered with 4 or 5 view drawings. I would say that it was the reports of combat experience that were an eye opener for me. They show the advantages and disadvantages of the various vehicles as well as the regular towed 75mm PAK 40. I bought this from Great Models for $29.95 USD
Highs: It is interesting seeing how the developments evolved via new technology and combat experience. Lots of nice exterior photos.Lows: I would have liked it better if all scale plans were 4- or 5- view.Verdict: Good especially for the Marder 38t. Covers most of the Marder series that saw combat.