Panzerjaeger were born of the same idea as U.S. tank destroyers. It was thought that the best enemy of a tank was not another tank but a highly maneuverable, lightly armored vehicle carrying a high velocity gun. This certainly could be the case when tanks were big, under-powered, slow vehicles which more powerful, lighter, smaller engines would rectify as time moved on. This is the final volume covering the open-topped tank destroyers.
Panzer Tracts 7-3: Panzerjaeger (7.5cm PAK 40/4 to 8.8cm Waffentraeger) was created by Thomas Jentz with Scale Plans by Hilary Louis Doyle. It was published in 2005 by Panzer Tracts (ISBN 0-9771643-3-0). This is the third volume covering open-topped tank destroyers. The book has 96 8.5"x11" pages. All scale drawings are 1/35 scale. Most have 4 views (left, front, back, and top). All photos are black and white.
"7.5 cm PAK 40/4 auf RSO" covers the mounting of a 75mm PAK 40 on a Raupenschlepper Ost tractor. The gun was mounted on a dismountable pedestal. The vehicle saw service but production was cancelled after combat units said it was unacceptable. There are 14 photos and a 4 view plan with extra views from the back and left showing the vehicle with the sides down. There is also a left side plan of the gun, and left and top view plans of the mount.
"7.5 cm PAK 44 auf 3 ton Zgkw." covers the mounting of a 75mm anti-tank gun on a 3 ton half-track. The chapter is a single page as the type never went beyond the prototype stage. There are 2 photos taken during a demonstration for Hitler. There are also 2 photos of an improved armored RSO prototype present at the same demonstration.
"'Hornisse' renamed 'Nashorn'" covers the well-known 88mm mounted on a modified Panzer III chassis with Panzer IV suspension units. There are 16 exterior photos, 4 photos of gun compartment, and a 4 view plan. There is considerable text on Hornisse combat experience.
"8.8 cm Waffentraeger" actually covers 4 different vehicles. The "Ardelt-Rheinmetall" section covers an Ardelt chassis with a Rheinmetall gun. Only 1 prototype was built. There are 6 photos and a left side plan. "Steyr" covers a Steyr chassis with Krupp gun. Only a prototype was built. There are 7 photos and a 4 view plan. The "Ardelt-Krupp" section deals with the combination of the Ardelt chassis with a Krupp gun. Seven of these were made and were formed into a unit for the defense of the area around the Ardelt factory. There are 8 photos. The section "8.8 cm PAK 43 auf leichte Waffentraeger" covers a proposed more refined version of the Ardelt-Krupp design. None were made so there is only a 3 view plan.
"Pz.Sfl. fuer 12.8 cm K40" covers a 12.8cm gun mounted on a lengthened VK30.01 (early heavy tank prototype) chassis. These were originally made for assaulting the Maginot Line but weren't completed in time. The two vehicles were sent to the Russian Front in May 1942 and saw combat, eventually to be lost at Stalingrad. There are 8 exterior photos, 6 photos of gun compartment, and a left side plan.
This is a good book, especially for those doing kits of the RSO/PAK40, Hornisse/Nashorn, and the Pz.Sfl. fuer 12.8 cm kits. I bought this from Great Models for $26.95 USD
Highs: A nice large chapter on the Hornisse/Nashorn and nice coverage on the RSO mounted PAK 40.Lows: I wish all plans were 4 or 5 view and that there were photos of the driver's compartments.Verdict: A good reference for the late war open-topped tank destroyers as well as a book for insights into tank destroyer evolution.