Panzer I and II: The Birth of Hitler's Panzerwaffe (ePub)
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
While the Panzer I and II are not as famous as the German tanks produced later in the Second World War, they played a vital role in Hitler's early blitzkrieg campaigns and in the Nazi rearmament programme pursued, at first in secret, by the Nazi regime during the 1930s. Anthony Tucker-Jones's photographic history of their design, development and wartime service is an ideal introduction to them.
Both panzers saw combat during the invasions of Poland and France, the Low Countries and Scandinavia during 1939-40. Although by the time the Wehrmacht invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the Panzer I had been virtually phased out of service, in the form of self-propelled guns they continued to see combat well into 1943. The Panzer II was also phased out with the panzer regiments in late 1943, yet it remained in action on secondary fronts and, as the self-propelled Marder II anti-tank gun and Wespe artillery variant, it saw active service with the panzer and panzer grenadier divisions until the end of the war. The Panzer I and II were the precursors of the formidable range of medium and heavy tanks that followed – the Panzer III and IV and the Panther and Tiger – and this book is a fascinating record of them.
Of all the German tanks produced during the Second World War, the Panzer I and II were certainly amongst the least formidable as they were primarily intended for training and as a stopgap until the more impressive Panzer III and IV were ready for service. Yet they have a special place in the history of armoured warfare as the vehicles which shocked the world with the Blitzkrieg revolution in 1939 and 1940. Although soon phased out of the front line as tanks, both were subsequently modified into self-propelled guns; the Bison, Wespe, Panzerjager I and Marder II to name but a few of the more prominent types, and with this more impressive armament they continued as infantry support weapons long into the war, and to its end in the case of the Mk II. The carefully chosen photographs in this book chronicle their long history, showing both vehicles and their many variants in different situations, camouflage patterns, and in varying degrees of repair, in pre-war Germany, Poland, France, Russia and North Africa.Pegasus Archive
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Verdict: Provides some fascinating insight into the Panzer I and IIs use in combat. Military historians, modellers and wargamers will undoubtedly find it a useful reference thanks to the number of quality pictures.Classic Military Vehicle, August 2019
More text than usual, reflecting some very helpful data on vehicle armament, date into service, numbers built or converted, etc.Miniature Wargames, March 2019 – reviewed by Chris Jarvis
This book should appeal to the casual history buff, interested family members of veterans, armour enthusiasts and modellers alike. It gives a better than average background history and present an excellent array of photos to go with it.Model Military International, April 2019 – reviewed by Al Bowie
A great book to have in your collection.The View From The Turret Vlog
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Documentation of support of great conceptual interest both at historical level and for the representation of scale models.Jose Manuel Rico Cortes
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The mix of text and archive photos is very nicely balanced and plenty of useful material for modellers as well as the armour historian.Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
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