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Tank Craft 34: Panther Medium Tank (Paperback)

German Army and Waffen SS Eastern Front Summer, 1943

WWII Tanks Modelling Photographic Books Colour Books Military

By Dennis Oliver
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Tank Craft
Pages: 64
Illustrations: 100 colour & 100 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399017961
Published: 4th May 2022

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In July 1943 the German army launched what was to be its last major offensive on Soviet soil. Codenamed Operation Citadel, the attack had initially been scheduled to commence in May but was postponed by Hitler on a number of occasions to allow the divisions in the East to be reinforced and to ensure that the new Panther tanks could be deployed. In the fifth book on the Panther in this series Dennis Oliver examines the first vehicles that left the assembly plants to go into service against the Red Army as part of Operation Citadel and the units that arrived in the late summer and early autumn of 1943. In addition to archive photographs and painstakingly researched, exquisitely presented colour illustrations, a large part of this book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined, providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of the Panther tanks that fought in the East in 1943.

A fascinating and close look at the Panther Medium Tank, introduced in 1943 specifically for the offensive against the Soviet Union.

Books Monthly

This book will be of interest to both modellers and those interested in the history and the mechanical details of the Panther Medium Tank used on the Eastern Front.

The fifth in the series on the Panther Tank, the author covers the first examples to go into combat in 1943. The earlier books lacked the space to cover the later variants designed to cope with the threat from the Russian T34 and KV series of vehicles.

Coming into action with Operation Citadel in July 1943 , although suffering mechanical problems, they still took a deadly toll on the Russian armed forces.


A map covering the advances in battle from Spring 1943 clearly shows the location of both the Russian and the German forces and as is usual in these well researched books, a timeline of the battles from January 1943 through to December of that year.

The re are many high quality black and white photographs which show every detail of the tanks and their fighting locations, ideal for modellers to allow much more background detail.

A two page chart displays the unit strength and markings for all of the Panthers serving under Von Lauchert.

There are 10 full colour plates of tanks depicting 20 different vehicles and their markings with the photographs alongside to illustrate the various details, a technical analysis and a list of modifications, and then a chapter of the final build of the various models to the usual high standard, along with a source of further information from books to websites

For the model builder, artist, or online tank gamer, this book will be very useful in assuring that all the details are correct.

Another excellent book in the Tank Craft series.

Read the full review here

ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

The iconic Panzer V received more than its fair share of contemporary newsreel photographs, happily for the enthusiast. Consequently, fewer of the book's photographs than normal are of wrecked examples. This book follows the usual comprehensive Oliver format, setting the operational history of the tank in place, unit histories and orbats, and technical variations from the factory and added in the field.


Well executed colour artwork of side profiles show camouflage schemes, and a full section of model kits with after market products act as a useful guide to modellers. This book covers the key period of the battle of Kursk, and will be most useful to the wargamer wanting to fight this battle

Chris Kemp

This is another excellent addition to the TankCraft series by Dennis Oliver, well focused on the Panthers used during their first operational actions. Great material for armour historians and modellers alike I think. Good value for money too.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene

Video review featured on Scale Modeling Now

Scale Modelling Now

Throughout the book contemporary black and photos are liberally deployed - I counted roughly 45-ish - illustrating the subject. These range from crisp full page images to some small and rather poor quality pictures. This is another excellent and impressively thorough addition by Oliver to what is a very useful series for the WWIII German armour buff.

Read the full review here

A Question of Scale

As I have said with previous books in this series the Tank Craft books are brilliant for model makers, you get so many detailed photos of the various tank models in the process of being made.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

In this fifth volume concerning the German Panther, the author covers the first use of the tank in combat with copious information of the unit formations that faced the Soviets in Operation Citadel. Primarily an enthusiasts' and scale modelling guide there is some pretty good information to be had. There is a chronology from January to December 1943 which is supported by a table of establishment for Panzer-Regiment Von Lauchert (July 1943). There is also a chart of Panther production and allocation during that period. Within the 64 pages there are 55 black and white photographs, some of which have details pointed out. In the 22 pages of the modelling section there are 16 colour vehicle profiles and an additional 8 turret profiles showing stowage and marking variations. Model kit manufacturers are identified and there are four sections of museum quality builds by Theodoros Kalamatas, Kentaro Takabayashi, Sebastian Keudell and Sungjun Jang. The specificity of such a publication makes it well worth adding to one's library.

Todd Shugart - Japanese Aviation

In this fifth volume concerning the German Panther, the author covers the first use of the tank in combat with copious information of the unit formations that faced the Soviets in Operation Citadel. Primarily an enthusiasts' and scale modelling guide there is some pretty good information to be had. There is a chronology from January to December 1943 which is supported by a table of establishment for Panzer-Regiment Von Lauchert (July 1943). There is also a chart of Panther production and allocation during that period. Within the 64 pages there are 55 black and white photographs, some of which have details pointed out. In the 22 pages of the modelling section there are 16 colour vehicle profiles and an additional 8 turret profiles showing stowage and marking variations. Model kit manufacturers are identified and there are four sections of museum quality builds by Theodoros Kalamatas, Kentaro Takabayashi, Sebastian Keudell and Sungjun Jang. The specificity of such a publication makes it well worth adding to one's library.

Dennis Oliver

About Dennis Oliver

Dennis Oliver is the author of over twenty books on Second World War armoured vehicles including Sdkfz 251/9 and 251/22 Kanonenwagen: German Army and Waffen-SS Western and Eastern Fronts, 1944-1945, Panther Tanks: German Army and Waffen-SS, Normandy Campaign 1944 and Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer: German Army, Western Europe 1944-1945.

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