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TankCraft 29: Hetzer - Jagdpanzer 38 Tank Destroyer (Paperback)

German Army and Waffen-SS Western Front, 1944–1945

WWII Tanks Modelling Photographic Books Colour Books Military

By Dennis Oliver
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Tank Craft
Pages: 64
Illustrations: 200 colour & black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526791184
Published: 29th June 2021

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By 1944 the German army was on the defensive on all fronts and Allied bombing was putting increasing pressure on the nation's industrial output. Since the earliest days of the war the Germans had experimented with mounting anti-tank weapons on obsolete chassis and one of the most successful of these would prove to be the Jagdpanzer 38, more often referred to today as the Hetzer. Small and unimposing the Hetzer's appearance belied its effectiveness. Armed with the powerful 7.5cm L/48 gun, the same weapon fitted to the Jadgpanzer IV, the Hetzer featured armour sloped armour plates of up to 60mm thickness and was capable of a top speed of 42 kilometres per hour. Almost 3,000 examples were assembled and its low cost and ease of production meant that it was Germany's most important tank killer of the late war period. In his latest book in the TankCraft series Dennis Oliver uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the Hetzer tank destroyers and the units of the German Army and Waffen-SS that operated them during the last months of the Second World war. A key section of his book displays 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 these historic tanks.

Video review on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

This book is produced to the usual high standard of Dennis Oliver, and provides a valuable source of pictures and information for Modellers, Wargamers and the interested reader. It follows the familiar format of sections covering the design, development and rational of the Hetzer.

A section follows on the organisation of Army (Heer) units on the Western front, with ten colour plates of drawings of examples of camouflage patterns. A second colour section of models and information on model kits and after market products is rounded off by an organisational section for the Waffen-SS, and technical details to enable the reader to differentiate between different models of the Hetzer.

I always learn something from these monographs; in this case the driving factors behind the heavy late-war production of the Hetzer being the Allied bombing of the Alkett factory, and the inter-arm rivalry between the artillery and Panzer arms of the Wehrmacht. As expected, this book does not disappoint.

Chris Kemp

The Hetzer is a popular modelling subject, and is notable in my mind for being one AFV which for some time had a standardised factory applied camouflage pattern, something quite different to other German AFVs in the late war schemes. A well balanced book with the historical story mixed with plenty of inspiration for modellers.

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Military Model Scene

A great addition to the highly popular Tank Craft Series. This book reviews the Skoda 38t in its Hetzer tank destroyer variant – Very Highly Recommended

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Firetrench

About Dennis Oliver

Dennis Oliver is the author of over twenty books on Second World War armoured vehicles including Tiger I and II Tanks: German Army and Waffen-SS: Eastern Front 1944; Panther Tanks: German Army and Waffen-SS, Normandy Campaign 1944; Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer: German Army, Western Europe 1944-1945; and Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks:German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945.

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