Pen and Sword Books presents:
Images of War: Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the
Second World War
Pen & Sword Publisher's "Images of War" series has just grown again with another title sure to be enjoyed by World War II enthusiasts, AFV historians and modelers everywhere. Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War advertises rare photos from wartime archives and while paging through this book, this claim is entirely accurate with some photos I haven't seen in my nearly 30 years of modeling. This review is barely even a taste of the 250 color and black & white photos of wartime and restored museum pieces found worldwide. As you can see from the above contents page, this particular book doesn't cover axis armored fighting vehicles designated as a main battle tank such as a Tiger I, Panther, Panzer III or IV. However, what it does cover will certainly satisfy the reader.
All pictures are clear, except those wartime photos wherein little could be done to enhance the photo, though most are very good regardless. The photos of the restored pieces are exceptionally clear, close-up and captures lots of detail, especially the photos of select vehicle interiors which modelers will certainly refer to during their building projects.
The text is in English and as one would expect from this publisher, clear, concise and informative. All photos have captions which provide another level of information that might not be covered within the regular book text. Each chapter begins with several pages of text providing a general background of what will be illustrated in the chapter, then the author goes on to greater detail on specific AFVs within the chapter providing details such as armament, crew duties and positions, weaponry, vehicle protection and significant developmental changes and upgrades, usually summed up in several short, but complete paragraphs.
Format: Portrait oriented photos and text; soft cover cover front and back
Size: 7 1/2 x 9 3/4
Text: All text is English throughout
Photos: There are 250 photos included; mixture of wartime and restored museum pieces. Mostly black and white with some color pics of private collection vehicles and restored museum pieces. With the exception of some wartime photos, all are clear.
German Sd.Kfz. 231 light armored car pictured here on the Eastern Front.
A restored Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car
Captured German Sd.Kfz. 233 Heavy Armored Car, complete with 75mm gun.
Nice interior view of an Sd. Kfz. 250 Light Armored Personnel Carrier. These personnel carriers didn't start arriving to the German army until the summer of 1941. Scratchbuilders will certainly enjoy using this photo to add missing details on any 250s in their stash.
French 4 X 4 Panhard 178 armed with a 25mm put into German service formally known as the Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle Panhard 178-P204(f).
StuG B crew loading ammo in anticipation for the next action.
Restored picture of a StuG Ausf. D from the driver's position.
Driver's station of a restored StuG III Ausf. G.
Pre-war version of a tracked 88mm designed for tank destroying missions. According to the author, approximately 10 were constructed in 1939 and designed to be used in the tank destroyer role. By 1940, an additional 15 were built, but on a larger half-track.
An abandoned Panzer IV/70 (A) Sd. Kfz. 162/1
GIs inspecting a knocked-out Italian self-propelled gun 90/53 armed with a 90mm anti-aircraft gun. These were first encountered in Sicily in 1943. Maybe a manufacturer will roll one of these out in 2019.
How many readers can guess where this pic was taken? Here pictured is a Japanese army tank destroyer called the Ho-Ni I which was armed with a 75mm field gun. Allies first encountered these during the campaign to retake the Philippines.
Example of a restored Sd. Kfz. 251 Ausf. C. The author conveniently provides a one-page list of all the 251 variants complete with a single sentence description for each.
Interior pic of a restored Sd. Kfz. 251/7 Ausf. D (Engineering version).
150mm gun mounted on a modified Panzer II light tank chassis.
Nearly intact 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 Sd.Kfz. 4/1.
Slightly modified CV-3 tankette designed to act as a flamethrowing vehicle.
A captured British Universal Carrier put to use by the German army. While this is British in origin, Germans captured many in the early 1940s and put them to use against their former owners. I thought the camo pic would make a nice finale for a fantastic book.
Pros: While some may initially balk a bit at the price, to scan through over 200 pages of excellent information and 250 photos, it clearly is a great value for the money and an excellent addition to any model builders and military vehicle enthusiasts library. The paper quality is quite good and the binding has been done to perfection. This book and others from the Images of War series deserve a place in one's man cave.
Cons: None that come to mind.
This book is Highly Recommended for all AFV model builders, military historians and all who have an interest in history of these vehicles.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review book.
Reviewed by Chuck Willis.
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