Kagero- inCombat- Panzerkampfwagen III from Ausf. H to Ausf. N
Author: Michał Kuchciak
ISBN # 9788366148901
Softcover, 80 pages with 70 black and white photographs, 16 color profiles, scale drawings sheets and charts.
This is my first exposure to this series from Kagero. It is an interesting mix of text, photos, excellent color profiles, and scale drawings that are very similar to their TopDrawings books. The issue is in booklet binding and A4 format- so it is very thin and might easily get swallowed up on your bookshelf. That being said, the content inside is excellent. Some of the photos are recycled from typical historical resources but the majority are ones I have not seen before. In some case, they are a bit washed out in detail, but that could easily be due to their age- and the rarity of the images more than makes up for this. Text is in English and Polish and the chapters are broken down as follows:
- Versions Armed with a 37mm Gun
- Rearming with a 50mm Gun
- Pz.Kpfw. III (5cm) Ausf. H (Sd.Kfz. 141)
- Pz.Kpfw. III (5cm) Ausf. J (Sd.Kfz. 141)
- Pz.Kpfw. III (5cm KWK 39 L/60) Ausf. L (Sd.Kfz. 141/1)
- Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. K
- Pz.Kpfw. III (5cm KWK 39 L/60) Ausf. M (Sd.Kfz. 141/1)
- Pz.Kpfw. III (7,5cm KWK 37 L/24) Ausf. N (Sd.Kfz. 141/2)
- Service with Panzer Units and a Brief Combat History
- Selected Bibliography
There is a lot of information in this thin book. Photos are of particular interest as mentioned before- many of a rare variety. There are some great shots of whitewashed exteriors that show how rough this looked. The color profiles and scale drawings make up the center part of the book and are of great quality. The scale drawings are in the rarer model scales of 1/72 and 1/48, with no drawings present for 1/35.
The last fourth of the book is dedicated to the combat use of the tank- going into greater depth and still filled with great photos. With the split between the English and Polish texts in the book, the actual reading is all of about 40 pages so I was able to read through the book in just a couple sittings. These tanks surely took a beating moving through the rough terrain in the Eastern Front- as can be attested to in the following photo showing the overall lack of Schürzen on the side...
Towards the end of the book are some particularly interesting tables. One compares the Pz. III with three other tanks- the British Crusader II, the M3 Lee, and the T-34 model 1941. The latter table features the tactical and technical characteristics of the various versions of the Pz. III
It seems like books on the Panzer III are coming out in as many forms as armor kits this year. 2020 may not have been good for much of anything, but it sure has been kind to those who favor the Panzer III. This particular book runs the gamut- filled with informative text, excellent rarely-seen photos, and excellent color profiles and scale drawings. All this together provides one with all sorts of great ideas and themes for building and designing vignettes or dioramas for their models. And it does all this without taking up a whole lot of room to boot. An excellent all-around resource and I look forward to picking up more volumes in the inCombat series in the future.
Highly Recommended for anyone who finds an interest in reading about the Panzer III and its later variants.
Thanks goes out to Casemate and Kagero Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves, AMPS Albany
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