Hitler’s Panzers, The Complete History 1933-1945

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Anthony Tucker-Jones
Other Publication Information
240 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, No illustrations
Company: Pen & Sword - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site

Pen & Sword Books are not new to the plastic modeling industry. The UK-based publishing company has been around since 1990 while churning out titles covering subjects from the military, aviation, maritime, and other areas of history.

The Author

The following is taken from Pen and Sword’s website.

Anthony Tucker-Jones, a former intelligence officer, is an author and commentator who specializes in military history, with more than 50 books to his name. His work has also been published in an array of magazines and online. He regularly appears on television and radio programs commenting on current and historical military matters. His books includeArmoured Warfare in the North African Campaign,The Battle for the Mediterranean,The Desert Air War,The Devil’s Bridge,Hitler’s Winter, andChurchill Master and Commander.

Table of Contents

The table of contents, extending across two pages, presents the 18 chapters, along with the appendices, a bibliography, and an index.

Curiously, following the table of contents are three pages dedicated to listing plates showcasing images beginning with page 55. This seems redundant since each image already includes an exact description.


The author provides an interesting read by previewing what is to come in the next several pages. This includes an account of Guderian’s Blitzkrieg in Poland and a listing of the German tank aces.

Part I Designing Tractors

This section of the book spans seven chapters, commencing with chapter 1. In these chapters, the author delves into Hitler’s strategic maneuvers to circumvent the Treaty of Versailles, notably by developing the Panzer I and II tanks for training purposes. This strategic evolution ultimately culminated in the creation of the iconic Panzer II and IV tanks. Furthermore, Chapter 1 marks the initial mention of Guderian’s experience of spending several weeks in Sweden, observing a tank unit.

Another fascinating aspect is how the author presents various manufacturer’s efforts in developing the turretless tractor, particularly highlighting the role of the Krupp Tractor in the emergence of the Panzerwaffe.

In Chapter 3, the author discusses the primary armaments employed, initially the 37mm, which was later replaced with the 50mm as requested by Guderian, and the development of the Ausf. A through G and H versions. Ultimately, the author provides the reader with relevant details concerning the 75mm up-gunned Panzer IV.

In Chapter 6, the author offers readers insights into the evolutionary process and design stages of the Tiger 1 tank, making for another captivating read. Concluding Part I, the author elucidates the necessity for a German counterpart to the Russian T-34.

This section contains eighteen black-and-white images, each accompanied by the author’s caption. The first image features a side view of Heinz Guderian, a prominent figure in the history being discussed. The subsequent images continue to provide informative insights, each adding valuable context and detail the the narrative. The captions help to enhance the reader’s understanding by offering explanations and background information related to each photograph.

Part II Off to War

This section, spanning Chapters 8-13, offers further details on German tactics and strategies, including an account of the initial phase of Blitzkrieg on Poland involving Panzer tanks.

Another authoritative read is section Chapter 9, “Panzers in North Africa,” where the author discusses Romnel’s use of the Panzer III to combat the British Cruiser and Crusader tanks, leading up to the eventual deployment of the Tiger 1.

The author’s research is further enriched in Chapters 10, “Panzers on the Steppe,” and 11, “Failure at Kursk,” by his depiction of the utilization of German Panzer and Tiger I tanks on the expansive grassland of the Russian Steppe. Moreover, he offers a succinct summary of the conflict at Kursk, highlighting the eventual and pivotal Soviet triumph.

In Chapter 12, “An Italian Sideshow” the author provides a brief 4-page summary of the small number of Panzers used. Following this short section, the author presents eighteen black-and-white images, including a remarkable image featuring a line of StuG III, a newly manufactured Panzer IV alongside other captivating photographs.

For this reader, one of the key chapters is Chapter 13, “Panzers in Normandy.” The author starts by detailing the types and numbers of Panzers used by the Panzerwaffe and includes a discussion on the Regiments that utilized them. In this chapter, the author discusses the use of the Panzers and Tiger 1. Equally significant is the author’s discussion of the Allied Sherman tanks employed by the British, Canadian, and Polish armored units.

Part III Sturmgeschutz Not Panzers

This section comprises just 17 pages across 2 chapters, detailing the up-armored and up-gunning of the StuG, III which led to the development of the StuG Ausf. G. The author thoroughly discusses the various modifications implemented and the number of StuGs and Guderian’s Panzers left operational. Although Part III is brief, it provides the reader with a wealth of information.

Part IV Wasted Opportunities

Part IV of this excellent book consists of 3 chapters over 21 pages and chronicles Hitler’s last “Hurrah” starting with a discussion on the aftermath of Normany, moves on to the Ardennes offensive, and includes a brief overview of Kampfgruppe Peiper’s role. I found it intriguing that the author describes a knocked-out Panzer IV, which came to symbolize the Battle of the Bulge, yet did not include an image of it in this book.

Concluding Part IV, “Wasted Opportunities,” is a compelling discussion by the author on how Hitler’s relentless desire to alter the design of the Panzers, Panthers, and Tigers ultimately influenced the outcome of the war.


A truly impressive aspect of this book is the appendices, labeled Appendix A through Appendix H. In these sections, the author provides detailed information, including the annual production numbers of Panzers, a list of the Panzer Divisions, and a comprehensive description of the various variants of Panzer I to IV. Additionally, the author provides information on The Tiger I and II variants, and the Panther variants. This information would be particularly useful to both the military historian and modeler.


The military series by Pen & Sword Books is not new to this reviewer.Having several books by Pen & Sword Books on my bookshelf, this will be a welcome addition for reference purposes. The black and white images contained in the book are clear with some rare images I had never seen before. The author includes with each image a caption describing in detail what is contained in the image. If the author's objective were to present a detailed and complete history of Hitler’s Panzers, he did meet this goal. The book is easy to read with amazing images and captions.

For anyone seeking a concise, definitive history of Hitler’s Panzers, this book should be the top choice.

Thanks to Casemate Publishers and Pen & Sword Books for this review sample.


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