Legends of Warfare Panzerkampfwagen IV - The Backbone of Germany’s WWII Tank Forces

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Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
David Doyle
Other Publication Information
Hard cover, 112-pp, 8.5” x 8.5", 180 photos, Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Company: David Doyle Books - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: David Doyle Books - Website: Visit Site
Product Picture

DavidDoyleBooks.com (Schiffer Publishing) out of Memphis TN, is back again with another Legends of Warfare (Ground) book entitled Panzerkampfwagen IV – The Backbone of Germany’s WWII Tank Forces, by popular author David Doyle. Anyone familiar with armor modeling literature and research will recognize this authoritative combination, and like usual, this latest release won’t disappoint.

Looking across my personal bookshelf of maybe 200 titles, I can spot several of Mr. Doyle’s books, including Panzer II, 251 Halftrack Visual History and Tiger I In Action, and, of course, my beaten-to-death copy of German Military Vehicles, among others. If you’ve been building armor models for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with his work as well.

Panzerkampfwagen IV comes as a hardcover book, and follows the format of Mr. Doyle’s previous Legends of Warfare volumes, containing high-resolution images printed on heavy, high quality stock paper.

The book starts with a table of contents and a brief introduction describing the pre-war evolution of the Panzer IV through the thirties. Then you’re on to the meat of the book, somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 images, each with a detailed caption that covers unusual equipment and/or markings found.

The bulk of the images are black and white wartime photos, many in large format. But there are also three groups of full color images, 34 in all) from the following sources:

  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf D (Bovington Museum, England)
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf G (Panzermuseum, Germany)
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf J (Saumur Museum, France)

I’ve been reading books and perusing the internet for some twenty years and have yet to encounter the majority of the photographs contained in this book. Mr. Doyle has been able to gain access to, and work with, resources that together have produced quite a startling collection of photographs for this venerable workhorse of the German Wehrmacht.

While there are many, many books published on the Panzer IV, the bulk of these cover single marks, or specific combat theaters. With this book, like Panzer II before it, the reader gets a good sense of the differences between all of the main battle tank variants.

Chapters include:

  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. A
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. B
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. C
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. E
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2/G
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J

Personally, I especially enjoyed the many (new) combat images from the Eastern Front. The sheer variety of unique ‘accoutrement’ adorning these tanks in battle serves as a valuable modeling resource.

I highly recommend this latest offering from David Doyle by Schiffer Publishing. The images contained in this book are of the highest quality - crisp, in focus, and carefully selected to be useful for modelers and historians alike, and Mr. Doyle’s research is top-notch throughout. Along with his previous releases, Panzerkampfwagen IV belongs on any armor modeler’s book shelf.

I would like to thank DavidDoyleBooks.com for this review copy, and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this book.

Reviewer Bio

Eric Christianson

Eric Christianson is a father to two boys (Reed and Dean), the President of the Seattle Chapter of IPMS, and a long-time Little League umpire. He is also a devoted husband and companion to a wonderful woman named Jackie who enthusiastically supports his passions. Recently retired as a programmer, his home office has been scratch-built into ‘a perfect model room’. Modeling since he was a boy, Eric mostly builds armor these days, but still dabbles in 1/32nd aircraft and other types of models from time to time. He also enjoys presenting seminars on weathering and technique at local shows. Many of Eric’s kit reviews can be found on the IPMS USA website.

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