Panzer Divisions in Battle 1939-45, Volume 2

Published on
February 16, 2014
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Tom Cockle with illustrations by Laurent Lecocq
Other Publication Information
Soft cover, 72-pp, 8.5 x 11", 16 color plates, 176 photos
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Book Cover

Concord Publishing, out of Hong Kong, is back again with another Armor At War series entitled Panzer Divisions In Battle 1936-45 by popular author Tom Cockle. Anyone familiar with the armor modeling literature and research will recognize this authoritative combination, and this latest release won’t disappoint.

Looking across my personal bookshelf of maybe 200 titles, I can spot several of Mr. Cockle’s books and I’ve familiar with many of his articles in some of the better armor magazines such as ‘Military Modeler’, ‘Military in Scale’, ‘Military Modelcraft International’, ‘FineScale Modeler’ and ‘AFV Modeller’. If you’ve been building armor models for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with his work as well.

Panzer Divisions In Battle 1936-45 follows the format of the previous Armor at War volumes, containing 16 color plates by artist Laurent Lecocq, and 166 black and white photos with detailed captions. The photo’s lack any form of credit, so my guess is that many of these have not been published before; perhaps uncovered as estates are sold off and hidden treasures revealed.

As with other books in the series, there is a brief, two-and-a-half page historical introduction. This volume's background covers the time between the invasion of the Soviet Union until the battle of Rostov in late 1941, leaving the subject area wide open for additional volumes to come. The introduction is rather dry, citing locations and numbers, without any anecdotal information. That is left to the relatively robust captions that accompany each B&W photograph in the book.

Starting with introduction, you can be lured into the belief that this book covers a mere six months of the war, but turn a couple pages and you’re quickly made aware that the entire publication is really just a medium for displaying a wide variety of images depicting German armored vehicles from the entire war (though (mostly) limited to the ETO). The first image is of a Kfz.67 armored car (circa 1932) and the last, a captured JagdTiger from the very last days of the conflict. Everything in between is like a who’s who parade of German armor of all kinds. Personally, I really enjoyed the many (new) images of heavy prime movers towing artillery and interesting photos of armor receiving maintenance in the field. The photos for the most part are crisp, in focus, and carefully selected to be useful for modelers and historians alike.

There are 16 color plates in the center of the book produced the accomplished illustrator Laurent Lecocq, containing sample camouflage schemes and markings from throughout the war. While these are always eye-catching, there is nothing really new here. The real meat of the book still lies in the black and white photos.

I highly recommend this latest addition to the Armor At War series by Concord Publishing. Along with their previous releases, Panzer Divisions In Battle belongs on any armor modelers book shelf.

I would like to thank Concord Publishing, Dragon Models 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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