Panzer IV 1939-1945

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Paul Thomas
Other Publication Information
64 pages with color and black and white illustrations
Company: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

"The Panzer IV – Panzerkampfwagen IV – was one the foremost German fighting vehicles of the Second World War, and this volume in the TankCraft series is an ideal introduction to it. With detailed captions, text and illustrations the book tells the story of the technical development of the Panzer IV and the numerous variants that went into production. In addition it describes how this vehicle evolved from infantry support to become the backbone of the Panzer units. It was modified and upgunned to face ever-increasing enemy threats, and it proved to be so diverse and effective that it earned a unique tactical role on the battlefield.

A large part of the book showcases available model kits and after market products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined in order to provide everything the modeler needs to recreate an accurate representation of the only Panzer that stayed in production throughout the war."

The Author

Paul Thomas is an expert on Second World War fighting vehicles. His previous books include German Halftracks at War 1939-1945, Panzer IV at War 1939-1945, Panzer III at War 1939-1945 and Hitler’s Light Panzers at War.

The Publication

There are 64 pages to this paperback publication with several color and black and white illustrations.

The Panzerfampwagen IV was the workhorse of the Wehrmacht during World War II, and fought on all fronts from Western and Eastern Europe, to the Balkans and the North African Front. Many also were found after World War II in the Mid-East for the many local wars fought there.

This publication is also available as eBook (ePub) ISBN : 9781526711304-epub. Adobe Digital Editions is needed to download and view eBooks. The cost is $13.77, and eBook (PDF), and ISBN : 9781526711311-pdf, Adobe Digital Editions is needed to download and view eBooks. The cost is $13.77.


  • Introduction - Here the author provides background information on the contents of this publication.
  • Origins - The history and development of the Panzer IV are described.
  • The Blitzkrieg Years - The early years show the strengths and weakness of the Panzer IV, resulting in modifications and improvements.
  • On the Eastern Front - The weaknesses of the Panzer IV are revealed on the Eastern front with the resultant up-gunning. The Germans really were not prepared to meet some of the unexpected Russian heavy tanks encountered.
  • Kursk and Beyond - The decimation of the Panzerwaffe is addressed in this segment.
  • Camouflage and Markings - How the Germans initially ignored, or did not recognize the need for camouflage and how they addressed the need for painted and foilage camouflage is described here. Some interesting insights to the shortcomings of the German supply chain is noted.
  • Camouflage and Zimmerit - Eleven patterns of zimmerit were used on German tanks from 1943 to 944. Some of the patterns were quite unusual and not often seen on combat vehicles.
  • Model Showcase - Some fantastic scale models are displayed here. The Trumpeter 1/16th scale Panzer IV Ausf H by Brian Richardson is especially impressive.
  • Modeling Products - Several of the available kits in various scales are described in this segment.
  • Panzerjager and Flak Vehicle - the anti-tank and anti-aircraft variants are described.
  • A German armored vehicle color glossery by year is listed, along with a list of RAL colors with the colors' names. This is concluded with a glossary of Panzer divisions.
  • Panzer IV (PzKpfw IV) Variants - This last segment is essentially a synopsis of the Panzer IV tank variants. Each is described in a detailed paragraph.


My main interest for scale modeling is 1/48th scale aircraft, however I enjoy a good effort with a 1/35th scale armor kit every now and then, and oddly enough German armored vehicles from World War II are my first choice in this arena. There are several kits in various scales of the PzKpfw IV in many versions. This publication offfers many vintage images probably not previously seen by many of us. The text accompanying the images includes comments on colors, camouflage and details useful to the serious modeler.

Recommended for the World War II German armor fan, modler or not. Some very interesting insights to the history of the Panzer IV and its variants.

I wish to thank Casemate Publications and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this publication.


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