The second in the series from Frank V. De Sisto, continues the theme of looking closely at the vehicles that made up the German Panzer Divisions of WWII.
This book copies the same format as the first, i.e. large format, colour plates and black & white photographs. The book begins, naturally enough, with an introduction from Frank whereby he summarizes the formation and history of the German Panzer Divisions, and then gives notes on photographic and reference sources. As Frank says in his introduction, many of the photographs used within the book are either previously unpublished or extremely rare, and looking through them I can certainly attest to that fact.
After the introduction we are into the meat of the book, i.e. 58 pages of black & white photographs with detailed captionsÖÖÖand I DO mean detailed in this instance. One of my favourite things about this series of books is the comprehensiveness of the captions. Franks has extensively captioned each and every photograph, detailing exactly what is shown. Unit and tactical markings are identified wherever possible, and anything characteristic of the vehicle, or uncharacteristic for that matter, is pointed out and explained.
Although the book itself is large format, none of the pages contain just one picture, with many containing up to four or five. Despite this, they are printed at a size that allows you to see detail, and of course with the caption, you can see exactly what youíre looking at.
In the centre of the book there are 8 pages containing 16 colour plates by Laurent Lecocq, giving approximations of some of the colours used in various camouflage schemes, including those used on Panzerís II, III, and IVís, Tiger I & IIís, 38(t)ís and even a Sd.Kfz.7 8 ton halftrack.
The book displays photographs of a wide variety of different vehicles, and sub-types. Panzers I to IV, Panther, Jagdpanther, Tiger I & II, Sturmtiger, Jagdtiger, StuG, Sturmpanzer, 38(t), 35(t), Hetzer, even a small section showing 251 halftracks. Vehicles are shown in various states on all fronts, which canít fail to offer inspiration to modellers. If you look carefully, you will even see a few foreign vehicles pressed into German service.
One particular vehicle that is shown that interests me greatly is a pair of 2cm FlaK 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette Zgkw. Sd.Kfz.11ís, and to give you some idea of the quality of Frank De Sistoís captions;
.............An apparent amalgamation of Sd.Kfz.11 and Sd.Kfz.251 components, over 600 of these 2cm FlaK 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette Zgkw.Sd.Kfz.11 were built through the beginning of 1945. Although their front ends bear a strong resemblance, they are not Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.Ds as had previously been thought. This pair of vehicles is parked behind a rather massive concrete bunker-like structure. Note the shielded 2cm FlaK38s as well as the configuration of the front fenders, which contain conventional head-lamps, a Notek black-out driving head-lamp and width indicator poles............
173 B&W photographs
16 colour plates by Laurent Lecocq
Just as good, if not better than the first in the series, this book offers loads of inspiration and holds your attention throughout with rare photographs and well-researched and accurate captions. I canít wait for the next one! Very highly recommended indeed.
My thanks to Concord Publications for the review sample.
The second in Frank V. De Sisto's 4 book photo-essay's of the German Panzer Divisions, contains the expected mix of rare photographs and accurately researched captions.