This entry in Osprey's New Vanguard series looks at what was probably the best German tank of the Second World War - the Panzer V Panther.
While most books on the Panther are divided into seperate sections on the design of the tank and its service career, this book is structured around the different variants of the Panther. Each chapter begins with a look at a particular version of the Panther, then looks at the combat record of the Panther once that variant entered service. While this approach can make it a little harder to find the sections on the Panther's combat record, it does produce a more coherent text. The development and deployment of each new version of the Panther is thus placed in context
The vast majority of the photographs have been chosen to illustrate some aspect of the design of the Panther. Amongst them are some rather useful detailed pictures of the commander's cupola and the interior of the turret. The same is true of the colour artwork - where the original Vanguard on the Panther had a series of paintings of the tank in the field, here we have a series of sharply drawn front, side and top views. The cutaway diagram is also of excellent quality, although I would have preferred it to have been drawn from a higher angle, to give a better view of the interior.
This is an informative, well organised and well written book. The focus is on the technical development of the Panther, which takes up two thirds of the thirty three pages of main text, reflecting the remit of the New Vanguard Series. This also leaves eleven pages for the tank's combat record. Key moments in the Panther's history - the battle of Kursk or the aftermath of the D-Day landings - are examined in the most detail.
Author: Stephen A. Hart
Panther Model D
Panther Model A
Panther Model G
Panther Model F
The Panther Assessed