The Panzer IV was the only German tank to remain in production and service for the entire length of the Second World War. It began life as an infantry support tank with a short gun, before gaining the powerful longer guns that made it the dominant German tank of the mid-war period. Even after the appearance of the Panther and Tiger II the Panzer IV remained an important gun tank, but it also became the basis of a wide range of modified vehicles, from the famous StuG IV to self propelled artillery and anti-aircraft tanks.
This entry in the Images of War series traces the combat career of the Panzer IV from the earliest fighting in Poland in September 1939 when limited numbers reduced its importance, to the multitude of vehicles of 1944-45. We follow the key developments in the design of the tank in some detail, with a good selection of photos of each major combat variant from a wide range of angles. The pictures are supported by accurate captions that explain what we are seeing, where and when, and often give useful identification tips (I can see this book being very useful in the future when I attempt to identify Panzer IVs in my own collection of photos!).
This book contains a good selection of high quality photos with useful captions. There aren't many combat photos (not surprisingly!), but there are quite a few showing battle damage (often taken by the relieved surviving crew members). This book should appeal to those interested in armoured warfare in general, while the wide range of pictures and angles should make it useful to the modeller.
1 - Blitzkrieg, 1939-1941
2 - Barbarossa, 1941
3 - Russia, 1942-1943
4 - Russian and Western Front, 1943-1944
5 - Last Year of Operations, 1944-1945
Appendix: Panzer Camouflage and Panzer IV Variants
Author: Paul Thomas
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military