The Panzer IV was produced in greater numbers than any other German tank of the Second World War, and developed from a short gunned support tank in 1939 into the main German battle tank of the mid-war period before being outclassed but not replaced by the Panther and Tiger. In addition its chassis was the basis of a number of other vehicles including the StuG IV, a number of tank destroyers, anti-aircraft tanks and self propelled guns.
This book combines a history of the Panzer IV with modelling guide. The history covers the development of the Panzer IV, the many variants produced during the war, the varying camoflauge used on the tank and its combat record. The modelling section starts with a modelling showcase, looking at a series of very impressive models and then moves onto a review of a selection of available models.
The reviews make you realise just how much variety there is in the modelling world. The simplest kit only has 36 parts. We then leap to kits with around 100 parts, before reaching the high end with the 852 parts of the Trumpeter Ostwind kit, or the 1,816 parts of the Trumpeter 16th Scale kit used in one of the model showcases!
One minor fault that caused me some confusion is that the graphic showing the eleven main patterns used with the zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste is on page 31, while the list showing which vehicles used each pattern is on page 51! The main reason for this is that the modelling section is placed in the centre of the book, coming in the middle of the history section – otherwise the two would only be a couple of pages apart.
Apart from that this is a good introduction to the subject, and a useful guide for the modeller, with an especially good selection of well captioned photographs that help to identify the various models of the Panzer IV.
On the Eastern Front
Kursk and Beyond
Camouflage and Markings
Camouflage and Zimmerit
Panzerjager and Flak Vehicles
Panzer IV (PzKpfw IV) Variants
Author: Paul Thomas
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military