Tank Craft #26: Jagdpanzer IV- Western Front 1944-45

Author/Artists: Dennis Oliver


Pen & Sword


$22.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, 200 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-5267-7167-4

This book from Pen & Sword's series on military vehicles concentrates on the Jagdpazer IV and its use on the western front during 1944/45. This was a vehicle that was developed when it was seen how effective the StuG vehicles were when it came to destroying enemy tanks. The design was one that was fairly quickly developed as it was based on the Panzer IV chassis. The Panzer IV had pretty well reached the end of its development and an extant production line for them was available.

A new upper hull was then developed that took into account the lessons learned in building the Panther. In this case it meant a more pointed forward section, angled armor for the rest of the hull and an enclosed fighting compartment to keep the crew safe. The vehicle was designed to take the 75mm L/70 gun, but that was required for the Panther and that tank had priority. This meant that initial production vehicles were armed with the L/48 gun as was so successfully used on the StuG III. Very early production vehicles were also provided with Zimmerit paste on the exterior, but that did not last long as the paste was proven to be fairly ineffective.

As is the case with a lot of the books in this series, we get a brief look at how each of the Army's armored divisions used the vehicles and their combat record. There is then a fairly large section of large profiles, often accompanied by a photo of the vehicle in question. Then we get to some feature model builds along with a rundown of kits and accessories that are available For the Tiger. These sections are by no means comprehensive but do cover most of what is currently available. This is followed by a brief section that helps one identify the major features of the tank as production proceeded.

These books where you have a mixture of history, camouflage and models are becoming more and more the norm. This one is well done, as are the other books in the series as they are by the same author. The format is a bit different as the history and units portion is divided by the profiles and modeling section before continuing, but you get used to it. Well worth picking up.

December 2020

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