Tank Craft #29: Hetzer - Jagdpanzer 38 Tank Destroyer

Author/Artists: Dennis Oliver


Pen & Sword


$24.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, 200 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-5267-9118-8

This book from Pen & Sword's series on military vehicles concentrates on the Hetzer, what you could consider to be a light Jagdpanzer. It was built on the very reliable Panzer 38(t) chassis, a chassis the German army had used since the start of the war and one that was still be ing produced for a variety of other uses as the light tank for which it was originally used had become quite obsolete.

Such was the demand for mobile tank destroyers, that German industry could not keep up. The StuG III and IV were very popular as they were low-slung and had a powerful enough gun to disable most Soviet tanks. They were also quite effective against other types of targets as well. To help meet the demand, it was decided to build a new vehicle on the Pz 38(t) chassis. In order to keep up its speed, the actual armor was not all that thick, but it was sloped, which increased its protection value. This also made the interior quite cramped and as a result, it was not all that well liked by its crews. However, it was extremely effective and so production continued from mid-1944 until the end of the war.

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 units used the vehicle 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, in this case a pair of 1/48 Tamiya and a 1/35 Dragon kit, along with a rundown of kits and accessories that are available for the Hetzer. 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. Well worth picking up.

September 2021

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