Tank Craft #18 Panther Tanks

Author/Artists: Dennis Oliver


Pen & Sword


$22.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, 200 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-5267-559 -02

This book from Pen & Sword's series on military vehicles concentrates on the Panther tank, often considered one of the more effective German tanks. Despite its complexity, it was able to be upgraded without major issues and was often the bane of Allied tanks on both fronts.

Initially designed to combat the Soviet's T-34 series of tanks, it took on a few of the T-34s innovations, such as sloped armor. It did not, however, manage to duplicate the Russian tank's less complex suspension and beefier transmission. The interconnecting wheels made wheel changing a lengthy affair. The Panther also had a gear box that was not rated for the weight to which the Panther grew as the design moved from prototype to production. A more robust transmission would have probably kept more tanks in combat. This was especially true if the driver was not fairly experienced and knew of the weaknesses of this part of the tank.

Despite its shortcomings, the Panther is considered by many to be the main influence on modern tanks. Its sloped armor, torsion bar suspension, heavy armor and big gun are still a feature of many modern main battle tanks.

As seems to be the case with some books in the series, we get a brief look at how each of the Army's armored divisions used the tank and their combat record. This book concentrates on the Western theater in the last months of the war. 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 to the Panther. 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 different types.

There sorts of 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 if you are a fan of the type.

September 2019

Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved.

Review book courtesy of  Casemate Publishing, where you can order your copy of this and many other superb books. You can get this book at this link.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.