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Book Review: Panther Project Volume Two: Engine and Turret

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, May 3, 2019
by Lee Lloyd, Brian Balkwill, and Alasdair Johnson. This 208-page pictorial reference softcover book, sized 8.25x11.675-inches, offers 502 color photos of the Maybach engine and turret of a Panther A being restored to running condition by the Wheatcroft Collection from 2009 to 2018. That's on top of 45 pre-restoration photos, four pages of tank history, and 12 pages of color technical illustrations. The captions explain what you're seeing, some info about how it was assembled, and a little bit about how the crew operated the item. I found the ammunition storage part interesting in how they fit 79 rounds (half AP and half HE) inside the tank. Of these, 27 rounds were in panniers behind the driver and radio operator and three rounds seem to be strapped in under the rotating turret basket (Photo 394 is clearest). Then there's a bin for spent casings, a fan to vent out smoke, and other things that were needed to fire the gun -- think about that when you roll a die. Also of note is the Demolition charge -- a 3.5kg explosive with a nice red knob to pull. The crewman had 60 seconds to abandon tank before the charge went off. In various books, I had read about crew setting a charge to destroy a tank. Now I see what it looked like in a Panther. The main photos show fully-restored, shiny versions of the equipment that took years to rehabilitate, replace, or fashion from scratch. The book doesn't say how much longer this restoration will take, but the end result will be a fully-functioning Panther. Enjoyed it.

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Tags:  Panzer  reviews  Tanks  WW2  WWII 

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BOOK REVIEW: Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, April 19, 2019
Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019
BOOK REVIEW: Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck

by Hans von Luck. 

Although a touch too light-hearted at times, it is nevertheless an amazing account of a soldier who fought in Poland, France 40, Russia, North Africa, France 44, and versus the Russians again in 1945 before being captured and sent to a work camp for five years. He is truly a 'Clever Hans' who mixed smarts, luck, and a sixth sense for opportunity to prosper and survive 1939-1950. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Memoir  Panzer  WW2 

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BOOK REVIEW: Steel Inferno: 1st SS Panzer Corps in Normandy

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, April 19, 2019
Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019
BOOK REVIEW: Steel Inferno: 1st SS Panzer Corps in Normandy

by Michael Reynolds. 

An in-depth, day-by-day look at the tactical and operational actions of the 1st SS Panzer Corps, primarily 1st SS LAH and 12th SS HJ divisions, from June 6, 1944 to August 25, 1944. Great detail, often down to individual tanks and platoons. Often lists casualties and strength returns at end of daily description of battles. It needs far more tactical maps than included to follow the attacks and counterattacks. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Normandy  Panzer  WW2 

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