By Lee Archer
Softcover / Landscape
MSRP – £21.99 / US $29.16
Just about anyone who builds armor model, more specifically German armor, has thumbed their way through one of the twenty Panzerwrecks books at one time or another. If you are not one of these folks that have seen or have these books in their collection, they are a fantastic pictorial display with a focus on wrecked armor from the Second World War. Whether you are into building models depicting knocked out armor or simply drawn to the history and photographs displayed within, the Panzerwrecks Series is sure to please.
In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38
I am excited to have the opportunity to take a look inside the first edition in a brand new series of books called In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38, by Lee Archer; one of the founding authors to the Panzerwrecks Series of books. This new series, In Focus, spotlights a particular vehicles and as the secondary series title implies, Men and Machines of World War 2. As you might have guessed by now, In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38 is all about the German Jagdpanzer 38. Lee Archer has spent the better part of the last twenty years collecting a vast amount of information and photographs about the Jagdpanzer 38 and compiled it all into one book. This first edition in the series is bound in a softcover, landscape configuration containing 113-pages. There are no listed chapters to this book but rather page after page of photographs of the Jagdpanzer 38 in both operational and knocked-out forms. In addition to the 117 black and white period photographs Mr. Archer has collected for this book, there are 7 color profile drawings from Felipe Rodna which help shed some light to the color schemes of some of these vehicles.
Each of the photographs contained within the book are supported with text to give the reader a little insight to key points in the photos. Along with the textual insets, there is a four page passage from 5 Jahre in Russische Kriegsgefangenschaft, the published works of Karl-Heinz Sommerfeld from 1993, which gives valuable insight into what it was like to serve inside one of these Jagdpanzer 38’s. There is also a one page section defining technical information about the Rundumeuer, the mounting designed to support machine gun mounted to the top of the Jagdpanzer 38’s casemate. The intention of the author with this publication is to showcase the spectacular collection of period photographs of this tank all in one place and not chronologically define the complete production history of this vehicle; something that until now, has not been created focusing on this particular piece of armor.
Lee Archer continues to present the history enthusiasts and modelers alike, with high quality publications focusing on armor of the Second World War. This first book in the series, In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38, is an incredible look at one of Germany’s late-war production tanks. This book appears to be the most comprehensive collection of photographs on this subject and is filled with over a hundred period black and white photographs showing this Jagdpanzer in both operational and wrecked setings. The photographs have been beautifully reproduced for this publication and the provided color drawings give the reader a little perspective on what these vehicles might have looked like in color at the time. If you are expecting a for a full listing of technical specifications on the Jagdpanzer 38, then this book may not be the book you are looking for. Although the captions associated with each of the phonographs do give plenty of insight into key focal points of the pictures shown, the intentions of the author is not to provide a Spec Manual for this tank, but rather, to provide the modeler and armor enthusiast with a comprehensive photographic display of Jagdpanzer 38 tanks all in one publication. So, if you’re a fan of any of the Panzerwrecks Series of books, a modeler of armor related subjects or simply an enthusiast of the history surrounding the Second World War, In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38 is a definite must have for your personal library.
Modelers Social Club and the MSC Review COnnect would like to thank Casemate Publishers for providing us with a copy of In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38 for this review!