By Lee Archer and Kamen Nevenkin
Artwork by Felipe Rodna
Published by Panzerwrecks
Copyright ©2016 Lee Archer and Kamen Nevenkin
Pages – 97
SRP – $31.95 US
Continuing the long lineage of the Panzerwrecks Series of books, Lee Archer and Kamen Nevenkin team up to produce the next in the long running set of uniquely created books focusing on knocked out armor of the Second World War, Panzerwrecks 20 – Ostfront 3. “Lee Archer is a military vehicle historian living in Old Heathfield, Sussex with his wife and daughter. He previously designed master models for Accurate Armour of Scotland and was a regular contributor to model magazines. Lee has published twenty books on German fighting vehicles of World War 2. Kamen Nevenkin is a military researcher and author from Sofia, Bulgaria. He has published many books about the fighting on the Eastern Front.” – Casemate
Panzerwrecks as a set has finally reached the twentieth edition of their landmark set of books and the third offering of the embedded series focusing on the German army’s Eastern Campaign, Ostfront 3. The primary focus of Panzerwrecks’ Ostfront 3 is geared to help shed some light on many unanswered questions regarding knocked out German armor on the Eastern Front and the Russian capability to do so from the air.
Panzerwreck 20 is a 97-page, soft-cover photographic manuscript focusing on the German Ostfront and the battles around the Lake Balaton, Hungary between late 1944 and spring of 1945. As the preface states, “this book is as much about aircraft weapons, as it is about panzers”. Operation Frühlingserwachen would be the last major offensive by the Germans in WWII and one that would be basically doomed before its outset. One often overlooked aspects of the counter attack is the major part the Russian 17th Air Army, and the damage it inflicted on German panzer forces.
Panzerwrecks 20 – Ostfront 3
The Panzerwrecks books are most certainly pictorial references to the knocked out armor from the Second World War. Panzerwrecks 20 – Ostfront 3 is simply a fantastic continuation of just that. There is no Table of Contents contained in this book, but rather, Panzerwrecks 20 has listed a massive amount of documented panzer wrecks from around the Lake Balanton region chronologically as these wrecks were recorded by a commission formed by the 3rd Ukrainian Front and Russian 17th Air Army. The majority of all of the 98 phonographs are rare and exclusively from an album kept at the Russian Central Military Archives (TsAMO). Panzerwrecks 20 begins with five pages of descriptions of the aerial weapons used by the Russian 17th Air Army, tactics and a complete rundown of all recorded German and Hungarian AFV kills in the region.
Page after page is filled with detailed photographs, many from more than one angle, of these knocked out AFV’s. The majority of these photographs have been reproduced onto one-page displays and all are accompanied by inset text describing key factors to what is being seen in these pictures. In all cases, these AFV’s had been taken out of the battles from the air by Russian weaponry; FAB-50/100/250 general purpose bombs, PTAB’s, Rockets and even 37mm fire.
In addition to the almost one hundred photographs of these tanks in this edition of Panzerwrecks, forty-nine wartime sketches as well as commissioned colored drawing by Felipe Rodna. The artist has reproduced many of the black and white photographs into beautifully crafted colored drawing giving us insight into the color schemes and damage to these vehicles.
Being a huge fan of the Panzerwreck Series of books, it is a no-brainer for me to immediately have a feeling of excitement when a new edition is released. Panzerwrecks 20 – Ostfront 3, as is all of the Panzerwrecks Series of books, been produced in the highest quality. The photographs are almost always cleanly reproduced giving a vivid and revealing look into the destruction of these vehicles. The information presented supporting the pictures in this book is informative shedding light onto how the panzers met their demise. It is not hard for me to recommend Panzerwrecks 20 – Ostfront 3 to any historians, modelers or simple anyone interested in this subject matter! Panzerwrecks continues to not disappoint us with their sustained series of books!
Modellers Social Club and the MSC Review Connect would like to thank Casemate Publishers for providing this copy of Panzerwrecks 20 – Ostfront 3 for our review. Please stop by the Casemate website to find this and countless other great titles for your library!