TankCraft 27, Panzer III

...Operation Barbarossa, 1941, from Pen & Sword

Title: Panzer III, German Army Light Tank, Operation Barbarossa, 1941
Author: Dennis Oliver
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52677-171-3

Tank Craft 27 from Pen & Sword, and another from author Dennis Oliver. This one focuses on the Pz III and it's operational use in the specific period of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia in 1941. Of the 17 Panzer regiments that launched the invasion, 11 of them were equipped with various marks of the Pz III.
The 64-page book follows the standard format for the series, beginning with opening pages for an Introduction, a map of the Eastern Front, and a detailed timeline of significant events from June to December 1941 plus an organisation chart for a 1941 Panzer Regiment. This leads into one of the main elements of the book, detailing each of the Pz III equipped units involved. The text gives the story of each unit in turn and throughout it is supported by a good selection of archive photos. This section is split in two, having 12 pages of first class colour profiles, a Model Showcase and extensive Model Products listing before it returns to the details of the various Pz III units. The Model Showcase features 5 expert builds, with a 1/35 Pz III G by Mike Tipping; a Pz III J from Masahiro Doi in both 1/35 and 1/48 scales; a more unusual 1/35 Pz III H Tauchpanzer by Sungjun Jang, and who also contributes an Ausf F and an Ausf A. These are followed by 8 pages listing various kits and accessories available from a good variety of manufacturers. After the last part of the story of the individual Pz III units, there are 5 more pages providing the Technical Details and Modifications between the Pz III variants, and notes on helpful recognition features to look for. That leaves the final page providing a bibliography and contact details for the model manufacturers mentioned in the Products section.
Another fine book in the TankCraft series from author Dennis Oliver. I also rather like it for concentrating on a period of German armour where the colour schemes are still all Panzer Grey rather than the more varied multi-colour camouflage seen on German armour from 1943. I am sure armour historians and modellers will both enjoy this one.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.