Milly from Pen And Sword Books was kind enough to send me a copy of “The Panther Tank”, by Anthony Tucker-Jones, for a bit of a review by Colonel Mustard. The Panther has to be one of the most popular of tanks in the modelling and wargaming world. I don’t know the statistics but if i had a top ten of tanks the Panther would be right there in the run down. Maybe even top five…… That could be a blog post right there.
So as a keen student of the history of the Panther i was very excited to read this concise and picture heavy volume. Only 120 pages long it’s an easy read, but a very entertaining and interesting one. It follows the Panther’s conception, development through various models, its involvement in various theaters of World War Two, and ultimately its successes and failures. Built initially by the Germans to counteract the super reliable and versatile Russian T34, it soon became a crucial part of their war machine. My preconceived opinion was that the Panther was a super successful vehicle, but that opinion appears to be a misconception after reading this. The Panther was fraught with problems from day one and suffered badly from these problems throughout its encounters of the war. Most of the time a high percentage of Panthers were unusable due to mechanical issues. It appears the design was over engineered, hard to repair, susceptible to poor conditions and often manned by untrained crews. I think its firepower and armour were unrivaled, but its reliability, maneuverability and availability were all crucial issues that detracted from its overall success. Mr Tucker-Jones does a great job of going through the tanks history in World War Two, and how it measured up against opposing forces.
I love the large amount of images included in the book which will provide many inspiring ideas for my own Panther tank modelling. It really is stacked full of black and white images of Panthers in various situations, many wrecked or shot full of holes! So anyone with an interest in this distinctive vehicle should grab a copy.
However if you want to win a copy just comment on this post with the answer to my following question: Which version of the Panther was a turret less tank with an 88mm gun? First correct answer will get a copy sent to them by Pen And Sword Books!