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Book Review
Panzer II vs 7TP
Panzer II vs 7TP Poland 1939 Duel 66
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction
Panzer II vs 7TP Poland 1939 by Osprey Publishing, book 66 of their Duel series. It is authored by David R. Higgins and illustrated by Richard Chasemore. This 80-page book has an ISBN of 9781472808813 and is only available in softcover for now, although Osprey will no doubt issue it in PDF and ePUB, as they do most of their topics.
    Hitler's lightning invasion of Poland in 1939 marked the beginning of World War II in Europe. This was the period when armoured warfare inscribed itself into global consciousness as the Poles desperately sought to stave off the Blitzkrieg. At the heart of the fighting on the ground, large numbers of Nazi Germany's PzKpfw II battled against Poland's better-armed but much less numerous 7TP tank. The two types both possessed unique strengths and weaknesses - unlike the 7TP the PzKpfw II was always equipped with radio, which proved critical for command and control purposes in the heat of combat. But the German tank was blighted by thin armour, which could not withstand Polish gunfire at combat ranges. This fully illustrated, detailed work evaluates the qualities and idiosyncrasies of each tank, giving a stark and arresting crewman's-eye-view of the brutal armoured combat at the height of the invasion of Poland. - Osprey Publishing

Being a fan of 'less-loved' and early-war subjects, I was intrigued by what this book would reveal. It seemed an odd match up until I thought about how Polish subjects have been very popular for over a decade. With a spring in my fingers I cracked the cover and settled in for an interesting read.

Content
Panzer II vs 7TP Poland 1939 is 80 pages long and the content is divided up in these chapters and sections:
    Introduction
    Chronology
    Design and Development
    Technical Specifications
    The Combatants
    The Strategic Situation
    Combat
    Statistics and Analysis
    Aftermath
    Bibliography
    Index

The book begins inside the title page with a key to military symbols, author's and editor's notes concerning metric-to-standard conversions and different numbering conventions between Polish and German forces. It also lists comparative ranks of the Polish, German, and British militaries.

Introduction through four pages briefly relates the background of the two subject tanks, the opening of the war, and four days which elapsed until German and Polish tanks met in combat. Design and Development explores Armour After World War I, Germany's collaboration with the Soviets in building a nucleus of a military, and other countries' efforts. It follows German and Polish attempts to establish an indigenous armor industry and their relationships with other countries in designing, developing and producing the PzKpfw II and 7TP. This 14 page chapter is full of interesting information, and official and technical trivia.

Technical Specifications leads the reader through examining all of the components that create a tank. Again, a great detail of technical information is presented, such as the BHN (Brinell hardness Number) of the different types of armor used on these two tanks, and its relative effectiveness. Armament (including traversing mechanisms and gunsights), engines and running gear (transmissions, steering systems, suspension, etc.), communications, layout of components, and many other aspects of the tanks are explored. The level of detail includes the types of ammo belts for machine guns and location of the ammo boxes. More technical jargon is presented.

The Combatants explores Training and Ethos, Doctrine and tactics, Structure, and Mobilization and Logistics through 10 pages.

Osprey recaps The Strategic Situation by looking at the war plans for Germany and Poland in 7 pages. This section can be useful and interesting for those who aren't familiar with the war at that point, but I don't see how this chapter is relevant to how the PzKpfw II and 7TP performed in combat.

How did these two antagonists fare in battle? Combat recounts the Polish campaign with 12 pages. Several battles are discussed culminating with the battle at Go'ry Borowskie Hills. Finally, Statistics and Analysis and Aftermathtries to wrap up the book in six pages, and two pages reveal sources and transcripts.

Two tank commanders who fought these tanks in Poland are profiled:

1. Soldat Walter Sander
2. Captain Antoni Prochniewizc

photographs, artwork, maps, graphics
Osprey supports their text with selections of images. The photographs in the book are good and several are new to me. Modelers should find a great deal of inspiration for dioramas and source material for detailing models. Several reveal the serious bloody nose given the Panzerwaffe by the Polish military - wrecked and burnt out panzers. One photograph is even a color exposure of an 8. Armee victory parade in which one can see Hitler and Rommel, and another is the author's color photo of a Polish field that does a good job of demonstrating the concept behind Polish tank camouflage. All photos have captions and some have informational sidebars.

Original artwork by artist Richard Chasemore greatly enhances the book with combat scenes and technical illustrations:

a. PzKpfw II Ausf C, PzRgt 35 in profile as well as front and back views. Technical specifications are included. RAL paint colors of camouflage is listed.

b. 7TP, 2nd Light Tank Battalion in profile as well as front and back views. Technical specifications are included. Paint colors of camouflage is listed.

c. PzKpfw II Ammunition: PzGr 39 and Sprgr 39 rounds plus technical ballistic qualities plus round nomenclature and color coding.

d. 7TP Ammunition: armor-piercing, armor-piercing tracer, and high-explosive rounds with technical ballistic qualities plus round nomenclature and color coding.

e. PzKpfw II Gunsight: view through the TZF 4/38 gunsight and a description of its qualities.

f. 7TP Gunsight: view through the wz.37 CA gunsight and a description of its qualities.

g. PzKpfw II Turret Layout with description, keyed with 17 components.

h. 7TP Turret Layout with description, keyed with 17 components.

i. Battle scene of 7TPs standing fast against a force of PzKpfw IIs.

Additionally, several maps help to orient the reader:

I. German corps movement into Poland.

II. Front lines, September 4-5.

Finally, information boxes present the composition and organization of the following:

* German Panzer-Abteilung

* Polish light-tank battalion

* 1. Panzer-Division

* 4. Panzer-Division

* 1. Leichte Division [mot.]

conclusion
Panzer II vs 7TP Poland 1939 Duel 66 is an interesting examination of how the Panzer II and 7TP performed in the first European campaign of WWII. Specifically, technical comparisons of the two compensates for the relative lack of specific combat accounts between the two. Generally, the book is a good primer of the Polish and German military and armor forces. The text is enhanced with high quality illustrations of vehicles, cutaways, and battle scenes.

I don't see how The Strategic Situation is relevant to how the PzKpfw II and 7TP performed in combat, and I would prefer the pages be used for more photos and artwork.

Overall I think this is a worthy book and recommend it for the reference shelves of modelers, historians, and enthusiasts.

We thank Osprey for sending this book for review! Please tell them and retailers that you saw it here - on Armorama.
SUMMARY
Highs: High quality illustrations of vehicles, cutaways, and battle scenes. Technical text elevates the subject beyond mere tank history.
Lows: I don't see how The Strategic Situation is relevant to how the PzKpfw II and 7TP performed in combat.
Verdict: An interesting examination of how the Panzer II and 7TP performed in the first European campaign of WWII.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781472808813
  Suggested Retail: $18.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 26, 2015
  NATIONALITY: Poland
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.20%

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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