Panzerwrecks 19: Yugoslavia

Panzerwrecks 19 has been released and this volume concentrates on Yugoslavia. The authors of this series always ask a series of questions in their advertising to whet your appetite , and  this time was no exception. The answers to these questions can be found inside the book:

  • How did partisans improve the firepower of the Somua S35? And where did it end up?
  • Who was ambushed at Vukov Klanac? What vehicles did they lose?
  • Why did a German Panzer unit pose as Allied tankers?
  • Where did the Yugoslav Army collect and overhaul captured German AFVs?

The details of the book are:

  • ISBN: 978-1-908032-12-6
  • Authors: Lee Archer & Bojan Dimitrijevic
  • Date: 7 December 2015
  • No of Photos: 151
  • No of Pages: 96
  • Size: 280x210mm (L)
  • Costs £16.99 ($24.22 at today’s exchange rate) from the authors website

Now to the interesting details of what is inside the book. Since this book covers Yugoslavia, it is not going to be full of Panthers and Tigers and these were never operational in this thatre – although there is a couple of photos of Panthers found in Yugoslavia, but quite why there were there is anyone’s guess as no Panther units were in the region. Most of the images in this book are of Beutepanzer and older second line German tanks. The main adversary in this region were the partisans, so top of the line battle tanks weren’t needed.

The book starts with pages 1-19 covering a wide variety of vehicles and tanks, more than most had a previous owner before the Germans modified them and used them. Some were also captured by the partisans and modified again. Some photos show damaged and destroyed vehicles. The vehicles in this section were built by France, Germany, Belgium and Italy. Pages 20 – 25 is a series of photographs on Panzer Zug – armored trains. Continuing with the mixed bag of vehicles that seemed to be the norm for Yugoslavia, there are photographs of German and Italian trains. Pages 26 – 47 continues the theme of unusual and varied vehicles, often with unusual modifications,  in German and partisan service. Towards the end of the section a few Pz.Kpfw.III and Sturmgeschütze shots creep in. Some of the German tanks have before and after shots. Pages 48 – 54 are of T-34 Beutepanzer of the 5.(verstärkte) Polizei-Panzer-Kompanie. Pages 55 to 62 are back to the eclectic mix of vehicles, with some nice shots of Hetzers in the last days of the war. The final section of the book, from page 63 to 97 is all about Panzers in Post War Yugoslavia.  A wide variety of captured German vehicles were used for several years after the war and the photographs start in the summer of 1945 and go through to Sd.Kfz.25s in 1952/3. There are some very nice shots of some post-war Yugoslav Hetzers.

Conclusion
The quality of the photographs does vary, and as the authors state themselves “Many of the images in this book were taken under difficult conditions using basic equipment and are included for their historical value, not their photographic quality.” However, the quality of the photographs are all good enough to be published and they all tell a very interesting story. I’ve not seen so many different types of vehicles and so many field modifications in one book.  From a modeling point of view, if you wanted to build something unique, then there’s plenty of inspiration for both a build and a diorama in here. Who else is going to model a Somua, captured and modified by the Germans and then captured and modified further by partisans? I’d highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the war in Yugoslavia, Beutepanzer and partisans.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
Scifiantasy

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