The Pz.Kpfw. IV was the work horse of the German Panzer forces. The later, long barreled variants were equal to, or better than, anything fielded by the Americans and the British (except for perhaps the Firefly and Pershing). It featured a long barreled, hard hitting 75mm gun which made it a dangerous adversary. As tanks became more heavily armed and armored, the Pz.Kpfw. IV began to show it’s age as you can only add so much armor protection before the chassis becomes overburdened. This excellent reference book from Waldmar Trojca is Vol. 2 covers the late model Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G, H and J and picks up where Vol.1 left off (Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F/G).
Sd.Kfz. 161: Pz.Kpfw. IV, Ausf. G/H/J by Waldemar Trojca is soft bound in a large 9"x12" format. It consists of 96 semi-glossy pages loaded with 76 black and white period photos, 50 pages of line drawings, 10 color pages with 17 profiles and 4 pages of text.
The book begins with some line drawings of the interior layout of the turret and fighting compartment of the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G. There are seven good B&W pictures of the Ausf. G followed up by some 1/35 scale drawings of a Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G as it appeared May of 1943.
Next up are two pages of text outlining the key features and modifications throughout the production run of both the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H and Ausf. J. There are two nice line drawings diagramming the armor thickness and configuration of all of the armor plates for both the Ausf. H and Ausf. J.
Up next are a lot of great B&W photos of the Ausf. H and Ausf. J. This will prove invaluable, especially to the modeler, as there are many different varieties of photos from Italy, France, Hungary and other regions of the Eastern front, so you get a good representation of camouflage schemes and markings.
There are 50 pages of line drawings of various models of the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G/H/J including the Panzerbefehlswagen IV and the Panzerbeobachtungswagen IV Ausf. J There are a couple of pages devoted to the radio equipment installed on these vehicles as well.
Two pages are devoted to line drawings featuring the composition of two companies of the 12 SSHitler-Jugend Pz. Div.
•5./II Abt. SS-Pz.Rgt. 12 (12 SS Pz. Div. Hitler-Jugend) June 6, 1944
•6./II Abt. SS-Pz.Rgt. 12 (12 SS Pz. Div. Hitler-Jugend) June 6, 1944
The individual tank numbers in each of the three platoons for both companies are marked and several of them have labels of the commander assigned to the tank:
•Oberscharführer Helmut Bando #504
•Unterscharführer Willy Kretzschmar #536
•Hauptscharführer Ludwig Ruckdeschel #604
•Oberscharführer Terdenge #635.
There are 10 color pages with 17 profiles featured:
•Pz.Bef.Wg IV, Germany March 1945
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H, 16th Pz.Div, Italy 1943
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H, 8/Pz.Rgt. 3, 2nd Pz.Div, Normandy June 1944
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H, 6/II Abt. SS-Pz-Rgt.12, 12th SS Pz.Div., Hitler-Jugend, Normandy June 1944
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J, Pz.Rgt. 31, 5th Pz.Div., East Prussia, March 1945
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J, Goldap October 1944
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G, 6./SS-Pz.Rgt. 1, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Charkov March 1943
•Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G
Loaded with a good representation of period B&W photos, many line drawings of the various configurations along with some very nice color profiles makes this an excellent reference for fans and modelers of the late models of the Pz.Kpfw. IV.
Highs: Great photos, line drawings and color plates in a nice high quality format. Lows: Not much on the Ausf. G.Verdict: Great reference on the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G, H and J, including the Befelswagen and Pz.Beob.Wg.
About Scott Espin (Spiff) FROM: NEVADA, UNITED STATES
I have been an avid student of military history for over 35 years, especially World War II with my focus mostly on German military equipment (tanks and aircraft). I'm especially interested in anything relating to the Eastern Front and North Africa.
My Dad ignited my passion for modeling when I...