December 22, 2015

Justin Skrakowski takes a look at Panzer : The German Tanks Encyclopedia by Laurent Tirone

Oh, Friends! Let us rejoice! It is a wonderful time of year where we can gather with family, see old acquaintances, and give them—OH WHO CARES! I’m just SO stoked that there is finally (FINALLY!!!) a PERFECT Encyclopedia of German WWII Tanks! PANZER The German Tanks Encyclopedia is one book that covers every German tank from 35(t) to the Tiger II, and every Ausführung in between!

This is my first book I’ve gotten from Caraktère Presse & Éditions and I am just—I am all abuzz ever since I got this thing in the mail! Serious. It is that great! All I’m missing now is that time machine (which is really taking forever to be invented, don’t you think?) so I can go back to the first month I started building models, so I can have this book at my side every second since then to use as the perfect reference, and as a catalogue to look ahead to see which model tank I want to build next…

Of course, there are plenty of books dealing with German tanks, and all sorts of books that focus on weapons of WWII, and, if you’re not somebody like me (a bibliotaph is the word, it means “book hoarder”) who thinks, “Why not just have all the books?!?” then this is probably your best bet if you are one of those guys who likes to keep their collections trim and just to the essentials, because that’s exactly what author Laurent Tirone has given us: An essential book.

That’s right, this book belongs on every WWII modeler’s bookshelf. It has all the information you ever wanted to know about every German tank you ever loved, and just the tanks! Not that I have anything (not one single thing!) against self-propelled guns, or tracked infantry carriers, but it’s great to see a book that is stripped down to just the tanks, and just the tanks that were in the War. And not that I have anything (not one single thing!) against paper Panzers either (unless you consider the Neubaufahrzeug a paper Panzer, but I’ll let you guys argue amongst yourselves about that one), but this book cuts it down to what machines did the fighting, and that is very, very cool to finally see.

And it seems so simple now that I have this book in front of me, but so many other books have so complicated the history of the Panzer by putting them in order of what tanks participated in what battles, instead of this superbly easy to follow history that just goes right down the line from the first Panzer to the last. AND having EVERY Ausführung (means “model” or “variant” in German) of every Panzer is quite a feat. So many of the so-called encyclopedias of German WWII vehicles omit SO MANY of the different Ausführungs that you feel that many of these books are far from encyclopedic in their scope.

And of course AWESOME CAMO SCHEMES!!! Man, what modeling book is worth its salt if it doesn’t have some great new camouflage schemes to add to your repertoire?
And ya know, now that I’ve just called this a “modeling book” in that last sentence, it made me think of why I am so quick to call this an essential book, and that’s probably because it’s not just a modeling book. This is a great book for so many people, whether you build models or are just an armchair historian… or a real historian! It’s just a great book that especially everyone who comes to this site needs to have.

Now, for the first time, I feel that I will soon be able to identify any variant of any Panzer without having to refer to the box artwork on the unbuilt models in my closet (all over my room).

And, as this book is listed as “WWII ARSENAL №1” in Caraktères publishing guide, hopefully that means we are going to see some more books of this caliber, and in the same series. Because this is how books on WWII machinery should be made! From the four-view drawings of each tank to the very layout, I might have to order a second copy because I am surely going to wear this one down quick!

It is without a doubt, the most definitive guide to the Panzer that has ever been published.

Congrats and thanks to Laurent Tirone and Caraktère for such a wonderful achievement.

All the best,

From the publishers
Have you ever dreamt of being able to instantly identify any German tank? The number and diversity of models and versions make that task harder than it may at first sound! Well Caraktere Publishing is doing something about this and is pleased to announce the publication of Panzer : The German Tanks Encyclopaedia, the first volume in the new World War 2 Arsenal Encyclopaedia series, written by Laurent Tirone. Extensively illustrated with more than 200 unpublished or rarely seen photographs, over 100 color profiles and 4-view drawings throughout its 196 pages, this book presents you with an exceptional review of the German battle tanks and mechanical warfare, from 1933 to 1945.
- Imported from France
- 192 pages, Format 21.6 x 27.9 cm - Paperback
- Printed on semi-mat coated paper
- Full text in English

Panzer: The German Tank Encyclopaedia now allows you, due to accurate technical and historical descriptions highlighting the key features and main differences between various versions, complete technical datasheets and 4-view colour drawings, to name the changes introduced by the German engineers during World War II. The Neubaufahrzeug, Panzer 35(t), Panzer 38(t), Panzer I, Panzer II, Panzer III, Panzer IV, Panther, Tiger I and II will no longer hold any secrets from you!

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