In the course of German weapons development, the concept of the "Panzerjaeger" was born out of the same ideas that led to the development of U.S. tank destroyers. It was thought that the best enemy of a tank was not another tank but a highly maneuverable, lightly armored vehicle carrying a high velocity anti-tank gun. This certainly held true when tanks were big under-powered slow vehicles which more powerful, lighter, smaller engines would rectify as time moved on, evolving armored warfare tactics in the process. This volume in the Panzer Tracts Series, No. 7-1, deals with the early Panzerjager designs and concept development from 1927 through 1941.
The book was created by Thomas Jentz with Scale Plans by Hilary Louis Doyle and originally published in 2004 and consists of 72 8.5"x11" pages. All scale drawings are 1/35 scale with most drawings addressing the left side only of the vehicles. All photos are black and white. The book is the first of three covering Germany's development and use of purpose-built tank destroyers and contains 11 chapters.
"Panzerjaeger Evolution" is a brief overview of how the Panzerjaeger concept was started."Tak-Zwischenloesung for the first Tankzerstoerer" covers the first attempt at developing a tank hunter (37mm) and self-propelled artillery (75mm) tracked vehicle. It was intended to use either a commercial chassis or was to be built using commercially available parts. One of each were built and evaluated and it was determined that a special chassis was needed. There are 2 photos and a scale drawing of each vehicle.
"3,7 cm und 7,5 cm Geschuetz auf Motorlafetten (Tankzerstoerer) renamed leichte Selbstfahrkanone (L.S.K.) in 1930" covers the same type of vehicles built on specially designed chassis. Two chassis were made but only one was armed with the 75mm for testing. There are 7 photos and 1 scale drawing.
"Leichttraktor Rheinmetall Selbstfahrlafette" covers a 37mm armed Rheinmetal Leichttraktor chassis. One was built and tested. There are 8 photos and 1 scale drawing.
"3,7 cm und 7,5 cm Selbstfahrlafette auf Halbketten-Fahrgestell" covers various armed half-tracks, all of which were rear drive. Two were built and sent for combat evaluation with the DAK, an intriguing design that actually saw combat. 12 photos are provided.
"8.8 cm Flak 18 Sfl. auf schwere Zugkraftwagen 12 t (Sd.Kfz.8)" covers the 88mm Flak 18 mounted on a heavy half-track. 10 were made and saw service in Poland, Belgium, France, and Russia and 4 photos are included. This vehicle is also covered in the Panzer Tracts publication "Dreaded Threat".
"10.5 cm K (gp.Sfl.) previously 10 cm K. Pz.Sfl.IVa" covers a 105mm mounted on a specially designed chassis which used suspension components from the Panzer IV and commonly known as the "Dicker Max". 2 were made and were sent for combat evaluation to Russia. There are 9 photos, including some interior shots, and 1 scale drawing.
"4,7 cm Pak(t) (Sfl) auf Pz.Kpfw.I (Sd.Kfz.101) ohne Turm later renamed Panzerjaeger I" covers the Czech 47mm gun mounted on a Panzer I Ausf.B chassis. 120 of the series 1 were built with 70 more in a second series built later. These were used in combat and there isn't much information on the deisgn and development but there is quite a lot of information focused on its combat use. This chapter also includes a paragraph on the PanzerBefehlsWagen I. There are 12 photos and a 4 view scale drawing of both series vehicles.
"4,7 cm Pak(t) (Sfl) auf Fgst.Pz.Kpfw.35 R 731(f)" covers the Czech 47mm mounted on a French R35 chassis. 174 cannon armed versions were made as well as 47 command versions with a MG34 mounted in place of the gun. These saw service on the Russian front as well with garrison units in France. There are 7 photos and 1 scale drawing.
"Pz.Sfl.Ia 5 cm Pak 38 auf gp.Mun.Schlepper" covers the 50mm armed version of Borgward's ammunition carrier. 2 were built. There are 6 photos and 1 scale drawing.
"Pz.Sfl.Ic 5 cm Pak 38 auf Pz.Kpfw.II Sonderfahrgestell 901" covers a 50mm mounted on a Panzer IIL chassis. 2 were made and were sent to the Russian front. There is 1 photo and 1 scale drawing.
Highs: Book covers many interesting aspects on how the Panzerjager developments evolved via new technology and combat experience.Lows: Limited views on scale drawings restricts usefulness, particularly for scratch-building of some of the rarer subjects.Verdict: Recommended to those interested in German armor development and thinking behind the Panzerjaeger concept. The section on the Panzerjaeger I is especially nice.