PANZER III Ausf A to N (SdKfz 141). Dick Taylor, Mike Hayton. Haynes Publishing 2017.
Like many German WW2 AFVs, much has been written before so it is not easy to find something new on the subject. This collaborative project with the Bovington Tank Museum manages to do this by taking the angle of how it works from inside the tank. There is the developmental history and description of the main variants, but the technical account has a number of these hands-on nuggets of information: how the aerial antenna was raised and lowered from inside the tank; how the pistol ports operated; how the hull MG could be elevated by the operator using a head pad; and how the smoke candles were fired and detonated. A selection of very nice present-day interior colour photos of the museum’s restored Pz III Ausf L along with a walk-around photo section show interior details much greater clarity than period manual illustrations. The chapter on wartime use of the Pz III includes a number of rare good quality period colour photos. This book has appeal as a good general account of this important WW2 tank, and for those students possessing past publications on the subject Bovington’s technical approach adds a different dimension.
Thanks to Haynes for the review sample. John Ham. May 2017