By Dennis Oliver
Drawing on official documentation and unit histories Dennis Oliver investigates the formations that operated these deservedly famous vehicles and uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the markings, camouflage and technical aspects of the Pzkpfw V tanks that were an integral part of the German defence of the Italian peninsula.
A key section of his book displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined, providing everything the modeler needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic vehicles.
The Allied invasions of Sicily and the Italian mainland had been met with tenacious resistance by the Germans but the defence consisted for the most part of armoured units that were little different to those the British had faced in North Africa.
But in early 1944, with the landings at Anzio and Nettuno and the attempt to bypass the German defensive line, the Wehrmacht’s high command began shipping heavier and more powerful tanks to the Southern Front including an increasing number Tigers and Panthers. The initial models of the latter had gone into combat for the first time in July 1943 and it was planned that every Panzer regiment would eventually contain a battalion of these impressive vehicles.