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E-mail Will at willphelps@compuserve.com

Panzer IV Ausf. H/J

8390700565, Kagero Publishing House, 2000, Abbreviated as P4HJ

This book, number 1 of the Photosniper series, is an excellent reference for the Pz. IV Ausf. H and J. It is particularly well suited for use by model builders. It includes both Polish and English text and captions, period action photos, full color museum photos and profile drawings, 4-view scale line drawings, and photos of finished models. A sheet of 1:35 scale decals make for a thoughtful finishing touch.

One of the museum photos is of the Ausf. H at Koblenz. The rest feature the Panzerbefehlswagen IV command tank based on an Ausf. J chassis and turret that was recently acquired by the Brussels Tank Museum. There are no interior shots, but coverage of the exterior is thorough with dozens of close-ups and hard-to-find angles.

The scale line drawings include a number of call-outs showing details specific to the Ausf. H and J. The three different styles of muzzle brakes are shown, for example. This is similar to those that appear in the Japanese "Achtung Panzer" series. The drawings are approximately 1/40th scale, but they do include a scale legend for adapting them to any application.

Production quality is reasonably good. The artwork is great -- I especially like the eye-catching cover. The translation to English lacks polish in some places, but it's perfectly understandable without any knowledge of Polish. There is one exception to this, however: The last section, titled "Panzer IV in Miniature, includes 2 full pages in polish and only 1 paragraph of summarization in English.

I can recommend this book without reservation to anyone with an interest in the Ausf. H or J, especially those that need information for modeling these late versions. The publisher can be contacted at kagero@kki.net.pl.

Co-authors: Robert Danilczuk, Stanislaw Jablonski; Language: Polish and English throughout; Page count: 48

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