Many books have been written on German panzers, a topic that is extremely popular. However, there is always room for one more, especially when new photos are unearthed, as is the case with this new volume from Frank De Sisto. This book confines itself to the period from 1939-42. Defined by these early-war years, the coverage thus includes German campaigns waged against Poland (1939), Scandinavia (1940), Western Europe (1940), the Balkans (1941) and Russia (1941).
The volume commences with a précis of these aforementioned campaigns, with a particular focus on the role of panzer units. Germany unleashed its new combined-arms blitzkrieg strategy on Europe, dependent on new armored vehicles. These vehicles are shown in a series of clear black and white photographs, and they include the likes of halftracks (Sd.Kfz.251), armored cars (Sd.Kfz.221/222, Sd.Kfz.231, Sd.Kfz.232, Sd.Kfz.263), assault guns (StuG.III) and tanks (Pz.Kpfw.I, Pz.Kpfw.II, Pz.Kpfw.35(t) and 38(t), Pz.Kpfw.III, Pz.Kpfw.IV). There are even a few rarities such as the Saurer RK-7 and 15cm s.IG33 infantry gun, as well as a few soft-skin vehicles. The inspirational photographs are accompanied by helpful and highly detailed captions that will add much to the reader’s knowledge of German vehicles of this time. As is usual for this series, there is a series of 16 color plates in the center of the book. These are expertly produced by artist Laurent Lecocq.
For enthusiasts seeking wider coverage of this early-war period, “Early Panzer Victories” is a handy reference. Well written and well presented, this work offers many new photos for readers to study and examine.