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on 19 August 2008
I don't like writing really bad reviews but I've got a public duty to warn anyone tempted to buy this book to take their money elsewhere. This book is a total waste of money. There is virtually nothing in this book that couldn't be found with google and 5 minutes reading. Its a mere 47 pages long including large numbers of very boring stock photos of captured panthers in factories. No combat snaps (although many of these exist elsewhere) and minimal description of combat.

Its filled with minor errors such as describing the Panther in the museum at Bovington as being built in 1945... it wasn't it was made in 1946 under the supervision of REME soldiers studying how the Germans built such a good tank. I know because there's a little brass stamp on the side of the tank saying as much. Its refers to a socket on the turret roof as being for the 'unrealised ambition to fit night sights' yet on the next page describes how the germans DID fit nightsights and refers you to another osprey book: panther variants for more detail! Clearly the editor didn't edit this terribly well. Its historic record that IR equipped Panthers saw action at least twice and the preserved Panther at Samur in France is IR equipped.

In addition its filled with errors by ommision such as the claim that Kampfgruppe Pieper which lead the offensive in the Ardnennes was a pure Panther unit: it wasn't. One of their King Tigers is still in the market place at La Glieze and it also repeats old wives tales such as the one that Peipers Panthers achieved total suprise over the americans by being lead without headlights through the night by grenadiers with white rags tied to to their rifles. Clearly the author has never HEARD a column of tanks!

A further problem I only noticed on a second read is that many of the photos (which are easily found on-line) have been brutally cropped down by Osprey. They show a picture of the command variant of the Panther but have cut the pic down so much you can't actually see the tops of the extra aerials which are the only external difference between this version of the tank and the standard model.

Finally its assesment of the overall superiority of the panther is wrong. The authors claim that only the JS-2 on the eastern front and the M26 pershing and allied 17lb anti-tank gun could defeat it on the western front. No mention what so ever of the Sherman Firefly- a tank armed with the 17lb anti-tank gun that was present in large numbers from the 6th of June 1944... unlike the M26 that barely arrived before the wars end.

If anyone is looking for a far better and more believable assessment of the Panthers REAL capabilities try this Panther vs Sherman: Battle of the Bulge 1944 (Duel) or for more depth this: Armored Thunderbolt: The Sherman Tank in World War II both by Stephen Zaloga. These both explain exactly how standard 75mm armed Shermans smashed Panthers on the battlefield.

If you have some minor curiosity about Panthers just look online. If you want a full history don't make the mistake I did and buy this book- spend £30 or £40 and get a definitive work, not a pamphlet.
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on 3 December 2015
Another excellent Osprey book which provides a good overview of this important WWII tank. This is supported by colour drawings and black and white photographs. Sold at a good price and swiftly delivered.
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on 15 June 2015
Excellent over-view of the Panther. Also recommend the companion book, Panther Variants.
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on 4 December 2011
A good intoduction to the Panther tank.
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on 14 July 2014
Excellent service
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