Legends of Warfare Panzerkampfwagen IV - The Backbone of Germany’s WWII Tank Forces

Published: June 5th, 2017     
Product Image
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: 
Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Company: David Doyle books
ISBN #: 978-0-0764353-59-8
Other Publication Information: Hard cover, 112-pp, 8.5” x 8.5", 180 photos, Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Price: $19.99

DavidDoyleBooks.com (Schiffer Publishing) out of Memphis TN, is back again with another Legends of Warfare (Ground) book entitled Panzerkampfwagen IV - The Backbone of Germany's WWII Tank Forces, by popular author David Doyle. Anyone familiar with armor modeling literature and research will recognize this authoritative combination, and like usual, this latest release won't disappoint.

Looking across my personal bookshelf of maybe 200 titles, I can spot several of Mr. Doyle's books, including Panzer II, 251 Halftrack Visual History and Tiger I In Action, and, of course, my beaten-to-death copy of German Military Vehicles, among others. If you've been building armor models for any length of time, you're probably familiar with his work as well.

Panzerkampfwagen IV comes as a hardcover book, and follows the format of Mr. Doyle's previous Legends of Warfare volumes, containing high-resolution images printed on heavy, high quality stock paper.

The book starts with a table of contents and a brief introduction describing the pre-war evolution of the Panzer IV through the thirties. Then you're on to the meat of the book, somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 images, each with a detailed caption that covers unusual equipment and/or markings found.

The bulk of the images are black and white wartime photos, many in large format. But there are also three groups of full color images, 34 in all) from the following sources:

  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf D (Bovington Museum, England)
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf G (Panzermuseum, Germany)
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf J (Saumur Museum, France)

I've been reading books and perusing the internet for some twenty years and have yet to encounter the majority of the photographs contained in this book. Mr. Doyle has been able to gain access to, and work with, resources that together have produced quite a startling collection of photographs for this venerable workhorse of the German Wehrmacht.

While there are many, many books published on the Panzer IV, the bulk of these cover single marks, or specific combat theaters. With this book, like Panzer II before it, the reader gets a good sense of the differences between all of the main battle tank variants.

Chapters include:

  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. A
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. B
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. C
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. D
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. E
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2/G
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H
  • Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J

Personally, I especially enjoyed the many (new) combat images from the Eastern Front. The sheer variety of unique 'accoutrement' adorning these tanks in battle serves as a valuable modeling resource.

I highly recommend this latest offering from David Doyle by Schiffer Publishing. The images contained in this book are of the highest quality - crisp, in focus, and carefully selected to be useful for modelers and historians alike, and Mr. Doyle's research is top-notch throughout. Along with his previous releases, Panzerkampfwagen IV belongs on any armor modeler's book shelf.

I would like to thank DavidDoyleBooks.com for this review copy, and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this book.

  • Page: 47 - High-quality black-and-white photos of Afrika Korps Number 813
    Page: 47 - High-quality black-and-white photos of Afrika Korps Number 813
  • Page 51: High-quality color pictures are included, these showing the Bovington Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D
    Page 51: High-quality color pictures are included, these showing the Bovington Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.D
  • Page 56: Fine black-and-white photos of a Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.E that ha become stuck on a wooden bridge
    Page 56: Fine black-and-white photos of a Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.E that ha become stuck on a wooden bridge
  • Page 73: Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G photos of units serving on the Russian Front
    Page 73: Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G photos of units serving on the Russian Front
  • Page 93: Photos of several Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.Hs in service in Russia
    Page 93: Photos of several Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.Hs in service in Russia
  • Page 99: Several photos of hapless Panzerkampfwagen IVs
    Page 99: Several photos of hapless Panzerkampfwagen IVs