Friday, 14 June 2013

2nd Update available on BLURB

UPDATE no.2 is now complete and uploaded to bulb. Click on the cover to get get a temporary full preview.

The next update will cover the long barrelled versions from 43 - 45 and associated later variants. It will be entitled "LANG".

A major part of this update will be the exploration of the relationship between the three factories producing PzIV at this point and how new information is starting to shed light on the impact they had on the complexities of dating and categorising vehicles. It will include a series of tables for each factory that align specific chassis numbers with specific months.

And further down the pipeline is Update No.4, which will cover the "KURZ" version of the PzIV with a specific emphasis on description of photograph through the early war campaigns in Poland and France.

corrections for Vol 2

In volume 2 it is stated that the "X" Divisional symbol was not used until 1941 when it was introduced by 5th PzDiv to replaced their inverted "Y" and dot, used during 1940. This appeared to be the common orthodoxy with a number of text dealing specifically with German markings clearly stating this.

However, the images available to me clearly showed PzIVs in france in 1940 with this marking, which lead me to speculate that this marking may have been used by one of the regiments within 5th PzDiv during this campaign.

This speculation is wrong. The "X" marking was indeed used in 1940 but by 8th PzDiv. This appears to have been missed by most generalist volumes on German markings but is described in German language books dealing specifically with this Division. It is even incorrectly used in the excellent "PANZERWAFFE Vol 2 - The campaign in the West 1940" by Mark Healy, so that makes me feel a bit better about getting it wrong.

Here we see a badly damaged Ausf D with the "X" of 8th PzDiv just behind the Balkenkrues and below the upside down"Y" with dot of 5th PzDiv.

Photographic evidence seem to point to both units having PzIVs in both 3rd and 4th Ks during this period. Here is 331 that is seen in the middle distance on p40 of Vol 2.

And finally two examples of the "X" in use in 1941, from a PzRgt 31(5th PzDiv) photo album during the Balkan conflict. Note the large box on the superstructure side:

So the correction to Volume 2 is: 
the vehicles on page 38 & 39 are from 8th PzDiv
page 40 & 41 are both 8th PzDiv in France

Monday, 10 June 2013

Update No 2 (Barbarossa stowage) ready to publish

Eventually the next "PzKpfw IV at the front" update is ready to go to press. The delay has been for good reasons, that is the constant arrival of new and helpful images. This means that this book now has 118 photos in it, which continue to add to the information laid down in the Barbarossa Stowage supplementary volume published back in Aug 2010.

This update manages to fill most of the gaps left in the original volume and add some newly discovered information. 

The gaps addressed include:
how 1st PzDiv stowage changed in the build up to Barbarossa plus a driver's eye view of first days of action, more coverage of 4th K - 4th PzDiv, unusual turret markings in 6th PzDiv, rear marking details for 4th K - 8th PzDiv, the use of and stowage for Ausf Fs in 9th K - 9th PzDiv, a bit more light shone on the numbering system of 11th PzDiv, Kompanie specifics for 16th PzDiv, all round detail for 9th K - 17th PzDiv (ex-Lehr), unusual turret bin makings on 19th PzDiv and 5th PzDiv during the Winter of 41/42, 20th PzDiv rear stowage, 2nd PzDiv Stab markings & 5th PzDiv right hand stowage.

Along with this unit specific information there are a few things discussed that are of general interest. Including: 3 examples of cupola AA MG use and an 88 under tow!

The format of the book follows that of the main Volume, each Division is dealt with like a chapter. Where there are new general issue they are discussed as a heading and then individual Kompanies are described. followed by specific turret numbers and Ausf for other vehicles not shown in the book.

Although this volume is an update to the previous edition it can still work as a stand alone book, as there are examples of all Kompanies included. So it could be useful either to drill down for that really specific detail or to get a sense of the vehicles and epic landscape of this gargantuan conflict.