24th April 2019: Regarded by many as one of the greatest tanks ever built, the German Panther has been revered as the finest medium-sized tank of the Second World War. It combined firepower, armour protection and mobility that was unmatched by any other tank of the period. Now Haynes lifts the lid of this remarkable tank with a new Enthusiasts’ Manual, out this month.
On the Eastern Front, the Panther tank was the primary nemesis of the Russian T-34 in the final two years of the war. Ironically, it had been the appearance of the T-34 in 1941 that subsequently influenced German tank development – including that of the Panther.
Russian tank crews were not alone in recognising the Panther as a deadly adversary. The Allied armies in Europe encountered it during the Normandy campaign in 1944 and considered the Panther to be the most formidable German armoured fighting vehicle in Europe through to 1945.
The Panther Tank Enthusiasts’ Manual looks at the development, construction and fighting qualities of the Panther, as well as providing insights into what it was like to operate and maintain it. The book focuses on surviving Panthers at the German Armour Museum in Munster (Panther Ausf A) and the later Panther Ausf G at the Tank Museum in Bovington.
The book draws on a range of documentary sources and photographic imagery, offering an insight into the design, construction and operation of the mighty Panther.
Talking about the book, author Mark Healy says: “The Panther’s genesis lay in the need for the Germans to come up with a new tank design after the T-34 had rendered the Panzer III obsolete almost overning after Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. The Panther made its combat debut in Russia at the Battle of Kursk in July 1943 and all major German tank development after this point was influenced by the design features of the Soviet T-34. Such was the effectiveness of the Panther that the French Army used it for a period after the Second World War as it rebuilt its own armoured force.
“Whilst brilliant, the Panther was also flawed in design. It was a very heavy tank that was plagued with mechanical reliability problems throughout much of its short life.”
The Panther Tank is the latest armoured vehicle to receive the full Haynes treatment and joins Haynes’ growing fleet of military vehicle titles. It is also published ahead of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy this June. To mark this, Haynes is bringing out a 75th anniversary edition of the D-Day Operations Manual in May.
Other titles in the line-up include the Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank, Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, M1 Abrams, and the Panhard AML and Eland manuals. Mark Healy also wrote the Haynes T-34 Tank Manual.
Panther Tank Manual is priced at £25.00 and available from www.haynes.com. The book number is H6214. The ISBN is 9781785212147. It is published in May 2019.
About the author
Mark Healy is the author of the Haynes T-34 Tank Manual as well as Midway 1942, The Tiger Tank Story and Zitadelle: The German Offensive agains the Kursk Salient 14-17 July 1943. He also produced the best-selling video series Die Deutschen Panzer. He lives in Dorset.
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