Hello modellers, Just wanted to share some thoughts today on an excellent book I finished lately, it’s called AFV Photo Album Volume 2 by Canfora Publishing written by Marek Solar, Petr Dolezal and Vladimir Kos.
This hardcover book is filled with photos from the last year of the war, and many post war shots of abandoned and destroyed military vehicles left on Czech lands in some of the final battles of the eastern front. First off I just want to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As this period of the war really interests me, I was quite thrilled to crack in to this book, and I think it took me two sittings to get through cover to cover.
STUG III G with waffle plate zimmerit pattern. Abandoned and blown up by its crew, resulting in very over done waffles!
That’s not to say that the contents are lacking- as the title says this book is a photo album with very detailed, very concise captions that are exceptionally well researched.
The research that went in to this volume is very evident. Often times we’ll get information relating to specific units, and some times even who the vehicle was commanded by, along with any technical details of note.
In these late days of the war, the German army was fighting desperate defensive battles causing massive casualties on the Red Army. At one particular point I read of one Soviet unit who lost 53 T-34s trying to capture a Czech town well defended by Germans, using mainly the Jadgpanzer 38 (Hetzer).
Right up until the last days of the war German soldiers were frantically trying to reach Allied lines as they faced a grim future if captured by the Red Army. Many photos of the wrecks in this book are of vehicles blown up by their crews, as they did not want these weapons falling into enemy hands.
Many of the vehicles featured in this book are shot from multiple angles, some times in different locations. Any wrecked vehicle that was left abandoned was eventually recovered by Czech Army recovery teams and the vehicles sent on to collection points, where these beasts would eventually be sent to the smelters for their valuable metal.
Some very unique vehicles and modifications can be seen among these pages, along with your typical late war fare of King tigers and panthers.
There are a great many late war vehicles represented, with some of the final products that the Third Reich’s factories were producing. The combination of these very late war weapons coupled with some oddball early war vehicles makes each turn of the page very interesting.
Some early war tanks can be seen, among many captured T-34 85s, and some very interesting Hybrid frankenstein type STUGS. I am never ceased to be amazed at how often these vehicles were field modified, and how they were often “kitbashed” together from various production marks. I can’t wait to see the STUG experts crack into some of these unique designs and share their builds- I might have to have a go myself at replicating what is one of my favorite vehicles shown in this book:
This STUG has some field applied concrete armor as well as spare track links added to the lower hull below the tracks!
We see the absolute pinnacle of German weapons development on display along with the bewildering amount of different types of vehicles used in the German army.Late war weapons and some brand new half tracks coupled with the latest flak guns show how well equipped the Wehrmacht formations were right till the end. It also shows the reader how important Czechoslovakia was to the Germans and the amount of equipment and troops they poured into it is very evident in this book.
Shots like these are full of Life and atmosphere. Something to try and replicate for those who like to build vignettes/dioramas.
For Diorama builders and modellers who love scrapyards and rust effects- this book is full of really great inspiration. There are a few really great shots of german aircraft and tanks combined, which made me think would make perfect dioramas for those who build in 1/48 scale.
I’ve talked mainly about the German vehicles contained in this book- there’s no shortage of destroyed Red army material among these pages as well. It seems there are many ISU-152’s and T-34 85s, and the odd Stalin thrown in. Also there are some great shots of 1942/1943 model T-34s that goes to show the Red Army still used these older tanks in the last days of the war.
Very beautiful color artwork is provided at back of the book covering both German and Russian subjects
more diorama inspiration- look at the disheveled park bench sitting next to this knocked out PAK 43.
JAGDPANZER IV looking quite aggressive with its fender removed
another one of my favorite shots- soviet officers pose on a Marder tank destroyer. Its shots like this that make AFV Photo Album Volume 2 so worthwhile for historians and modellers
So it’s very safe to say I absolutely loved this book and will keep close to my work bench for future modelling projects. I could find absolutely no faults with this book and comes highly recommended. There is so much I didn’t cover in this review and i’ll leave it up to the reader to discover these gems for them selves. I am VERY impressed with this book by Canfora and can’t wait to see what they publish next!!
Seeya next time and happy modelling,