Title: 9th Panzer Division, 1940 - 1943
Author: Marek Kruk and Radoslaw Szewczyk
Publisher: Mushroom Model Productions
This is another recent A4 format paperback in the MMP 'Green' series, and with some 144 pages.
No elaborate unit badges or famous people to focus on, and not a Tiger or Panther tank in sight but the story of a Panzer Division formed in 1940 from the 4th Light Division to create new Panzer units. It took parts in the battles for Holland, Belgium and France before being moved across to Poland. It then was involved in the Balkans, heading down towards Greece. That was followed by a move North to be part of Operation Barbarossa in Army Group South, then moving to Army Group Centre, before going back to AG South again when it suffered heavy losses in fighting near the Dneiper. Following that, the division was sent to France to recover in 1944, and where it was decimated again by the Western Allies before final surrender within the Ruhr pocket.
The books covers the years just from 1940 to 1943, giving us the story of the operations it took part in. The book is also heavily illustrated with colour plates, line drawings, maps, organisation tables and original archive photographs. The photos will give many modellers lots of ideas, as we see not only early war German equipment, but also French and Russian equipment knocked out or abandonned during 9th Panzers years of success. Most of the German equipment during this period was all in Panzer Grey, so only a few sand camouflaged examples appearing in 1943 when the new colours began to be used. Many of the good quality archive pictures of the captured equipment shows some unusual and interesting artillery and tractor combinations, and some of the less common German vehicles, such as the Pz III artillery observation tank, or 'Beobachtungswagen'. Many others are pictures of the soldiers of the division, memories that it is people who take part in these historic events, while giving excellent references for figure modellers on uniforms and equipment, and how it was worn in the field.
Very much a book for modellers as well as just armour enthusiasts, it tells the history of the division in action during the period, and is clearly well researched, as are the accompanying photos and supporting information. This is the first of their 'Green series' of books I have seen, but it is certainly enough to make we wish to go and check out the others in the series. A couple of illustrative examples of the content and layout are given below.
This is available from bookshops, or you can get it direct through MMP.
For more details regarding MMP books, see their website.