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Book Review
Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg
Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

History
The Polish Army that fought for its homeland in 1939 conjures up tragic images of overwhelmed infantry and dashing but doomed cavalry. But during the 1930s Poland had begun a rearmament program to ward off the threats from its powerful neighbors. When the Panzers struck in 1939, the Polish Army had not only outdated FT-17s and tankettes, but also the modern French R-35, Polish upgraded Vickers tanks, and Poland’s own 7TP – a tank comparable to anything the German or Soviet Invaders could boast.

But greatly outnumbered, attacked on multiple fronts, and hampered by outdated French doctrine, the brave Polish armored units could not stop the onslaught. Newly researched in Poland, and covering the Polish tanks, tankettes, armored cars and armored prime movers, this book is an important new resource on the armor that tackled the Wehrmacht’s Panzers.**


** Quoted from the back cover of the book.
The Book
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg as Number 224 in their New Vanguard series. It is a paperback book with 48 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations, cutaway view artwork, informational charts and detailed captions. It has a 2015 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-4728-0824-0. As the title states, the book covers Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg.

The Contents
- Introduction
- Organization
- Tanks
- FT-17
- Vickers E
- 7TP
- R-35
- Tankettes
- TK-3
- TK5
- Armored Cars
- wz. 29
- wz. 34
- Armored Vehicle-Based Prime Movers
- C7P
- C2P
- Analysis and Conclusions
- Appendices
- Bibliography
- Index

The Text
The text in the book is well written and contains many excellent details of Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg. Jamie Prenatt has gone to great lengths to research the various armor used by Poland during the German blitzkrieg during World War II and provides a very well written and accurate history of them. The text is in a correct chronological order as detailed in the index and is well written. Jamie Prenatt covers and discusses the different tanks and other types of armor in use with the Polish military and provides specific information related to each such as armor, suspension and armament, numbers produced, and also discusses their roles and actions in combat. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone interested in Polish armor, the German blitzkrieg and military history in general will find this book very informative and interesting and a worthwhile read.

The Index
This volume comes with an excellent well detailed index which covers the following subjects and provides information such as specific numbers of the type of armor mentioned as well as information on other vehicles such as staff cars, trucks, trailers and motorcycles. To me this is a nice bonus to this already fine volume.

- Appendix 1: Light Tank Battalion (7TP)
- Battalion Headquarters
- Tank Company
- Maintenance and Supply Company
- Appendix 2: Light Tank Battalion (R-35) (Notional As Fielded)
- Battalion Headquarters
- Tank Company
- Maintenance and Supply Company
- Appendix 3: Armored Dywizjon
- Dywizjon Headquarters
- Armored Car Squadron
- Tankette Squadron
- Appendix 4: Independent Reconnaissance Tank Company
- Company Headquarters
- Tankette Platoon
- Maintenance and Supply Platoon
- Appendix 5: Reconnaissance Tank Squadron/Reconnaissance Dywizjon/ Cavalry Brigade (Motorized)
- Tankette Squadron
- Appendix 6: Light Tank Company (Vickers E)
- Company Headquarters
- Tank Platoon
- Maintenance and Supply Platoon
- Appendix 7: Light Tank Company (FT-17)
- Company Headquarters
- Tank Platoon

The Photographs
There are a total of 48 black and white photographs and 2 color photographs featured in this volume. The majority of the photographs are great and will help the military modeler as well as the armor enthusiasts well. However there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark, and some appear too light, which is typical for photographs of that period of time. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason as well as the fact that the photographs are over 70 years old. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. One thing that I was appreciative of with the photographs is that a good majority of them are not the same old overused photographs that tend to turn up. It is always nice to see the lesser known photographs. Jamie Prenatt has stuck to the title of the book and chose photographs that are of amphibious armor and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. There are several excellent detail oriented photographs that will help out the detail minded military modeler to great lengths. These include nice shots of the various tanks and armored cars, bolt patterns, gear and tool storage, serial and unit numbers, battle damage, crew uniforms and other such details. There are many such detailed photographs throughout the book. Many of the photographs could also be a wealth of inspiration to the armor and diorama modeler for inspiration for many projects due to the details they contain.

Some of the various armor shown and discussed are:
- French FT-17
- Twin-turret machine gun armed 7TP
- French Renault R-35
- Single-turret 7TP
- Polish TK-2
- Polish TK-3
- Polish TK-3 with tracked trailer
- Polish TKS
- Polish TKSD
- Polish wz. 29 armored car
- Polish wz. 34 armored car
- Polish C2P prime mover

The Illustrations
There are 7 plates of color illustrations by illustrator Henry Morshead that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:
Plate A – Tanks: Vickers E, R-35, and FT-17
- Single-turret Vickers E
- French Renault R-35
- French FT-17
Plate B – Tanks: The 7TP
- Single-turret 7TP (7 ton Polish)
- Twin-turret machine gun armed 7TP
Plate C – Tankettes
- Polish TK-3
- Polish TKS
- Polish TKSD
Plate D – TKS Tankette
- A two page cut-a-way view of the Polish TKS Tankette showing the internal layout of the tank. Also provided is a key detailing 15 specific points of the Polish TKS Tankette.
Plate E – “Cockroaches” Against Tanks
- A scene depicting a confrontation of a Polish TKS engaging German Pz.Kpfw 35(t)s
Plate F – Armored Car Action at Szczuki (refer to attached scan)
- A scene depicting a confrontation between a Polish wz. 29 armored car and German Pz.Kpfw I tanks
Plate G – Armored Cars
- Polish wz. 29 armored car
- Polish wz. 34 armored car

The Maps
There are no maps included in this volume. Personally I would like to have seen maps of the various operations discussed to provide the reader a visual aid showing allied and axis locations and the movements and actions taken by Polish armor during the blitzkrieg.

The Informational Charts
There are 10 informational charts included in this volume. They provide information on:
- Polish Principal Wartime Units
- FT-17 Specifications
- Vickers E Type A/Type B Specifications
- 7TP Specifications (twin turret/single turret)
- R-35 Specifications
- TK-3/TKS Specifications
- wz. 29 Specifications
- wz. 34/wz. 34-II Specifications
- C7P Specifications
- C2P Specifications

The Captions
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place in the accompanying photograph. They detail things such as the specific type of tank and armored car shown such as its type, armament, armor, number of crew members, faults, improvements and other such detail information. Though small they provide a wealth of information for the reader.
Conclusion
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It examines the Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg very well. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the military vehicle modeler, scratch-builder, detail modeler, diorama modeler, and military vehicle and armor enthusiast and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. Osprey Publishing Ltd continues to release many great titles such as this one and I would have no hesitation to add more of their books to my personal library, nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
>References

Tanks of World War II - Duncan Crow - Exeter Books
The Great Tanks - Chris Ellis and Peter Chamberlain - Hamlyn
An Illustrated History Of Fighting Vehicles - Armin Halle/Carlo Demand - Crescent Books
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Worlds Tanks and Fighting Vehicles - Christopher F. Foss - Chartwell Books, Inc.
Tanks Of World War II - Chris Ellis - Chancellor Press
Tanks - An Illustrated History Of Fighting Vehicles
Armin Halle - Illustrated By Carlo Demand - Crescent Books

Search inside the book on the Osprey web site: HERE Live links
Osprey Publishing also has Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg available as an:
- eBook (ePub)
- ebook (PDF)
Look inside Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg on the Amazon web site: >HERE Live links
Look inside the Kindle Edition of Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg on the Amazon web site: HERE Live links

This book was provided by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text and captions Nicely detailed illustrations and useful photographs
Lows: The quality of some of the photographs (no fault of the author)
Verdict: This is an excellent reference book of Polish Armor of the Blitzkrieg that is well researched and written.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-4728-0824-0
  Suggested Retail: US $17.95 / UK £9.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 08, 2015
  NATIONALITY: Poland
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.22%

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

I was surprised that the 7TP was competitive against the panzers. Polish camouflage makes a very interesting model. This book looks like an excellent source of inspiration and detail for Blitzkrieg modelers.
NOV 08, 2015 - 04:13 AM
   

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