The Panzer II was the main light tank for the German Army throughout World War II. Panzer Tracts 2-2: Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf.G, H, J, L, and M was created by Thomas Jentz with scale drawings by Hilary Louis Doyle. It was published in 2007 by Panzer Tracts (ISBN 0-9771643-8-1). The book has 56 8.5"x11" pages. There are various 1/35, 1/24, and 1/10 scale drawings. All pictures are all period black and white photos.
This is the second of two volumes covering the development of the Panzer II light tank. Variants built on the Panzer II chassis are covered in volumes on those variant types (The Pz.Sfl.Ic for example is covered in Panzer Tracts #7-1: "Panzerjaeger"). This volume covers the new series of Panzer II designed around a torsion bar suspension for faster movement.
Panzerkampfwagen II neuer Art (Sd.Kfz.121/1) Ausf.G1, G3, and G4 covers what is also known as the VK901. This was an attempt to make a faster Panzer II using a new suspension as well as using a stabilized gun mount for firing on the move in a single-man turret. There are 8 exterior photos (3 of the trial hull without the superstructure), 1 transmission photo (with part of the driver's position visible), and a 4-view (front, rear, left, top) 1/35 scale drawing.
Panzerkampfwagen II neuer Art (Sd.Kfz.121/1) Ausf.H (VK903) and Panzerspaehwagen II Ausf.M (VK903) is a small chapter covering what started as a slightly up-armored version of the VK901, including a more powerful engine to account for the increased weight. The Ausf.M was a version of the VK903 with the upper superstructure and turret of the VK1303 (therefore with a crew of 4). There are no photos or drawings.
‘Luchs' Panzerspaehwagen II (2cm) (Sd.Kfz.123) covers what was known as the VK1303. This was the only version of the vehicles in this book to see actual production (100 made) and therefore has the biggest chapter. The VK1303 used a 2-man turret. The text covers what units had them but there are no combat reports on how well the units liked them. There is no mention of the modifications made by 4th Panzer Division other than the spaced lower bow armor in a photo caption. There is a 1/35 4-view (left, top, front, back) drawing of a Luchs from Sept 1942, a 1/24 scale 4-view drawing (left, top, front, back) of the armored body alone and 2-view drawings (left, right) of the body with bumper stop and final drives added and the body with the swing arms, shocks, and idlers mounts added. There are 1/10 drawings of hull details (wheels, shocks, swing arms, hatches, vents, tools, bins, exhaust, antennas). The jack is not shown. There are 1/24 4-view drawings (left, top, front, back) of both the original and standard turrets. In all the top views of the turret, the lift hooks are missing. There is a 1/24 6-view drawing (left/right/front/back/top/bottom) of a vehicle from Jan 1943. There are 14 exterior photos (2 showing 4 PzDiv vehicles with their unit-specific modifications - there is no mention of the modifications in the text), 1 photo from the open rear turret hatch of the turret interior, and 1 photo from the radio operator's position looking back at the radio mounted between the commander and gunner. Note that in the vehicle scale drawings, the jack and tow ropes are never shown.
Versuschs Fahrgestell is a short 2-page chapter covering a trial version of the VK1303 with an air-cooled diesel engine. There are 3 photos of the exterior and 1 of the engine.
Panzerkampfwagen II (Sd.Kfz.121) Ausf.J covers the heavily armored VK1601. Only 30 were built though they did serve in Yugoslavia and Russia, sometimes with the heavily armored VK1801 (based on the Panzer I). There are 14 photos (8 of it being used with the 13th Heavy Police Panzer Company) and a 1/35 4-view drawing. Again, the jack is missing from its place on the right rear fender, inboard of the starter crank.
Coverage of the Luchs is very nice with all those nice scale drawings. I also liked the photos of the Ausf.J (VK1601) in use.
Highs: Very nice scale drawings for Ausf.L.Lows: As always with Panzer Tracts, the use of German terms all over the place can be annoying.Verdict: This is a valuable reference for those modelers interested in the later Panzer II's, especially the Lynx.