Thursday 19 September 2019

Book Review: Nürnberg's Panzer Factory, MacDougall & Neely,

Phwooaar!!! This is top quality Panzer-porn, guaranteed to give the hardcore Panzer nutter a raging Panzer horn!

Sorry... (wiping drool from corner of mouth), let's try and be a bit more dignified. What we have here is a fantastic selection of really seriously fabulous photographs, many published here for the first time (albeit this is now a while ago [1]), documenting the WWII work of the M.A.N. factory at Nürnberg, with a particular focus on Panther production.

Actually it's a bit more than just that, as pictorially it starts with M.A.N. Diesel trucks, includes the very unusual Sperrmaschine (only four were ever built) [2], covers M.A.N.'s production of Panzers I, II and III (plus variants), and so on. It's also broader than the title alone might suggest in that it incorporates photos taken at other but related sites/facilities. The text, whilst refreshingly concise, starts with background and pre-war info, and then moves on to brief chapter summaries and picture captions.

Pp. 46-7, detailed images of a badly damaged Panzer in for repairs.

The landscape format suits the contents, each photo getting it's own page [3]. The captions and 'chapter heading' style summaries are great. But it's the images that really seal the deal. The quality throughout is superb. And the subject matter, and depth, breadth and width of detail, are just superlatively brilliant. All told this is as close to perfection in this niche area of publishing as I've yet seen.

I recently watched an American wartime newsreel someone uploaded to YouTube that showed the factory production and proving ground testing of M3 tanks. Despite the rather overdone 'movietone news' style chest thumping war-era propaganda bombast it was fascinating. But for some reason I find the German war effort even more fascinating and compelling. And this superb book documents several aspects of that, Panther production in particular (obviously!), wonderfully well.

I was able to comfortably read the entire text of this terrific book in one day (and that whilst engaged in some reasonably demanding home-renovation DIY!). Fascinating and informative as this was - and I loved it - it's the pictorial aspect that really sets this apart, and which will doubtless provide countless further hours of fascination and enjoyment. Ten out of ten, and definitely very highly recommended.

Pp. 72-3, Panthers under construction. 


[1] 2013.

[2] All four of which you can see here.

[3] This holds true for the vast majority of the pictorial content. Between pp. 182-194, however, the format changes to two or three images per page. This segment covers the bomb damage inflicted by Allied air raids.

No comments:

Post a Comment