MBI Profiles Series #12
Hetzer - Jagdpanzer 38
reviewed by Neville Lord
WWII progressed and the German army increasingly found itself on the defensive,
tank destroyers such as the Hetzer became increasingly important. With their
low profile and relatively cheap production costs, they were well suited to
the rear guard actions that the Wehrmacht fought as it retreated towards Germany.
Originally developed to as an expedient that addressed the loss of Sturmgeschutz
production due to Allied bombing, while utilising
existing production lines, the Hetzer went on to have long service career. First
service in the Summer of 1944 on the Eastern Front, the Hetzer later saw service with the post war Czech and Swiss armies where modified versions were known as the ST-1 and G-13 respectively.
Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer provides a comprehensive history of the Hetzer and its variants during WWII and the post-war period. Like other titles in Kliment and Francevs series on WWII Czech produced military vehicles, the full text is in both English and Czech. While the English text is very readable and informative, the occasional quaint expression slips in.
At a hefty 112 glossy A4 pages this title has numerous photos, colour profiles, scale plans and line drawings. In the technical section large clear photos from several angles are included for each phase of the Hetzers production run as well as for all variants. These photos and the accompanying line drawings that show the detail of key features and production changes (e.g. different idlers, tow hooks and mantlets) are very useful for modelling and also the dating of war time photos.
Five pages of colour side profiles provide a good coverage of the different camouflage scheme worn by the Hetzer family. A further three pages have four 1/35 four view colour profiles of the post war Czech St-1 and two Fall 1944 Hetzers with the Ambush scheme. These two pages show how this well known camouflage schemes varied between factories. Most of the color profiles are justified by the text and accompanying photos.
The book is well laid out and systematically covers each major aspect of the Hetzers history. Content includes:
* Detailed coverage of the Hetzers
production history during WWII which is well supported by illustrations including
four sets of 1/35 scale plans (4 view).
* Wartime variants including the Bergpanzer 38 recovery vehicle, prototype of mounting the 38 sIG 33/2 (3 view scale plans), Flammpanzer and Jagdpanzer 38 Starr, with line drawings of each variants key features.
* Post war use of the tank destroyer by the Czech and Swiss Armies. This section is well illustrated with photos and line drawings that would be useful for modellers wishing to convert the Dragon kit.
* Post-war derivates such as the ST-III driver trainer, PM-1 flamethrower and varying artillery tractors.
* Overview of the Hetzers camouflage
schemes and front-line deployment including the combat use of the Jagdpanzer
* Systematic technical description of the
Hetzer, which includes detailed internal photos and a cross-sectional plans.
Kliment and Francevs Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer provides a superb all in one coverage of the Hetzer, not only during WWII and also in the often
overlooked post-war period. Being well researched and amply illustrated this title is ideal for modellers and other military vehicle enthusiasts.
SUGGESTED 1/35 SCALE KITS
Dragon/DML produce the best 1/35 scale models of the Hetzer.
* Hetzer Early (kit 6030). This is typical of Hetzers built around May
*Hetzer Command version (6060). This is typical of a September
1944 Hetzer and includes four and a half crew figures and the crows
foot commanders aerial.
* Jadgpanzer 38 "mid"/Flammpanzer (6037). This can be built as either
the Flamethrower version or a standard Hetzer typical of many built
from October 1944 onwards.
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