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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Axis Armour You Never Knew Existed

Panzer IVs, Panthers and even Tigers served in the WWII Hungarian Army.

Quite many Axis tankers were Hungarians, which is why also several German Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) were in Hungarian service. A new book looks closer at these, and also the Hungarian vehicles with Swedish roots. 

An amazing number of rare photos and quite a lot of information has been assembled in the new book Hungarian Armoured Fighting Vehicles in the Second World War by Eduardo Manuel Gil Martinez. Being Swedish I was initially mainly interested in the Swedish aspects of his book, but it turned out that the German AFV presence in the Hungarian Army was greater than I thought, and also more interesting than I had imagined. If you are a modeller and you feel like you have run out of Panzer subjects - well, this book will provide you with some extra years of modelling challenges.

Most Swedish armor buffs will know that the Hungarian Toldis and Nimrods were to a large extent Landsverk vehicles, i.e. they were designs from the Landsverk factory in Landskrona in southernmost Sweden. But from this book I learnt something I had no idea of. Not only were the Toldis designed in Sweden, they also contained some components from Sweden, because the Hungarian industry was not able to supply all necessary parts.

Much to my surprise I also learnt from this book that there was even a Toldi converted to a tank destroyer, armed with a German PaK 40. Yes, the book has a photo of it. I can divulge that the result is very similar to a Marder II. Another good reason to release the Toldi also in scale 1/35 - or is there already such a kit and I have just missed it?

Many of the 111 pages of this book are of course devoted to AFVs that were mostly the result of Hungary´s own AFV design efforts. I am talking not least about the Turan tanks and Zrinyi "StuGs". Especially the latter should appeal to modellers. 

Generally speaking this book is a treasure chest for modellers and also provides some insights into the role that Hungary played for the Axis during WWII. The translation at times has some issues but that does not diminish the value of this book. Every tank buff, at least outside Hungary, ought to check out this one.

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