Rare Panther tank manual

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12 March 2021
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The original German, light hearted guide to the Panther tank The original German, light hearted guide to the Panther tank
The first English translation of a wartime Panther tank manual is the subject of a crowdfunding campaign being run by The Tank Museum.
Rare Panther tank manual Images

Staff at the Dorset charity have used the lockdown to translate the 1944 Panther-Fibel held in its archive from the original German, and are now seeking to crowdfund the publication of a first English language edition. Curator David Willey said, “The Panther-Fibel is a fascinating historical document. It was originally produced as an engaging and easy to understand handbook for the wartime Panther tank crews. The Panther was a highly sophisticated machine in every respect and required considerable knowledge to keep it serviceable and to get the best out of it. But commanders realised that young tank crews had little time to digest the thick, heavy-going technical manuals provided, so to overcome this, they sought to draw the interest of the troops with these light-hearted, well-illustrated and visually attractive handbooks.”

The new edition will be based on a high definition copy of the original comic-book style document with the English text carefully set over the German.

Remarkably, even after translation, it has retained the rhyming verses and intended wit of the authors. David added, “The document tells us a great deal about the reality of operating the vehicle itself, but also about the soldiers it was intended for.”

The Tank Museum needs to secure at least 200 pre-orders of the publication before 12 April 2021 to make a print run financially viable. To find out more about the project, and to pre-order a copy for £35, visit tankmuseumshop.org.

 

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