The founders

Hilary Louis Doyle 2001

Hilary Louis Doyle (1943- )

Hilary initially trained as a Civil Engineering draughtsman with the Irish Railways but later achieved Chartered Engineer status. In 1967 he was the pioneer in technical desktop computing in Ireland. From 1973 his professional career was in management in the computer industry. He was awarded a Fellowship of the Irish Computer Society. Hilary lives with his wife near Dublin and has eight grandchildren.

Thomas L. Jentz 2001

Thomas L. Jentz (1946-2012)

From Indiana, Tom attended Purdue University for one year before entering military service with the US Army. He then served with an Armored Unit of the U.S. Army in Germany for 2 years and later obtained Nuclear Training with the US Army. Returning to civilian life, he was a Nuclear Health physicist and consultant to the nuclear industry. Tom lived with his wife and two children near the U.S. National Archives in Washington DC. 

A great inspiration for Tom was the history told by his Uncle Ed who had been taken prisoner by the Wehrmacht during World War II after a calamitous action in North Africa in which 100 Sherman tanks were destroyed by German forces.

The story

Hilary Louis Doyle published his first AFV article, with accompanying scale drawings, in 1964.

By 1965 he and some enthusiasts had founded Bellona Publications which was pioneer in AFV publications. Some Bellona booklets were published until 1973. 

Walter J. Spielberger the famous German Panzer historian  became a friend in 1966 Hilary then prepared most of the scale drawings used both for his Motorbuch Verlag series and the books published on behalf of Krauss-Maffei.

At the Bundesarchiv in 1972, while researching primary sources for the “Encyclopaedia of German Tanks”, Hilary met Tom Jentz. Tom was invited to join Hilary and Peter Chamberlain in preparing the “Encyclopaedia of German Tanks” which was published in 1975.

Tom and Hilary then assisted Spielberger with many of his books. Sadly, due to illness Spielberger was forced to retire in the early Nineties. Jentz and Doyle then prepared a definitive series about the Tiger, Panther, and Panzertruppen for Schiffer Publications. At the same time, they produced several of the popular Osprey titles.

Prior to 1997 Tom Jentz had also authored several books on specialist subjects for Darlington Publications. Following his retirement from the Nuclear industry, the opportunity arose for Tom to take over the relevant Darlington titles and the imprint “Panzer Tracts” was born. 

With the “Panzer Tracts” format Hilary and Tom were able to make their years of primary research available to enthusiasts. The early Panzer Tracts were overviews setting out the details of a family of vehicles but in time titles were adapted to set out the detailed research on specific subjects.

Each year several Panzer Tracts issued. After 2008 Hilary increasingly took responsibility for the content. To date a total of 57 “Panzer Tracts” have been published. 

In 2022 Lee Archer of Panzerwrecks had the foresight to purchase the sales and distribution business of Panzer Tracts from Tom’s widow. Panzerwrecks is initially investing in a program of reprinting of the most sought-after “Panzer Tracts” titles thus keeping the information alive and available for the growing number of new enthusiasts. 

Watch this space for upcoming developments.