German Horse Power...

... Horse Drawn Elements of the German Army, new from MMP Books

Title:  German Horse Power

Author: Alan Ranger

Publisher:  Stratus Books/MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65281-73-9

Number 4 in the excellent 'Camera On' series of books from MMP is, dare I say, my favourite so far.  One of the things about the German Army in WW2 was that many of its' divisions still relied on horse drawn transport right through to the end of the war.  I still recall my own father mentioning that it was one of the sights which shocked him when he saw the wreckage in the Falaise pocket in 1944, the large number of horse he saw dead on the roads and fields.

The book starts out with a couple of pages of introductory text which provides some interesting and useful background details of the various types in use.  Then it is divided into sections for Machine Gun Wagon (Model 36); Army Vehicles with assorted General Service (GS) wagons (both wooden and steel) along with Field Kitchens and infantry carts; Artillery Vehicles; and finally, a few 'Improvised Vehicles'.  All well captioned and good clear photos, so many of which have additional interesting material in the background settings.  These include things like bridging equipment, the stowage of accessories like the wicker mats used for setting the fuses on artillery shells, and even space allowed for the carriage of feed for the horses themselves.

This is an interesting topic for the WW2 historian, while for the wargamer and modeller it makes for a great reference.  There are plenty of model kits available of German horse drawn equipment these days, in both large and small scales.  Riich Models do the Machine Gun cart, armed with a twin MG34 AA mounting and the steel bodied Hf.7, Field Kitchens by both IBG and Tamiya, the GS Wagon and Ambulance from the old ESCI kit.  In smaller scales there are plastic resin and metal models of an even greater variety of wagons, artillery limbers and so on.  Lots of scope for the modeller and a first class reference that I'd certainly recommend without any hesitation.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.