Einheits PKW leicht-mittel-schwer...
...a Wehrmacht Special, No 4021 from Tankograd
Author: Jochen Vollert
German based publisher Tankograd have added another super title to their Wehrmacht Special series. This one tackles the Einheits-Personenkraftwagen (standardised passenger car or standardised field car). Designed in the 1930s, these were a new generation of military field cars intended to be built by a number of different manufacturers but to a standardised design that would feature a significant percentage of the vehicles to use common parts. A logical aim but complete commonality was not possible in the time frame available for deliveries to be achieved on time. Large numbers were built and in a variety of configurations. Some however were deemed more successful than others, the Light cars in particular suffering from being overweight. They were largely replaced in service from the middle of the war as the lighter, simpler VW Kubelwagen proved a cheaper, simpler and capable replacement. Like so much German military equipment of WW2 they were fine modern designs, but over complex and more demanding on the manufacturers than they might have been.
Having given the background to the designs at the outset, the rest of this 80 page softcover book provides some of the best photo references I can remember seeing on these different field cars and all their variants. As is usual with these Tankograd books, the text is provided in both German and English, and that includes the picture captions as well. The archive photos in here will attract many modellers who are building kits of the various types and provide useful reference if you want to enhance details or make a particular variant. While I have seen some of the photos before, the majority of the contents was new to me.
It kicks off with the Light Field Cars, which were built by Stoewer, BMW and Hanomag. This gives details of what was built by the individual manufacturers, along with the Kfz numbers used for the different variants. They include pictures of the standard field car, maintenance, signals, anti-aircraft and field telephone versions. Then it moves on to the Medium cars, built this time by Horch, Wanderer and Opel. An introductory text section gives the history, along with illustrations from the wartime manuals. The photos then give more super coverage of the standard field car, Field Telephone car, along with both soft-top and box-bodied signals variants, types which served throughout the war. The final section follows the same pattern to cover the Heavy variants, which were built by Auto-Union and Ford-Werke. Standard filed cars, field telephone versions, box-bodied signals as well as others with folding rear sides as a working platform for a 20mm Flak gun. Right at the end, a couple of armoured scout cars that shared the Heavy Eniheits chassis.
With kits available in both large and small scales, I think this will be popular with many modellers in particular.
Thanks to Justin at Bookworld for my copy.