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Book Review
11
World War I Panzer-Kraftwagen
Tankograd -World War One Series Number 1007 – Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]

Introduction

Before World War One, the militaries of all powers generally observed experiments regarding armoured cars with interest, but they demonstrated great restraint when it came to adopting them in their peacetime establishments. Thus, when war came in August 1914, none of the belligerent armies was equipped with organic armoured cars.
A wartime German construction programme was slowly proceeding when the War Ministry ordered the Traffic Engineering Test Commission with executing this task. Construction contracts were eventually awarded to German manufacturers and armoured car designs were soon built, albeit in very small numbers only. In the end, the majority of German wheeled armour in the Great War would be made of captured vehicles.
This publication describes the development, design and combat use -on the Eastern and Western Front- of the three wartime German armoured car types built by Ehrhardt, Daimler and Büssing as well as the use and deployment of the many captured types manufactured by Minerva, Austin, Garford-Putilov, Lancia, Fiat, Peugeot, Packard and others that served under the Iron Cross both in the Imperial German Army in 1914-18 and later in the Freikorps of 1918-20. **
Quoted from the back cover of the book.
Freikorps = Free Corps


THE BOOK

Tankograd Publishing has released Tankograd -World War One Series Number 1007 – Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps by Rainer Strasheim with Verlag Jochen Vollert collection as a 96 page soft cover book that contains 155 black & white photographs, 26 pages of text and 1 balck and white illustration. The book's ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is 978-3-936519-33-4 and it has a 2013 copyright.

CONTENTS

Introduction by the Publisher
  • Chapter 01 – Introduction
  • Chapter 02 – On Sources
  • Chapter 03 – War in the West 1914
  • Chapter 04 – War in the East 1914-15
  • Chapter 05 – The Germans 1915 Armoured Car Programme
  • Chapter 06 – German WWI Vehicle Registration Plates
  • Chapter 07 – Employment of Panzer-Kraftwagen Maschinengewehr-Zug 1 at Verdun and in German Alsace, March-October 1916
  • Chapter 08 – Employment of Panzer-Kraftwagen Maschinengewehr-Zug 1in the Romanian Campaign, October-December 1916
  • Chapter 09 – Gradual Enhancement of the German Armoured Car Force in 1971
  • Chapter 10 – Panzer-Kraftwagen-MG-Zug 3 in Italy and on the Western Front, November 1917 to early May 1918
  • Chapter 11 – The Eastern Front 1916 and 1917
  • Chapter 12 – German Armoured Car Units in the East in 1918
  • Chapter 13 – German Armoured Car Platoons Made Up of Captured Vehicles
  • Chapter 14 – Deployment of All Available Armoured Car Units to the Western Front August-November 1918
  • Chapter 15 – Armoured Cars in the German Civil War
  • Chapter 16 – The Bavarian Special Treatment


Review

The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. Rainer Strasheim covers the Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps during World War One and the German Civil War very well and goes into great detail in the development, use and history of German armored car use in World War One and the German Civil War. This is a well written history that will be of great use and interest to the well-seasoned and knowledgeable World War One Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps historian or the individual that is new to this subject and wants to learn about its history.

As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps during World War One and the German Civil War to their personal library will be pleased with this book and will find this book very informative and interesting.

On the last page of this volume there is a Further Reading section provided with 6 different titles listed. I could probably add more to this section but I feel that due to Rainer Strasheim’s very descriptive contents page, see above, that I don’t need to go into any further detail as to all of the subjects that are covered. There are other volumes that I have reviewed that have a very limited contents page, but that is not the case with this fine volume. So please refer to the Contents portion of my review to see what all is covered in the text by Rainer Strasheim.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS
Shown throughout the book are a wide variety of photographs of several different Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps during World War One and the German Civil War. The photographs range from action scenes to casual scenes to scenes that were staged. The photographs show various times of the year such as summer and winter and different types of settings in and around the trenches. Most of the photographs are nice and clear; however some have an unfocused look to them and some appear too dark. The reader should take into consideration that most of the photographs are approaching 100 years old and are excellent for their age. The quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and takes nothing away from the book. It is obvious that the author took the time to research and arrange the photographs in a well thought out chronological manner and separate them as to the subject matter of the individual chapters. As well as being a valuable resource to the military historian and World War One enthusiasts, the wealth of photographs will be a valuable resource to the military modeler.

There are many excellent photographs of German armoured cars in several variations in different locales and also shown with a wide variety of weaponry. Also of interest will be the many close-up photographs of individual German soldier’s uniforms, weaponry, early camouflage techniques and other such details which will greatly assist not only the historian but the detail minded armoured car and figure modeler as well. There is one photograph on Page 7 that is of a period illustration. There are 3 photographs that have detailed close-up photograph inserts taken from the photograph shown on that page. On Page 88 there is an excellent close photograph of the German uniform showing the Kampfwagen cuff titles and Kokampf skull emblem. The book is filled with photographs that could be used as reference and ideas for many different dioramas and vignettes. I would also like to mention that individuals or companies that produce figures and armoured vehicles will find this book very useful in regards to ideas for making unique World War One figures and armoured cars.

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS
There is only one illustration featured in this fine volume and that is of a German Iron Cross on Page 3.

THE CAPTIONS
All of the photographs are accompanied by captions that are in English text. The captions are well written and go into great detail in regards to the scene that is shown. It is obvious that the author has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that the captions are well detailed and point out several items of interest. They go into great detail mentioning items of interest shown such as the particular armoured car type and its country of origin, uniforms, small arms, weapons, equipment, locations and individual military units. Due to the fact that World War One is very close to reaching the 100 year old mark, the detailed captions help explain what is shown as much of the equipment hasn’t been seen for several years and the younger historians and military modelers may not know what they are looking at. The time spent by the author explaining the accompanying photographs is to be greatly appreciated.

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.

CONCLUSION

I am very impressed with the book. Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps is shown and discussed very well. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the World War One historian and enthusiast, the military diorama and figure modeler and the military enthusiast and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. I would have no hesitation to add other Tankograd Publishing World War One Series titles, or any of the other Tankograd titles, to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others. This is an excellent title from Tankograd Publishing.

This book was provided by Tankograd Publishing. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.

REFERENCES

History Through Sources
The Western Front
Rosemary Rees
Rigby Interactive Library

The Usborne Introduction to the First World War
Ruth Brocklehurst & Henry Brook
Scholastic Inc.

The American Heritage History of World War I
Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall
American Heritage/Bonanza Books
New York

The World War One Source Book
Philip J. Haythornthwaite
Arms and Armor Press

War Cars
British Armoured Cars in the First World War
David Fletcher
HMSO Books


View the book on the Tankograd Publishing web site
World War I Panzer-Kraftwagen Live links

SUMMARY
Highs: Several unique and excellent photographs Well written, researched, and detailed captions and text
Lows: Some of the photographs are dark and not very clear.
Verdict: This is an excellent reference book of the Panzer-Kraftwagen - Armoured Cars of the German Army and Freikorps that is well researched and written.
Percentage Rating
97%
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-3-936519-33-4
  Suggested Retail: €25.00
  PUBLISHED: Apr 16, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.19%

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Well, this looks like such an interesting and unique book, but £25 for 96 pages is kind of making my eyes water!! I wonder if any kit manufacturers will be thinking of lining any of these subjects up for one of their CAD technicians to make a start on in time for 2014...
APR 19, 2013 - 09:26 AM
   

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