From Tankograd Publishing is their new Wehrmacht Special No. 4017 on the Leichter geländegängiger Einheits-Lastkraftwagen Typ HWA 526 D (Light Off-road-capable Standardized Truck Type HWA 526 D) or “Einheits-Diesel” for short.
As with their previous specials on individual vehicles, this is another outstanding effort to give modelers the necessary photographic evidence for historical accuracy. The soft-cover book measures 11.5” x 8.5” with 64 pages packed with 120 period b/w photos. Most photos are very crisp and large enough to pick out details of the vehicle with German and English captions. The full text is in German and English giving the reader the development, production and combat history, as well as the variants produced for special duties.
The Einheits-Diesel was developed in 1936 to replace and standardize the vast array of different types of 1-3 ton trucks in use by the Wehrmacht. The first six pages is the text with the rest of the book devoted to excellent photos divided and grouped by the most produced variants.
Being an off-road 2.5 ton 6x6 truck, the Einheits-Diesel was popular in the early Wehrmacht but production ended in 1940, being replaced by simpler designs such as the Opel ‘Blitz’ and Mercedes L3000 series. Total production was around 11,000 units of all variants by no less than 9 manufacturers.
The photo section is divided into the most popular variants that include the Cargo/Personnel carrier version, Field improvisations (i.e. field kitchen), Towing/Recovery, Snow Plow, Artillery Ranging/Equipment vehicle and the various closed box body type vans for communications vehicles. Other sections consist of vehicle marking and tire types, maintenance & repair, battle damage and a nice set of photos showing the various trucks in use off-road. All the photos are appropriately captioned pointing out details that might otherwise be missed.
Although the Einheits-Diesel was a step in the right direction for standardization, the demand for trucks was insatiable for the Wehrmacht and the Einheits-Diesel was just one type among a sea of trucks. By the end of the war the Einheits-Diesel had all but disappeared, consumed by the war of attrition or lack of spare parts, or one of a thousand other reasons.
Personally I have a place in my heart for the ‘softskins’ of World War II. Modern armies rely on such vehicles to wage war and the Wehrmacht was no exception. With the recent-ish release of the IBG kits of the Einheits-Diesel type trucks (I have IBG’s Telephone Exchange version) this reference is going to see a lot of service when I get to building the kit. There may also be some other kits out, or in the offing that I am unaware of as Tankograd has a knack for printing these special vehicle issues to meet the demand when new kits are released.
The only shortcoming in this issue is the lack (none!) of interior photos, either of the cab or inside the box body types. This is rather odd, but I suppose for security reasons there are no photos of the interior of the communications vehicles. Photos of the drivers cab would have been nice though. For exterior reference, this book is top notch providing excellent photographs, history and technical data well suited to the modeler.
Highs: Excellent high quality photos, all in one issue for solid reference.Lows: No interior photos, especially of the drivers cab.Verdict: A must have for exterior detailing reference for current (and future?) kit releases.
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.
About Cpt. C. Sosebee, USA (Ret (csosus) FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES
Back into modeling after almost 26 years in the US Army as enlisted and as an officer. Over those years, I've collected quite a library of military history books, vehicle references and quite a few kits too. I only build 1/35 WWII, any nationality. Currently my modeling skills aren't really that ...