by: Randy Harvey [ ]
HISTORYIn January 1938 high-ranking Third Reich German army officials approached German automobile manufacturer Ferdinand Porsche and discussed with him their interest in having him design an inexpensive, light-weight military transport vehicle that would operate well in extreme conditions both on and off road. Ferdinand Porsche’s answer to their request was the prototype 62 Volkswagen Kübelwagen based heavily on the Volkswagen Beetle. The Kübelwagen name was the shortened version of Kübelsitzwagen, meaning "bucket seat car". The prototype was successful and became known as the Type 82. The Type 82 Kübelwagen was built by Volkswagen throughout World War II for use by the German military where it served successfully in a variety of roles on all fronts. The Volkswagen Kübelwagen Type 82 was considered as important to the German military as the Jeep was to the American military and allied forces during World War II.
THE BOOKTankograd Publications has released Kübelwagen on all Frontlines - The ‘Leichter Personenkraftwagen K 1' VW Typ 82 Wartime Service & Production Batches by Verlag Jochen Vollert with a 2012 copyright. The book details the German Kübelwagen vehicle and its use by Germany on all fronts in various configurations during World War Two. It is a 256-page hard cover book with a paper dust jacket and contains 33 color photographs and 475 black and white photographs, 16 graphs and illustrations, and 12 color drawings showing different camouflage patterns, and is written in English text. The ISBN is 978-3-936519-28-0. The book provides a 6 page written history of the Kübelwagen as well as technical data and a further reading list for those interested. The remainder of the book is dedicated to the wide array of photographs and illustrations with detailed captions.
CONTENTS- Introduction, Acknowledgements
- Kübelwagen - History
- Kübelsitzwagen - The Predecessors of the Kübelwagen
- Kübelwagen - Production Batch Identifier
- Kübelwagen - Close-Up
- Wehrmacht Kübelwagen of the Afrika Korps
- Wehrmacht Kübelwagen on the Eastern Front
- Wehrmacht Kübelwagen on the Southern Front
- Wehrmacht Kübelwagen on the Western Front and in the German Reich
- Kübelwagen in Luftwaffe Service
- Kübelwagen of the Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Polizei
- Kübelwagen - Maintenance, Accidents, Repairs
- Kübelwagen - Funkwagen, Nachrichtenwagen - Radio Vehicles
- Kübelwagen in U.S. Army and British Army Service
- Amerikanischer Kübelwagen - The U.S. ‘Jeep' in Wehrmacht Service
- Kübelwagen Addenda
- Kübelwagen Camouflage Patterns
THE PHOTOGRAPHSShown throughout the book is a wide variety of photographs of the Kübelwagen Type 82. The photographs range from action scenes to casual scenes to scenes that were staged for the photographer. The photographs are in a correct chronological order from the Kübelwagen’s predecessors, to the development and deployment of the Kübelwagen Type 82, on through the war on all of Germany’s fronts, to the end of hostilities in Europe. Many of the photographs will be a benefit to the diorama-oriented military modeler as most of them show the Type 82 during various times of the year such as summer and winter and in different types of terrain such as Russian snow and mud, North African sand, rock-strewn Italy and Western European debris-filled streets. Another subject that is covered is captured/commandeered vehicles. Captured/commandeered subjects have been a longtime favorite subject of mine so I was very pleased to see that is was covered in this book. The book provides photographs of the Kübelwagen in the hands of the allies as well as the American Jeep in the hands of the Axis. Due to the fact that many of the photographs are of the walk-around type they will prove to be a valuable resource for the detail-oriented modeler due to the large amount of information they provide. As well as the military modeler, the military vehicle enthusiasts and the Volkswagen and Kübelwagen enthusiasts will appreciate the photographic information found within the pages of this fine volume. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear too dark whereas some appear too light. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and it needs to be taken into consideration that some of the photographs are over 70 years old. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before, and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old overused photographs that many books tend to contain. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge photographs for yourself.
THE CAPTIONSAll of the photographs are accompanied by captions that are in English text. The captions that accompany the photographs are well written and go into great detail in regards to the vehicle, such as camouflage and unit numbers and markings, modifications and other such points of interest as well as the location of the scene that is shown. It is obvious that Jochen Vollert has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that they are well detailed and point out several items of interest. As I read through the captions as well as the main pages of text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be important factors to everyone; however I take notice of them and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing.
CONCLUSIONI am very impressed with this book. The Kübelwagen Type 82 is very well covered. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the military vehicle modeler, detail modeler, scratch-builder, military vehicle enthusiast, and the Volkswagen and Kübelwagen enthusiasts, and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. I would have no hesitation to recommend this book to others nor would I hesitate to add other Tankograd Publishing titles to my personal library.
REFERENCESPanzer Colors: Camouflage of the German Panzer Forces 1939-45
Bruce Culver & Bill Murphy
Illustrated by Don Greer
Panzer Colors II: Markings of the German Army Panzer Forces 1939-45
Illustrated by Don Greer
Panzer Colors III: Markings of the German Panzer Forces 1939-45
Illustrated by Don Greer
The US Army Jeep at War
Armor At War Series
Steven J. Zaloga
Concord Publications Company