Sdkfz 251, 251/9 and 251/22 Kanonenwagen
...LandCraft 8 from Pen & Sword
Title: Sdkfz 251, 251/9 and 251/22 Kanonenwagen. LandCraft 8
Author: Dennis Oliver
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Number 8 in the LandCraft series from Pen & Sword and another written by Dennis Oliver. The Sdkfz 251 was a 3-ton half-track used throughout WW2 by both Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units. Amongst the many variants, and proving how versatile the vehicle proved to be, it could carry heavier support weapons for the infantry in particular. The 251/9 mounted a short-barrelled 75mm gun while the 251/22 provided mobile anti-tank support with the 75mm Pak 40.
The Sdkfz 251 was made in 4 major types, the A, B, C and D. The 251/9 with the short barrelled 75mm gun was built on both the Ausf C and D versions, while the 251/22 was only built on the Ausf D. The details of the two types are explained in the Introduction, including a chart listing production figures of each by month from 1943 to 1945. Then it moves into the operational use of the types by the various Panzer Units/Brigades, what they had and where they used them. This section has archive photos and good clear unit organisation charts. That leads into the Camouflage & Markings section, with 12 pages of fine colour profiles which I know modellers will enjoy. Staying with modelling, the Model Showcase has 16 pages filled with first class photos of 4 expertly built examples of the 251/22, 3 in 1/35 and 1 in 1/72. These are then supported by 4 more pages listing Model Products and available kits and accessories in both 1/35 and 1/72 scales from a good mix of manufacturers. Next we return to the various unit histories, starting with the Panzer Grenadiers, Waffen-SS and Other Units, again with a variety of unit organisation charts before a final four pages detailing the Technical Details and Modifications, which makes good use of annotated photos.
As a military history enthusiast and a modeller, I have to admit that the Sdkfz 251, sometimes referred to as simply a 'Hanomag', has long been among my favourite modelling subjects. Despite that bias, I am confident in saying that this one really hits the spot with detailed coverage of these particular variants, and makes another useful addition to the modeller's bookcase.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.