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Panzer Tracts No 15-2

...mittler Schutzenpanzerwagen (Sdkfz 251) Ausf A, B & C 1939-1942, from Panzerwrecks

Title: Panzer Tracts No 15-2 mittler Schutzenpanzerwagen (Sdkfz 251) Ausf A, B & C 1939-1942
Author: Hilary Louis Doyle & Thomas L. Jentz
Publisher: Panzerwrecks
ISBN: 978-2-925969-23-1

The latest re-print for the popular Panzer Tracts series is now out from Panzerwrecks, and it is the first of those to cover the Sdkfz 251, the Hanomag half-tracks. An 84-page soft-cover book.
The book is split across 19 chapters/sections, and the information is largely taken from transplated primary source documents, although as is explained in some cases these are not available, having been lost in the chaos at the end of the war. It includes the development story, and details of the first 8 variants on the chassis, and naming another 6 variants that were under development during this period.. In addition to the archive photos of the vehicles as a whole, most of them have detailed photos of the internal arrangements of the interior of the body, clearly showing how equipment, weapons, radios, weapons etc were laid out, along with the crew seating. There are also 8 pages of 1/35 scale drawings, which are created from measuring surviving examples, plus some specific details (such as track links) in larger 1/10 scale. The final section tackles Organisation and Issue details as they developed over the individual years from 1939 through to 1942. Experience over these early years was also used in a Manual on combat tactics for using these half-tracks, and a translation of the manual is included.
While this is a reprint of the original that was first published back in 2005, this new version is expanded, with 2 new chapters and an additional 45 archive photos all fitted in. The photos have been reworked to give improved quality/clarity along with revised captions. The 3 main variants, the Ausf A, B and C are all covered, where the A had extra vision blocks along the side of the bodywork and the C had the differently shaped front plate, which are helpful identification features. Altogether it does mean that this new version of the book offers even more than the original publication. This is the first of 3 books in the series to cover the Sdkfz 251, a vehicle which remained in service throughout the war, so there are 2 more to come. For the WW2 AFV enthusiast and particularly for modellers, this is a real gem and well worth having on your bookshelf.
Thanks to Panzerwrecks for the review copy.


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