GERMAN MILITARY VEHICLES OF WORLD WAR II: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO CARS, TRUCKS, HALF-TRACKS, MOTORCYCLES, AMPHIBIOUS
VEHICLES, AND OTHERS
JEAN-DAVIS G.G. LEPAGE
MCFARLAND PUBLISHING, 2007
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, 220 PAGES, $49.95, ILLUSTRATIONS, GLOSSARY, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX
While World War I introduced the world to modern warfare, it was World War II that saw the onset and use of motorized vehicles in combat. Ths account presents a cross-section of the most common transport vehicles used by the German Army. Tanks plus auxiliary vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, vans, ambulances, trucks, and tractors made it possible for the troops to keep advancing. These lightly armored and unarmored vehicles-aka "soft skins"-operated behind the front lines, maintaining supply lines, connecting armies with their home bases, and ultimately determining the outcome of battle. Beginning with the development of military vehicles in the early 1930s, this volume discusses the ways in which this new technology influenced and, to some extent, facilitated Hitler's program of rearmament. Although Italy and Japan produced significant numbers of tanks before and during World War II, it is the German tanks which are best known. The need for supporting arms to keep pace with the tanks was obvious to serious students of armored warfare in the 1930s, but wheeled vehicles were road bound and tracked support vehicles seemed an extravagance. Half-tracks appeared to be the answer, and Germany built them by the thousands as well as tank destroyers and made the best use of both types. Not even the massive output of the American arsenals could overshadow the impact that both the German half-tracks and tank destroyers made at this period of time. Once Germany had demonstrated the new pace of armored warfare, most nations began to develop fully mechanized divisions. Field guns were mounted on tank chassis and a new generation of armored fighting vehicles was born. Self-propelled guns became more important, and largely replaced towed artillery. Nomenclature, standard equipment, camouflage, and the combat roles of the various vehicles are thoroughly examined. Individual vehicle types are arranged and discussed by the following classifications: cars and motorcycles; trucks and tractors; and half-tracks and wheeled combat vehicles. Accompanied by well-researched, detailed line drawings; each section deals with a number of individual vehicles, describing their design, manufacture, and specific use. While the previous reviewer has rightly criticized the fact that there are no photographs in this book as well as the price; this book is still an excellant addition to the library of any serious student of World War II.
Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard