bookFlak at War

Waldemar Trojca, Karlheinz Münch
Hard cover, 304 pages (32 in colour), 570 b/w photographs.
Trojca Publications

ISBN: 83-60041-15-6

Review by Terry Ashley

This new book from Trojca Publications is in the large format hard cover (310mm x 215mm) series with 272 pages containing 570 B/W wartime photographs and a further 32 pages with colour profile illustrations of many of the vehicles included in the main book.

The text in both English and Polish is restricted to the photo captions which does include fairly detailed info as well as basic descriptions for a good overview with the photos telling the main story. All the photos are wartime photos with 95% of the pages having just two photos per page and are large enough to show the detail in the mostly overall and semi-close-up type photos.

The remaining pages have three or four photos per page so still large enough to see the subject and while there is no walk around photos of museum weapons there are quite a few good closer view shots that do show good details of the weapons systems.

Many of the photos are action shots to also give good views of the crews and gun emplacements or vehicle mountings that provide good diorama possibilities with many of the photos new to me but some others I’ve seen before.

There is no index listing or bibliography of the contents so I will basically walk through the book to describe the contents.

Pages 4-28 cover the 2cm FlaK30/38 with shots of the guns in ground positions plus others on flak towers, trains and barges with a nice sequence showing the gun on the Sd.Ah.51 trailer being mounted onto a 2.5ton truck. The ground placements show positions in Africa and Russia in both summer and winter climates and give good overviews of the crew uniforms and gun kill markings as well as the emplacement details.

Pages 29-34 show the 2cm FlaK Oerlikon on mainly navel and flak tower mountings with again semi close-up shots showing nice details of the gun and crews.

Pages 35-37 have shots of the single and twin MG 151/20 with a couple during manufacture and others on trial navel mounings.

Pages 38-39 have a few shots of the triple MG 151/20 (Drilling) with the guns mounted on motor boats and trucks but no real detail views of the mountings.

Page 40 has two shots of captured 2.5cm Flak Hotchkiss guns undergoing testing with one shot with the gun on a Sd.Ah trailer and the other on ground cruciform mounting.

Pages 41-62 cover the 2cm Flakvieling 38 on ground mountings, flak towers, flat cars and purpose built flak railroad cars as well as navel mountings with quite a few semi close-up shots to show some good details on the guns and mountings as well as the crews and again provide some interesting diorama possibilities.

Pages 63-82 have shots of the 3.7cm FlaK 18/36/43 with shots of the FlaK 18/36 on the Sd.Ah.102 and 104 trailers plus others in prepared ground flak positions and barge mounted with a few good close-up shots offering nice details. There are two shots of the twin 3.7cm Flakzwilling 43 but are a little fuzzy and mainly show the crews.

Pages 83-88 have shots of the 4cm FlaK 28 (Bofors) mostly in prepared flak positions with the photos giving a fairly good overview of the gun and crews.

This is followed by a couple of pages (89-90) showing some overall shots of the 5cm FlaK 41 manufactured by Rheinmetall.

Pages 91-131 feature the 8.8cm FlaK 18/36/37 with shots of the guns on the Sd.Ah.201 trailer being towed by the Sd.Kfz.7 with many in prepared flak positions both on ground and others dug in covering most fronts the gun was used on, which was basically everywhere. There are also shots of navel barge and train mounted guns with all the photos of Flak guns and none in the anti-tank role in keeping with the theme of the book.

Pages 132-135 have a number of shots of the 10.5cm FlaK 39 mostly in prepared flak positions with a few long shots of the gun on flak railroad cars.

Pages 136-138 have a few shots of the 12.8cm FlaK 40 with some good semi close-up shots of the gun mountings.

The book now moves on the vehicle mounted flak guns with pages 139-144 featuring the Kfz.4 car with the twin MG34 Zwillingslawette 36 mount used earlier in the war.

Pages 145-150 has the Kfz.70 Typ a/a1 Heavy Passenger Car with the 2cm FlaK 30/38 with a series of overall shots of the vehicle on various fronts giving views of the crews and vehicles.

Pages 151-154 again has various overall shots of the Krupp L3H 163 truck mounting the 2cm FlaK 30/38 giving basic vehicle and crew details.

Pages 155-179 cover the Sd.Kfz.10/4 FlaK 30 and Sd.Kfz.10/5 with the FlaK 38 again with many overall shots in both travelling and firing mode (sides up and down). The shots cover the Sd.Kfz.10/4-5 from all fronts and weather conditions to provide some excellent shots of the vehicle fittings, crew uniforms as well as some semi close-up shots of the gun and mountings. The photos offer some excellent diorama possibilities for the Italeri kits.

Pages 180-197 again has many overall action shots of the Sd.Kfz.7/1 with 2cm Flakvierling 38 including some in travel and action modes from all fronts the vehicle was used on. There are a few of the armoured cab /1 but mostly the unarmoured type with again many diorama themes for the Tamiya kit.

Pages 198-215 similarly covers the Sd.Kfz.7/2 with the 3.7cm FlaK 36/37 and 43 with the photos about half and half of the unarmoured and armoured cab and again from all fronts the vehicle served on. The photos are all external mostly overall shots with a few semi close-ups to add a bit of detail.

Pages 216-218 feature the Flakpanzer Ia with 2cm FlaK 38 including a couple of previously unpublished (to me) shots of the vehicle which are very handy for the Dragon and Tristar kit comparison.

Pages 219-220 has a few shots of the Sd.Kfz.140 2cm FlaK 38 Flakpanzer 38(t) but don’t offer much in the way of detail.

Pages 221-234 features the Pz.Kpfw.IV Möbelwagen with six shots of the prototype fitted with the 2cm Flakvieling as well as numerous shots of the production Möbelwagen with the 3.7cm FlaK 43. quite a few of the shots have been seen before but show the vehicle with sides both raised and lowered to give some good semi close-up detail shots.

Pages 235-237 has a few overall shots of the 2cm Flakvieling 38 armed Wirbelwind and one of the 3.7 FlaK 43 armed Wirbelwind.

Pages 238-243 have a number of semi close-up shots of the prototype Versuchsflakwagen 8.8cm FlaK auf Sonderfagestell (Pz.Sfl.IVc) taken during vehicle trials and include shots with the armoured sides both raised and lowered plus a few shots of the prototype modified with the 8.8cm FlaK 41.

Pages 244-245 have four photos of the little known 8.8cm FlaK 18/36 (mot.) auf Sd.Kfz. Vomag which are more to let you know the vehicle existed rather than giving any real details.

Page 246 has two overall shots of the schwere Wehrmach-Schlepper with the 3.7cm FlaK 43 and pages 247-248 has four overall shots of the Daimler-Benz Maulier Type L 4500 truck armed with the 3.7cm FlaK 36.

Pages 249-272 cover various search lights such as the 60cm Flakscheinwerfer 60, the 150cm Flakscheinwerfer 34 and /37 with shots of the Em 4m R 36 and Em 6m rangefinders used with larger 8.8cm, 10.5cm and 12.8cm FlaK guns.
There are various semi close-up shots of these and the Kommandogerät 36 command device being prepared by their crews for some interesting shots.

Finally there are pages 273-304 with various colour profile illustrations of the Sd.Kfz.10/5, Sd.Kfz.7/1 and 7/2 plus four different schemes for the 8.8cm FlaK 18/36 (mot.) auf Sd.Kfz. Vomag plus 13 pages of three view illustrations of the Möbelwagen and Wirbelwind giving good suggestions for cam finishes.

If you want detailed technical descriptions of German Flak guns this book won’t provide them but what it does have is a general overall coverage of the various Flak guns used by the German Forces during WWII in most situations from ground mountings, flak towers, trains, navel and individual vehicle mounted systems but again only brief mentions with each weapon system featured.

There are a few notable omissions such as the Sd.Kfz.251/17 and Sd.Kfz.251/21 "Drilling" and other 2cm mounts on the Sd.Kfz.250 and 251 chassis but it may have been interpreted these were intended for the ground support role even though they had an AA capability.
The 7.5cm FlaK L/60 the precursor to the 8.8cm FlaK 18/36 is also not included but this may not have actually been used during WWII and the big twin 12.8cm Flakzwilling 40 or the 3cm Flak 38/103 Jaboschreck are also not included.

The photos included give a good overall view of the featured guns and vehicles providing a nice mix of gun/vehicle detail as well as the crews and various mountings and gun emplacements providing many diorama possibilities.

Recommended for general FlaK reference.

Sample pages

Trojca Publications are distributed exclusively in the USA and Canada by AirConnection.
Airconnection Thanks to Michael of AirConnection for the review book.

Page created September 9, 2006

Click Browsers BACK button to return to list
Home / Reviews / Book Reviews / Trojca Publications