book Sd.Kfz.251/1 in detail
Special Museum Line No.37
František Kořán, František Sýkora, Martin Velek
Wings & Wheels Publications.
Published by RAK, Czech Republic.
ISBN 80-86416-50-X

143 pages all in colour.

Review by Terry Ashley

This latest volume from Wing & Wheels Publications is virtually a photo chronicle following the complete restoration of an Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D and a short section on the Sd.Kfz.11 and post war Czech OT-810.

The book is in the usual soft cover format with 143 pages entirely in colour with English text which is minimal with just a brief introduction and photo captions and has 119 pages on the Sd.Kfz.251, 2 on the Sd.Kfz.11 and 22 pages on the TO-810 packed with the usual close-up detail photos.

Pages 1-11 has a brief history of the 251 series with tables listing all 23 variants and the technical data of the Ausf.D and a general walk around of the fully restored vehicle.

Pages 12-19 has photos of the chassis stripped back bare moving through to adding the suspension torsion bars, gearbox and chassis fittings such as the compressed air tank and rear towing pintle followed by 4 pages of the road wheels shown both separate from the vehicle and during installation showing some details not usual seen on complete vehicles.

Pages 24-42 deals with the engine, gearbox and differentials with superb all round views of the stripped down engine sitting on a bench as well as detailed all over views when fitted to the chassis without the body giving excellent views of the engine accessories in place.

This is followed by more superb shots of the front radiator with twin fans again showing the radiator fan unit out of the vehicle and fitted to the chassis as well as shots of the gearbox attached to the chassis with associated linkages.

The next 5 pages have shots of the final drive units minus the drive sprockets which are shown separate with all round views again giving views no often seen and this is followed by detailed shots of the front axle and the front wheels again separate from the vehicle as is the wheel hubs and different style hub caps used. This is followed by detailed photos of the steering arms and linkages again removed and attached to the vehicle.

Pages 54-59 show the driver’s bulkhead attached to the chassis with the steering wheel, foot pedals with the gear levers and linkages and as these shots are taken without the body panels many details not usually seen are shown for a good understanding of the components.

Pages 61-75 shows the major components being fitted to the chassis with more shots of the engine and gearbox in place with shots of the interior showing the firewall and side hull panels without the floor for more interesting details.

Pages 76-93 is a walk-around of the completed vehicle with superb close-up shots of  most of the exterior features such as the stowage boxes, exhaust muffler, fenders and tools, running gear with track in place, shots of the engine through the open hull doors and the front visors.

Pages 94-119 has an equally detailed walk-around of the interior with a separate photo for just about every individual fitting such as the visors, weapon storage, seats, radio rack and rear door lathes with most having multiple shots from different angles to give an excellent perspective to the details shown. The top gun shield is also shown from all angles with and without and MG42 fitted to show the gun mounting and gun in place.

Pages 120-121 is a brief section on a restored Sd.Kfz.11 with a few photos of engine compartment and instrument panel and driver’s controls.

The final pages 122-143 are devoted to the post war OT-810 in Czech service with general walk-around of preserved re-enactors vehicles followed by a detailed walk-around of the exterior and interior of the vehicle that gives excellent detail views that not only show the TO-810 details very well but also illustrate well the fact that very few if any of the details are the same as on the 251.

This is another superbly detailed reference for anyone wanting to know the inside story on the 251 Ausf.D but don’t expect any great technical descriptions as the detailed pictures are mostly left to tell the story with the captions giving a brief guide along the way.  

Highly recommended for anyone building the myriad of Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D kits available.

Sample Pages

Thanks to František of Wings & Wheels Publications for the review book.

Page Created November 13, 2006

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