Review by Terry Ashley
The book has many wartime black and white action photos as well as numerous 1:35 plans of various types and eleven pages of colour profile drawings showing different cam schemes and markings with text on both Polish and English as are the photo captions.
The first section is a rundown of the Ausf.A, B, C and D with technical descriptions as well as noting the differences between the versions and there are action photos of each to show these including both the welded and riveted Ausf.C hulls.
As well as text and photos there is a set of four view 1:35 plans of the 251/1 Ausf.A as well as seven side view plans of the 251/1 Ausf.C and D in different configurations which should be very useful.
The remainder of the book covers the versions 251/1 to 251/10 in closer detail
with the version 251/11 to 251/23 to be included in Volume 2 when published.
The vehicles covered are as below with some interior shots and 1:35 plans included as noted.
Sd.Kfz. 251/1: Basic armoured personel carrier.
A brief description of the vehicle with some wartime photos of the Ausf.B and C.
Sd.Kfz. 251/2: 8cm sGrWr34 Mortar carrier
A brief description of the vehicle with some wartime photos of the Ausf.C welded and riveted hulls as well as an interior shot showing the layout and top and left side 1:35 plan views.
Sd.Kfz. 251/3: Communications vehicle
A brief description of the vehicle with some wartime photos looking into the vehicle as well as side view 1:35 plans showing the frame and rod antenna arrangements.
Sd.Kfz. 251/4: Light artillery tractor
A brief description of the vehicle with some wartime photos of the vehicle towing leFH18 howitzers.
Sd.Kfz. 251/5: Engineer vehicle for special assault engineers
Again a brief description of the vehicle with a couple of general wartime photos.
Sd.Kfz. 251/6: Command Vehicle (similar to /3 but with additional command
A brief description of the vehicle with several wartime photos of the Ausf.A and B vehicles with the large frame antenna as used by senior staff and while the text mentions the /6 was built on the Ausf.A and B chassis only there is a side1:35 plan of an /6 Ausf.C but unfortunately no photo to substantiate this. There are also side 1:35 plan views of the Ausf.A with frame antenna.
Sd.Kfz. 251/7: Engineer vehicle basic
Again a brief description of the vehicle with a single wartime photo and side 1:35 plan views of the Ausf.C and D with different styles of Assault Bridge.
Sd.Kfz. 251/8: Field Ambulance
Again a brief description of the vehicle with a couple of wartime photos included an excellent shot looking into the rear of an Ausf.D showing the stretcher arrangement as well as two side 1:35 plan views.
Sd.Kfz. 251/9: 7.5cm KwK37 L/24 Support vehicle
A brief description of the vehicle with several wartime photos, all of the early type with the 7.5cm mounted in the modified front plate. There is a overhead view showing the rear hull interior layout and another close-up of the gun breech and main sight plus side 1:35 plan views of the early and late gun arrangement.
Sd.Kfz. 251/10: 3.7cm PaK36 light anti-tank gun vehicle
A brief description of the vehicle with a few wartime photos showing the gun with the full shield and later cut-down shield plus side 1:35 plans views on both types.
The final ten pages are all in colour with an excellent walkaround of the 251/7 Ausd.D from the Saumur, France museum with many exterior as well as interior shots that will be very useful as apart from the bridges and side mountings the remainder of the vehicle is typical of Ausf.Ds.
As mentioned there are also the 33 colour side profile drawings of all types covered in the book with many cam scheme and markings shown.
An extremely useful book with many details that will be more than useful for the modeller building any of the available 251 kits with some shots such as the interior of the /8 and the many 1:35 plan views making this an excellent general reference on the 251 and I look forward to Volume 2 to complete the coverage.
Page created 8 January 2005