bookFirst Generation Modern German Army Heavy Prime-Movers and Tractor-Trucks

Heinz Peters

Tankograd Militarfahrzeug Special No 5009.
Soft cover, A4 size, 64 pages

Review by Peter Brown

The formation of the West Germany Army in the mid 1950s created a demand for all classes of vehicles. To meet the need for supply trucks, NATO requirements were for them to be based as much as possible on commercial designs which reduced development times and overall cost as well as allowing easier maintenance using the supplier's own repair network. Different classes of vehicle were laid down according to their carrying capacity, and in the heavy class the designs of Faun were to predominate.

Several types were developed and fielded, all three-axle vehicles based on the same basic design of chassis, engine and transmission. Over their time in service, the engines changed from diesel to multi-fuel with differences visible from outside, cabs went from all steel to soft top and detail improvements were made. The series included two styles of heavy trucks for towing full trailers or artillery pieces with 10 and 15 ton capacity, a breakdown vehicle with small A-frame crane and two versions of tractor unit with fifth wheel mountings for necked trailers. Special trailers were also developed to carry heavy construction machinery - typically bulldozers - smaller AFVs such as the Hotchkiss carrier and M113 or the bridges from the M48 and Biber AVLBs.

These trucks and their associated trailers are all documented here in Tankograd's excellent style, with very good clear photos from the manufacturer and in-service shots including closeup views, 1/87 scale plans, line drawings from technical manuals as well as descriptions of each type and detailed photo captions in German and English. These were big, impressive machines, some idea of their size can be judged from one shot showing a Faun towering over a Diamond T...

Well produced as would be expected from Tankograd, this one is very specialised but come recommended. Available from Tankograd Militarfahrzeug distributors, for more details contact the publishers Verlag Jochen Vollert on My thanks go to Justin Gainham at Bookworld for the review copy.

Page created 17 May 2005

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