Tank Power Volume X - Sd Kfz 251(Part 2)
The development of the Sd Kfz 251 series had everything to do with the Blitzkrieg (Lightning War) concept developed n the 1930s and put into practice in the first two years of WWII. At the beginning, the vehicle was developed as an armored personnel carrier which, it was envisaged (though never realized), would be used for transport of all infantry units. Rapidly, it became obvious that other uses could be found for the 251 series and by the war's end in 1945, four different marks had ben produced (AUSFs A-D) with the latter, the Ausf. D running to 23 variants. These variants covered everything from the basic APC to versions equipped for AA defence, mortar carriers, vehicles equipped with IR (Infra-Red) Gear, AT guns and even rocket launchers. Few vehicles in history, apart from the M113, have had so many interesting variants and few can be quite as attractive for the modeller for its sheer breadth of possibilities.....
Tank Power Volume X - Sd Kfz 251(Part 2)
is written by Janusz Ledwoch
and is published by the Polish publishing house, Wydawnictwo Militaria
and is number 224 in their armor vehicle series. The book is bi-lingual, Polish/English and all the essential details are translated.
The book follows the format of the other books in this excellent series, the book in its 80 pages also contains no less than ELEVEN pages of full-color 'profiles' of numerous variants. In addition, there are also several pages of 1/35th scale plans.
The book is effectively a companion volume to Tank Power Volume VI - Sd Kfz 251 (Part 1) no. 215
. A review of the first volume, can be seen: HERE...
As was mentioned in the introduction, this book goes from the Sd Kfz 251/11 until the final production 251/23. The 'breakdown' of these variants are as follows:
251/11 - Armored Telephone Vehicle
251/12 - Artillery Command and Spotting Vehicle
251/13 - Artillery Transmission Intercept Vehicle
251/14 - Artillery Spotting Vehicle
251/15 - Artillery Support Vehicle
251/16 - 'Flammpanzer' Flame thrower vehicle
251/17 - AA Vehicle armed with 2cm Flak 38
251/18 - Recce and Communications vehicle.
251/19 - .Telephone Communications Vehicle.
251/20 - 'Night Fighting' Vehicle
251/21 - 'Drilling' AA Vehicle
251/22 - AT Vehicle with Pak 40
251/23 - 'Hunglafette' Turreted 2cm KwK 38
In addition, there is extensive coverage of the Stuka Zu Fuss
which is of particular interest to those building the forthcoming Dragon
kit. There are several pages with extensive detail of both the exterior racks and those all-important interior details.
Each of the variants is covered in minute detail with many unpublished photos. The author has deliberately chosen photos of maximum use to the modeller, with many images concentrating on useful detail. The penultimate part of the book takes a look at the tactical use of the 251 in the following sub-chapters:
Export and Production
Technical Description (chassis, power plant etc.)
Additional Equipment (stowage, spares, pioneer tools etc.)
Tactical Use of Motorized Units
Camouflage and Markings
The final part of the book consists of 8 pages of color photographs of a preserved example followed by 10 pages (each with 3 examples) of full-color profiles.
The Sd Kfz 251 is a subject which is essentially extremely complex. Both this book and its companion volume, go a long way in explaining many of the intricacies. Wydawnictwo Militaria
and in particular Janusz Ledwoch
, have, however, done an extraordinary job in the preparation of these two volumes. I would suggest that these two volumes would not simply be 'vaguely useful' in working with the many good 251 kits we now have available, they would, in effect, be indispensable
for certain of the variants such as the 251/20 'Falke'
or the 251/1 Stuka Zu Fuss
. In the term of the color profiles, many ideas present themselves, in particular for some of the camo schemes used. Another area, which presents problems for the modeller, is the interal arrangements of the variants The majority of the photos have been re-scanned and are a testament to the attention to detail of the author. The images are as crisp and clear as one could wish for. Bearing in mind the amount of models of the 251 on the market from AFV Club
and Dragon Models
and their complexity, for anyone wishing to take their models beyond 'out of the box', these two volumes will be worth their weight in PE....
The Wydawnictwo Militaria
books can be obtained from a number of sources:
In Canada/North America
In Britain/Europe Military Book Centre
Direct from Poland
: Jadar Models
Shortly, I will be putting together a feature on the site which will tie together reviews of reference material, kits and AM material for the 251 series....