Bussing’s schwere Pz.Spahwagen Part 3: schwere Pz.Spahwagen (Sdkfz. 234) (8-Rad Tp) and Variants
Basic Item Information
Authors: Holger Erdman & Martin Block //// Illustrators: Lieven E. De Coninck & Carlos de Diego
Subject: Sdkfz 234 Series of Armored Cars
Media: Soft Cover
Number of Pages: 208 Pages
Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations: (177) B/W & (186) Color photos; (75) B/W & (43) Color illustrations/drawings.
Text Language: Full English and German Text
Basic Positive Features: The book provides all you could ever want in one book. It covers ALL known variants of the Sdkfz 234 series by including very detailed information and a generous number of photographs, 1/35 line drawings and color profiles.
Basic Negative Features: None Noted
Recommendation: A “Must Have”
Nuts & Bolts is a German publisher that specializes in high quality and very detailed reference books covering German World War II era vehicles. Not only do they cover German manufactured vehicles, but vehicles utilized by Wehrmacht and SS troops (i.e. The Pzkfw 38t). N&B does not produce your run-of-the-mill general references. They actually release books for us hardcore German vehicle junkies/addicts. Although military vehicle enthusiasts would appreciate these books, they are geared toward hobby modelers.
This review is of their book “Bussing’s schwere Pz.Spahwagen Part 3: schwere Pz.Spahwagen (Sdkfz. 234) (8-Rad Tp) and Variants (Volume 40)”. The vehicles covered in this volume are:
· Bussing-NAG 8-Rad Tp. Trial Vehicles
· schwere Panzerspahwagen 2 cm (Sdkfz 234/1)
· schwere Panzerspahwagen 5 cm (Sdkfz 234/2)
· schwere Panzerspahwagen 7.5 cm (Sdkfz 234/3)
· schwere Panzerspahwagen 7.5 cm PAK 40 (Sdkfz 234/4)
· Sdkfz 234/3 with 2 cm Schwebelafette 38 (Limited Production)
· Sdkfz 234/2 with (Sdkfz 123) "Luchs" Turret (Limited Production)
· Sdkfz 234 with 7.5cm k. (Rheinmetall) L/48 Gun (Proposed)
· Sdkfz 234 with MG 151 "Drilling" (Proposed)
This book is divided into two (2) large sections, one focusing on information about/data covering the Sdkfz 234 series of armored cars and the other on photographs of the vehicles.
The Information sections in this book are presented in the following order:
· Technical Description
· Tables of Organization and Equipment
· Allocations and Unit Histories
· Frontline Trial
· Experience Reports
· Allied Testing
The Photographic sections in this book are presented in the following order:
· Contemporary Photos
· Color Profiles
· Preserved Vehicles
· Modeling (1/35 Kits)
For more information about the photos, please go to the “Photograph/Illustration Quality and Selection” section of this review.
Accuracy of Information
Comparing the book to the information/references I have in my personal collection which cover the Sdkfz 234 armored car series, I find it to be very accurate. The two main sources I used are "Panzerspaehwagen- Sdkfz 3 to Sdkfz 263" (Panzer Tracts No. 13) and "Schwerer Panzerspaehwagen (Sdkfz 234)" (Museum Ordnance Special Number 24- Darlington Productions, Inc.) by Thomas Jentz.
I did not identify any wrong or misleading information contained in this book and there is absolutely no reason for me to believe the information is inaccurate in any way. I don’t think I missed any significant errors either as the Nuts & Bolts book series has a very good reputation of being some of the best references available.
Photograph/Illustration Quality and Selection
The book contains a total of 177 black/white photos, 186 color photos, 75 black/white line drawings and 43 color illustrations. Starting with the photos, their quality ranges from fair to excellent, with a majority being of very good quality. The handful of photos which I would consider being of fair quality tend to usually have a reason for their sub-par nature, yet were thankfully included in the book due to their being unique. In my opinion, the two (2) major reasons for sub par quality of that limited number of photographs is either they were taken by non-professional photographers (e.g. German service personnel/vehicle crews) or due to the poor lighting/locations of the preserved vehicles (i.e. at the Museums).
As for the selection of photos contained in this book, that is one of its greatest strengths. Nuts & Bolts covers all types of photographic sources including the vehicle manufacturers, German Government Archives, preserved museum pieces* and many “in action” photos taken by the vehicle crews and other service personnel. Finally, there are also photographs of completed 1/35 hobby models of the main vehicle variants as well as the Sdkfz 234 with 2cm Schwebelafette 38.
*There are only three (3) surviving relatively intact vehicles in existence; one (1) Sdkfz 234/3 and two (2) 234/4 variants. However, the author has also included photos of other relevant parts/components to the vehicle series. These include a 2 cm Hangelafette 38 turret from an Sdkfz 250/9 Halftrack, which was also used on the Sdkfz 234/1, and a preserved 5cm KwK 39/1 gun, Tatra 103 engine and other assorted pieces from an Sdkfz 234/2.
On to the illustrations…An incredible number of excellent illustrations are also provided in the book including (75) 1/35 black/white line drawings by Lieven De Coninck and (43) color illustrations by Carlos de Diego. Mr. De Coninck provides line drawings of ALL the vehicles covered in the book; starting with the trial vehicles, through the four (4) production variants and concluding with the one off conversions and even the proposed variants (as described in the "Background" Section above).
In addition, Mr. de Diego's attractive (43) color illustrations depict (18) different vehicles photographically depicted, minus the proposed vehicle with the L/48 gun.
Finally, one set of five (5) non-scaled color drawings (not attributed) are provided showing the factory applied camouflage on the Sdkfz 234/4 vehicle located at Panzermuseum Munster, Germany.
Use as Reference
The Nuts & Bolts series of books are considered some of the best German vehicle references available. This edition on the Sdkfz 234 series of armored cars is no exception. It is excellent! It covers the entire plethora of variants from the first trial vehicles, through the production armored cars and finishes with "one-off" conversions as well as the proposed variants (as described in the "Background" Section above).
In addition, you are provided with many different types of information in just one book. Not only do you get a huge number of unique photographs, color plates and line drawings, but you are provided with detailed information about the vehicles including their history, technical aspects, production numbers, camo/markings, unit assignments and even a decent amount on hobby modeling. There is information provided as well as color photographs of completed 1/35 hobby models of the main variants as well as the Sdkfz 234 with 2cm Schwebelafette 38.
This book is an excellent reference for modelers as well as vehicle enthusiasts. If you could only have one book in your reference library on the Sdkfz 234 series of vehicles, you couldn’t go wrong picking this book as that one.
Editing of Information/ Text Flow
The full text is provided in both German and English. The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information that is provided is also excellent. The information is also provided in a logical and organized way and wasn’t confusing.
Quality of Print Medium
The construction of this soft cover book is very sturdy when compared to other softbound books on the market, and should stand up to normal use/reading with no problems. Also the paper used in the book is thicker than "normal” and adds to the overall high quality and ruggedness of this book.
Once again, Nuts & Bolts lives up to its excellent reputation with the publishing of this book. If you are at all interested in the Sdkfz 234 series of armored cars, this book is most definitely for you. The book provides all you could ever want in one book. It covers ALL known variants of the Sdkfz 234 series (both production and proposed) by including very detailed information, tons of photos and a generous number of both 1/35 line drawings and color profiles.
Recommendation: “A Must Have”
Thanks to Nuts & Bolts Verlag GbR. for the Review Sample.
Reviewed by Patrick Keenan - AMPS Chicagoland
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