MMP Books presents:
Camera On: Opel Blitz
Alan Ranger and the "Camera On" team strikes again by providing yet another exceptionally well done collection and brief history of the ubiquitous German work horse, the Opel Blitz, contained in Volume #24. In this particular volume, the author points out that all these pictures were taken by ordinary soldiers in the field possibly taking them for posterity and not by the PK (propaganda Korps) cameramen. This is certainly an added bonus, especially for modelers who attempt to portray their vehicles in front line or near frontline environments. Many of these pictures are from the author's private collection so they haven't been widely seen up until now, and with a careful study of these photos, one can always find unique or otherwise unknown details that can be added to the next project.
The author does not attempt to give a complete, detailed history of the Opel Blitz's development and use; however, within the "Introduction" section, he does provide the reader quite a bit of background and development information that will certainly sure to generate greater interest in learning more about the Opel Blitz family. Just to illustrate how widely the German army utilized the Opel Blitz 'family', the Opel Blitz was given the (military) designation of Kfz. 305 and would precede the number assigned for a specific use (i.e. Kfz. 305/70 - parachute warehouse vehicle, etc.). This volume contains a list of over seventy Kfz. 305 designations followed by their specific use though there were many more service roles for the Opel Blitz. The text is clear, non-technical and easy to read and it could be challenging to put it down.
- Opel Blitz 2.6 Liter 1.5t
- Opel Blitz 3.5-134 & 3.5-157, 2t & 2.5t
- Opel Blitz 2.0-12, 1t
- Opel Blitz 3.5-36 & 3.6-36 3t
- Opel Blitz 2.5-35 1.5 ton
Size: 8 5/16 x 11 5/8
Stock: Sturdy, thick gloss cover all around. Pages are satin stock.
Pages: 84 pages (nearly every page containing photos)
Nearly every photo is clear and provides a wealth of interesting detail. This particular one was taken in March 1938, Chemnitz, Germany, a day after the Austrian "Anschluss." Note the German field kitchen on the rear bed of an Opel Blitz 1.5 ton, 1925 pattern truck. This "Camera On" volume as noted above, contains some pre-war photos which are invaluable in tracking their history when comparing later war photos for production changes.
With the exception of the few pages in the "Introduction" section, every page contains at least one photo accompanied by a description of the author's observations and actions on whatever is happening. Descriptions of what's going on in the photo and/or interesting details about the Opel are clearly noted by the author and adds to the enjoyment of the book.
Here the author points out a 1 ton Opel Blitz assigned to a medical unit crossing a prefabricated bridge over the Pivdennyi-Buh River. This photo is somewhat unique as the use of 1 and 1.5 ton Opel Blitz's were very limited in use by the German military, though many were only suitable for service in non-combat areas. All the captioned photos contain invaluable information on the various Opel Blitz's contained in this volume.
Notice the radiator cover/blanket on this one. Here the author points out the extra protection tarp covering over the standard tarp covering the top and sides. You're not going to see a PK cameraman capture those details.
Here we've got an Opel 3 ton 'S' type belonging to the Luftwaffe as per the author's description. Painted dark yellow with dark green stripes. The triangle towing indicator on the cab roof is in the upright position.
This would make a great diorama. A very dirty Opel Blitz and bunch of soldiers posing for the camera as they get ready to move out to the next assignment.
In these photos as in others like it, the author is quick to point out interesting details that a casual peruse through these pages might miss. It certainly gives modelers ideas for the next camo paint job or writing on the sides.
The author notes here the item the soldiers are leaning on is actually a wooden sheltered bench which served as a crew seat compartment. This is sure to inspire some scratchbuilders to make one of these for their next Opel Blitz project. Photo was taken in the city of Falaise, June 1944.
Opel Blitz 1.5 ton assigned to the Luftwaffe in Belgium, 1940. Note the location of the Notek light by the seated soldier's foot.
The author stated in his remarks early on, that his objective was to include a variety of interesting Opel Blitz's in service, to include buses, vans and trucks before and during the war, with the emphasis on 'variety' as well as the notable 3 ton class Opel Blitz has been covered in a variety of other reference books. Having spent many nights poring over this volume, I can say the author has succeeded and further provides another gem in the MMP Books collection. Modelers will enjoy this as many photos show a variety of details one can add to their next build, especially since many photos were taken at the front and in or near action. Military vehicle enthusiasts and historians will certainly enjoy this volume due to the variety of vehicle types bearing the Opel Blitz name and logo. This reference tool is quite a value for the money and should find a home in military vehicle libraries everywhere.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders, military vehicle enthusiasts and historians everywhere.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Chuck Willis
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