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MMP Books, Camera On #32, Staff Cars in Germany WW2, Vol. 3

ISBN Number: 978-83-67227-19-3 Publisher: MMP
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2024 Retail Price: $22.00 USD
Reviewed By: Chuck Aleshire

MMP Books

Staff Cars in Germany WW2

Volume 3

MMP Books is back with another in their series of "Camera On" photographic studies of machines of war. This series appears to focus mostly on German World War II subjects. This series of books covers a wide range of interesting vehicles and weapons, and are largely made up of previously unpublished, privately taken photos sourced by the author. The books in this series are all of a similar size and format, with good production qualities seen thus far. The books all share a distinctive green colored spine, making them immediately recognizable on a book shelf.

What is interesting in particular about this series of books, is that the images are not your usual official, propaganda type photos, but are mainly images taken by the soldiers themselves. As explained by the author in his forward, this is a bit of a double edged sword, as along with interesting, fresh images, there can be some less than perfect images included as well. That said, the occasional less than perfect image of a rare or interesting subject is certainly preferable to no image at all.

The subject of this volume is the line of Mercedes Benz Staff Cars used by Germany’s military in WWII. 

Vital Statistics

Format - softcover, portrait format 

Page Count - 84 pages

Size - 11.5" x 8.5"

Photos - all black and white period images

Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - none

 All text and photograph captions are in English.

What's in the Book?

This book has no table of contents as such, below is a brief listing of the vehicles appearing in this book.

This volume opens with a two page Introduction which explains a bit of the rather convoluted formation of the Mercedes Benz company in 1926, with some biographical information on the persons involved. After this Introduction, the book moves immediately to the vehicle descriptions and images.

Mercedes 170V, Model-W136

Mercedes 170 Cabriolet A type, and B type

Mercedes 170 Sun Roof

Mercedes 170 Limousine

Mercedes 170 Kübelwagen (including radio car variants)

Mercedes 200, 230, & 260

Mercedes 260 & 320 Kübelwagen

Mercedes 320 (4 variants)

Mercedes 540

Mercedes G4

As these books are primarily pictorial examinations, there is not a whole lot of extensive text blocks to be found in this book. However, the photo captions are quite informative, giving a lot of information on what is pictured. The author makes good use of space in this volume, the space between photos is largely filled by the photo captions.

The images vary somewhat in quality as explained by the author’s Foreword, which explains that most images in this book were informal snap shots taken by common soldiers, not by dedicated propaganda company photographers. Some images are a bit dark or grainy, but are included due to subject matter or general interest. 

The images found in this book are a wide range of photographs showing Mercedes staff cars in a wide variety of situations and locations, from North Africa to French coast, from Norway to Russia. Quite a few of these images are clearly candid shots taken at convoy stops, or at petrol stations, or while changing a flat tire. Some images are clearly photos taken of friends for the “folks back home”.

Above left, note the great camouflage job on that Mercedes!

As stated earlier, the main source of information on the various Mercedes staff cars is found in the extensive photo captions. These captions provide a wealth of information on the vehicles and sometimes stray a bit beyond what’s pictured. 

There are no formal technical data, performance or production number tables provided in the book, but much of this information can be found in the text. In the case of some of these base vehicles, it’s interesting to see the wide variety of variants produced, and how many there were of them.

Above - an example of the opening page of a section on a Mercedes staff car type.


The lack of a table of contents bothers me more than it should, given how easy it is to flip through the pages of a slim volume like this one to find what you’re seeking. Production and variant types information on the different models can be found in the book, but would be quicker to access if this information was in table form. Neither of these relatively minor quibbles are in my opinion deal breakers, but I felt for an honest review, they needed mentioning.

The above said, the wide range of photographs in this book will be quite fascinating to those with an interest in German WWII staff cars, particularly to Mercedes fans. It is nice to have this quite wide array of photographs in this single volume. The extensive photo captions are interesting, quite informative, and well written. 

This book will be useful to those with an interest in these iconic WWII German staff cars.


Thanks to Casemate Books for the review copy

Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland

AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region


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