I am extremely pleased to get hold of the next four books in the excellent Camera On series, written by Alan Ranger, and published by Mushroom Model Publications. The standard format is softback, A4 size, with 80 pages stuffed with photos from Alan’s personal collection. Each book has around 120 wartime photos, each one printed sharply on good quality paper, and providing excellent details about the subject vehicles and the context that they are in. The books begin with a couple of pages of explanation about the subject matter, and then the rest of the book is solid photos.
Vol. 5: Sd.Kfz.10 Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1t.
This volume covers the light half-track of the German army, which mainly served as a prime-mover for light PaK guns and howitzers, later on becoming the tractor for guns which were simply too large for such a little vehicle, such as the 50mm Pak 38 and sIG33 infantry gun….. The book concentrates on these vehicles, with occasional photos of the Sd.Kfz.10/4 and /5, which were the vehicles mounting the 20mm FlaK guns. These FlaK versions are dealt with separately in volume 8 in this series.
Vol. 6: Einheits-Diesel
The Einheits-Diesel was a six-wheeled truck designed by the Germans to become a standardised vehicle produced by different manufacturers. In practice, the truck turned out to be heavy, complicated and difficult to maintain, with an unsatisfactory payload for such an expensive vehicle. Production ended in late 1940, after 12.000 had been produced. The Einheits-Diesel tended to be used for specialised roles, rather than for hauling loads of general cargo, and this book illustrates the range of different purposes that the vehicle was used for. A significant number were produced with a wooden office box-body, and these are shown in clear photos in the book, although the different versions are extremely difficult to tell apart.
Vol. 7: Hotchkiss H35 and H39 through a German lens
Unusually, this book in the series features French vehicles, the Hotchkiss light tanks, which were very numerous in the campaign of 1939-40. These two-man tanks formed the backbone of French armoured units, alongside the Somua cavalry tanks and the Char B heavy tanks. The Hotchkiss vehicles, and the similar Renaults, were lost and left scattered across the battlefields of Belgium and France, where they were extensively photographed by the curious Wehrmacht soldiers. This book features photos of wrecks and abandoned tanks, and gives a very detailed view of what these Hotchkiss tanks looked like in their final moments!
Vol. 8: Sd.Kfz.10/4 and 10/5 Selbstfahrlafette
This book explores the two similar Flak vehicles, namely the 10/4 which mounted the 2cm. Flak 30, and the 10/5 which carried the Flak 38. The changeover seems loosely linked to the move between the ausf.A and B chassis, but in reality the two things do not coincide. The photos are really excellent, and provide a lot of details for improving the kits on the market. Because of the overlap between the two types, and the other changes that took place in the chassis, it is quite important to study the photos carefully.
These books are superb collections of photos. The captions in each book do contain the very occasional error or questionable interpretation, but this does not detract from the immense value of the books which are written by a modeller for modellers, and where the subject matter is specifically aimed at improving models and dioramas. At around £15 per book, these are outstanding value and really worth getting! Highly recommended.