Volume 2 of the Camera On series, by Alan Ranger, MMP Books (2017)
The Sd.Kfz.7 is a vehicle surely familiar to every modeller, whether from the Airfix kit with the 88mm gun, or from the old Tamiya kit. The iconic half-track that appeared in so many guises on every front, the Sd.Kfz.7 was a real workhorse for all branches of the German armed forces and their allies.
Alan Ranger has gathered together photos taken by soldiers at the time, and the 88 pages of the book average two photos per page, printed large and clear for maximum visibility. Compared to the photos in some other books, these are shown very sharply focussed, and the careful choice of pictures has ensured that the reader can learn a lot from the images.
The book opens with four pages of text, putting the vehicle into context and explaining the key chassis
types. The first chapters cover the m8, m9 and m10 versions, which all had a shorter track run and fewer wheels each side. From page 47 onwards, the book covers the familiar m11 type which had three-quarter length tracks and the larger number of roadwheels that are much more commonly seen in wartime service.
Coverage of the vehicle is extensive, with much of the focus on the artillery tractor versions. It is important to point out what the book does not cover: the flak versions, the late-war simplified versions, and the specialised versions – indeed the only version covered is the ‘7’ itself, and not the 7/1 to 7/9 variants. While photos of the Sd.Kfz.7 are not rare, it is extremely useful to gather so many new photos in one place, and at £15 this book is extremely good value. Highly recommended!
Chris Lloyd Staples