Nuts & Bolts Volume 40: Büssing’s schwere Pz.Spähwagen Part 3

Volume 40: Büssing’s schwere Pz.Spähwagen Part 3: schw.Pz.Spähwagen (SdKfz.234) (8-Rad Tp.) and variants

    by Holger Erdmann & Martin Block
    published on May 20, 201
    soft cover
    German & English texts
    208 pages
    365 photos (175 contemporary photos from manuals, 150 colour photos, 40 models)
    18 camouflage schemes, tactical markings, table of organisation (KStN)

365 photos, of these 175 contemporary photos from manuals, combat and war fronts in b/w, most of them previously unpublished;
150 colour photos of restored vehicles and their components in public and private collections,
40 colour photos of the four models from T.Greenland & V. Branigan, English / German captions,
58 pages English / German text with 5 tables,
28 pages of scale drawings of all versions and details in 1:35 scale from Lieven DeConinck,
18 camouflage schemes from Carlos Vaquerizo with tactical and units signs, for the first time detailed camouflage scheme of the production companies,
3 tables of organization of units (Kriegstärke-Nachweisungen KStN) having these vehicles in their arsenal

The Sd.Kfz. 234 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 234, Special Purpose Vehicle 234), was a family of armoured cars designed and built in Germany during World War II. The vehicles were lightly armoured, armed with a 20, 50 or 75 mm main gun, and powered by a Tatra V12 diesel engine.

The first two volumes (Nuts & Bolts No. 35 and 36) in the 8-wheeled armoured car series of the Wehrmacht, did not describe the complete story of these impressive 8-wheeled vehicles, since they dealt exclusively with variants on the Büssing-NAG chassis GS. Even before the impending military operations in North Africa, the military leadership demanded an armoured scout vehicle, better adapted to the climatic conditions, the great distances and the tactical requirements of a desert war than the vehicle family on the GS chassis, and therefore awarded the contract to Büssing-NAG for the development of a successor type, which was based on the Tp chassis.
Now with the release of Volume 3 the rest of the story can be told.

The book starts with the development of the vehicle plus variants that were also produced. What is covered after this is information regarding production, unit history, camouflage & markings etc...(See contents below for other sections covered) This takes up 1/4 of the book.

The various sections of the book are:

    Technical Description
    Tables of Organisation and Equipment,
    Allocations and Unit Histories
    Frontline Trial
    Experience Reports
    Allied Testing
    Contemporary Photos
    Colour Profiles
    Preserved Vehicles and Components

The last 3/4 is the main, in my opinion, the best part containing the Contemporary photos, 1/35 scale drawings of all variants. This is followed with colour profiles of various types and camouflage and markings. Next up we find an excellent section on preserved vehicles and components covering internal areas plus the engine.

Unfortunately, only three vehicles of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series have survived. One Sd.Kfz. 234/3 at The Tank Museum, Bovington, Great Britain (TIM), one Sd.Kfz. 234/4 at the National Armor and Cavalry Museum Fort Benning, GA, USA (MFB) and one Sd.Kfz. 23414 at the Panzermuseum Munster, Germany (PMM). Furthermore, a 5 cm KW.K. 39/1 and a Tatra 103 engine are displayed at Munster. Several fragments of a Sd.Kfz. 234/2 were found in the private collection Becker (PSB). Because the turret of the Sd.Kfz. 250/9 Ausf. B is identical to the turret of the Sd.Kfz. 234/1; several photographs of the turret of the vehicle displayed at the Panzermuseum Kubinka, Russia (PMK) are shown. The photographs of ammunition, radios etc. originate from the Museum fUr historische Wehrtechnik, R6thenbach, Germany (MWR).

The book finishes with a selection of built kits from Tony Greenland and a super detailed build of a Sd. Kfz. 243/3 by Vinnie Branigan.

As with past volumes of Nuts & Bolts you find a very thorough and detailed description of a vehicle that is being covered. The photos and information gathered and presented in this volume is first rate and does a fine job at providing the development and history of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series. Combine Volumes 35 & 36 and you will have an excellent description of these vehicles.

Well worth the money!

Highly Recommended

Many thanks to those at Nuts & Bolts for this copy to review.

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