Nuts and Bolts #13 Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind & Ostwind
Nuts & Bolts Vol 13, Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind (Sd.Kfz.161/4) &
Ostwind by Detlev Terlisten, published by Heiner F. Duske, Tony Greenland and Frank
Schulz, no ISBN number.
The Nuts & Bolts series just keeps getting bigger and better. The new volume on Wirbelwind and Ostwind has been eagerly anticipated, and no reader is going to be disappointed. This one has 88 pages of authoritative text, wartime and new photos, colour plates, 1/35 scale plans, and isometric drawings, all divided into two sections for its two subjects.
The first and longest part covers the Wirbelwind. Bilingual English/German text, as with all books in the series, gives a history of Flakpanzers followed by the development of the Wirbelwind itself. Here the author has had invaluable help from Count von Seherr-Thoss who was technical director of Ostbau-Sagan which actually built the vehicles, and the technical details
given can be taken as unquestionably correct. There are even original drawings from the Count's archives showing proposed changes to the Wirbelwind turret which never went into production - a gift for "Wehrmacht 1946" modellers!
A single page on the Flakpanzer III proposed for StuG units shows that it really did exist, although only in prototype form using an Ostwind turret, and is followed by details of Panzer-Fla-Zug organisation, Wirbelwind camouflage and markings, a table of known issues to units, and notes on the surviving Wirbelwinds at Camp Borden and Rendsburg and on available kits. 13 pages of wartime photos, not just good, clear "factory shots" but also Wirbelwinds in action and after capture, are followed by 1/35 plans, isometric drawings to make the turret shape absolutely clear and sketches of known variations - side turret access hatches are known on one vehicle and are shown here as well as in one of the wartime photographs.
Next come no fewer than 43 pages of detail photos of the two survivors, with all external details, hull and turret interiors, and closeups of the Flakvierling which armed the Wirbelwind including excellent shots of its gunsight. About all that's missing are details of the hull-interior ammo stowage arrangements, and that's because neither museum vehicle had retained them to be photographed. A real treasure trove for modellers, which will let them add even more detail to the New Connections upgrade set or have a go at correcting the errors of the new Tamiya kit for themselves. In the middle of this section are four pages of excellent colour plates.
Attention then moves on to the Ostwind, and this section is much shorter owing to the unfortunate lack of any surviving vehicles to be photographed. Again, it starts with a bilingual text describing with Count von Seherr-Thoss' help all that's known of its development and technical details. 1/35 plans are fleshed out by isometric drawings, and there are three pages of wartime photos including one very rare in-service shot. Although necessarily short, these sections will be a great help to modellers of the announced Italeri kit or New Connections conversion set.
This is all great stuff, and no modeller of German panzer should miss getting it. On which note, the back cover shows that volumes 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9 are out of print so snap them up if you see them on sale anywhere! Forthcoming volumes are announced to cover the Nashorn, 15cm sIG auf Panzer I, and Sd. Kfz. 11 halftrack.
My thanks to Heiner Duske for the review copy. The Nuts & Bolts books
can be ordered direct from Angela Schulz, Muellerstrasse 6, 29525 Uelzen, Germany,
fax (+49) 581 79216, from Historex Agents, Wellington House, 157 Snargate Street, Dover, Kent CT17 9BZ, UK, www.historex-agents.demon.co.uk, from VLS in the USA, form Azimut in France and from Aber in Poland.
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