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Standard Catalog of German Military Vehicles

by John Prigent

By David Doyle, kp books (sic). ISBN 0-87349-783-x (sic), 512 pages.

This is a very comprehensive encyclopaedia covering just about every German vehicle used in World War 2, and a valuable replacement for all earlier books of this type since it uses far more recent research. It covers not only tanks, armoured cars, halftracks and other AFVs but the whole range of softskins from motorcycles to the heaviest trucks. I could only spot a few omissions, such as the Flakpanzer I (actually a conversion by the troops so justifiably left out – if all field and workshop conversions were included the book would need to be at least twice as long). There’s no mention of the legendary Panzerbefelswagen III Ausf K with its Panzer IV turret as kitted by DML, either to confirm or refute its existence, but the Panzer IV rebuilds are mentioned though without going into detail since there were so many possible variations.
On the other hand, there are complete rundowns on the SdKfz 250 and 251 series with all their different uses and the best explanation I’ve seen yet of how to distinguish the early and late SdKfz 7s. There are plenty of photographs, including some interior views of the halftracks, and though reproduction on “ordinary” rather than coated paper has left some of them a bit dark they are perfectly adequate for their job of showing the vehicle shapes and types so you can identify the photographs in books with inadequate captions, and those found on ebay with no captions. The coverage of trucks, cars and motorcycles is particularly valuable for this! It has to be remembered that this is not a photobook for modellers looking for unit markings, closeups of details etc but a identification guide, and as such it does its job splendidly.
Highly recommended – now you can throw away those old books with bad or missing information!

My thanks to the author for the review copy.

John Prigent