Wednesday, July 10

Review: Nuts and Bolts Volume 30: Nebel-, Panzer- und Vielfachwerfer - Maultier Part 2

One of the truly cool weapons the Germans had (if weapons can be “cool” in today’s world) was the six-barrelled rocket Nebelwerfer family. These were feared by their enemies and a welcome sight to the German infantryman. Deployed  on a wheeled trailer, or in an armoured car they are great modelling subjects….And I suppose an interesting subject for a book as well ? Let’s take a look at what the guys at “Nuts and Bolts” make out of it in our review…

by Joachim Baschin, Martin Block, John Nelson, Heinz Tippmann
Published on May 31, 2013
Soft cover A4 Portrait format
German & English text
208 pages
28.90€ + P&P directly from Nuts & Bolts themselves

Nuts and bolts have been serving up a nice little menu of titles which really specialize on a certain subject and it’s variants - with a lot of written text on the subject, accurate plans, a lot of period and current walk around pictures and as a bonus for modellers a few well-made models in each release – well it seems the perfect formula.

This title covers the well know “Werfer” rockets in German service during WWII. Actually to be precise the main weapons are the Nebelwerfer towed 6 barrel rocket launcher, the slightly armoured “Maultier” with rocket launcher on it’s rear deck and the ultimately unsuccessful but still worthwhile mentioning copy of the Katushka – the Vielfachwerfer.
This is a well presented glossy softcover book with a hefty two hundred and eight pages or pictures and information on the subject. Text is in a dual side by side mx of English and German and gee is it packed in there! There is a lot of reading in the large first section and although by nature some of the “numbers” can be hard reading the informative style doesn’t leave you too dry.

The first fifty pages are all historical, with insights into each of the three main types, their development and their orginasitonal deployment in each unit. How the different variants changed through their development and in plusses and minus points of each are freely discussed.  There is also a few paragraphs as to the colours and markings of these weapons and the choices in the modelling world you have (I hope you like old kits – cause this tells you that that’s all there currently is on the market)
There are just on 250 pictures dispersed in this section and mainly in the large portion of pages dedicated to the pictorial history of the werfer family. We start off with the smaller calibre Nebelwerfer and then go through the time to the larger rocketed variants, then through the armoured Panzer werfer tracked trucks from all angles and in snow and mud. This portion of the book ends with the SS sponsored (and constantly lacking ammunition) Vielfachwerfer.

These pictures not only include the generic shots but design promotional and vehicles in development pics, in combat in various theatres, shots of the ammo, vehicles in transport and at rest and even the FW 190 mounted version of the weapon. This is an all-encompassing volume. The text in dual English/German adds quite a lot the pictures as well.

Next is the set of 24 blueprints of the three main types – I noticed that the Authors used measurements from the Vehicles in Samur which is a great step in the right direction towards accuracy.
These drawings are all in 35th scale which is helpful to 85% of modellers of the type I would think- other scales will have to suck it up and scale down or up. Prototypes and the munitions carrier are a thoughtful addition as are the close ups of the rocket rails and ammunition.

Next we get a coloured section of 19 camouflage schemes of each of the werfers – with lovely little pictures of the shots they are representing in the corner of each plate. There are some faithful representations here and interesting subjects.
Lastly there is a big walk around section of close up and walk around pictures of the Werfer family. With shots taken from museum vehicles from all around the world (mentioned in captions) 113 shots show you the Werfers from every angle and these must be a help to all novice historians and modellers.
Speaking of Modellers there are three excellent models displayed in the rear of the book – long with helpful text on the construction models of the Panzer and Vielfachwerfer armoured rocket launchers by Tony Greenland and a lovely little Nebelwerfer by Vinnie Brannigan. This is like a bonus section for all of the modellers out there and pretty inspirational if you are thinking of modelling these subjects.
This isn’t a casual reader’s book – it is as in depth as you would like to get – but in that it is the most concise and interesting book on the werfer family I have read. It is a great book to all those interested in the Werfers.

Adam Norenberg.

This book is available from the Nuts & Bolts site now.