Wednesday, June 25

Review - we take a look at Nuts and Bolts #32 - Medium cross-country lorries of the Reichswehr & Wehrmacht

Nuts and Bolts series has a new subject in its headlights – the several types of medium cross-country trucks of 3 ton capacity and 6x4 wheel drive. They look at the vehicles of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht

Mittlere Geländegängige Lastkraftwagen (o) - The medium cross-country Lorries 3 ton (6x4) of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht
Vol. 32
by Holger Erdmann
Published on May 20, 2014
Soft cover
German & English texts
224 pages
471 photos (279 historic, 45 model, 147 modern)
27 blueprints
16 camouflage schemes, tactical markings, table of organisations
28.90€ directly from Nuts & Bolts distributors worldwide

We have had the pleasure of looking at a few of the Nuts & Bolts series. TO date we have found them to be a very well put together series which lets you know all there is about the subject they take on. With the emergence of the recent softskin kits of German subjects (and not before time either) the need for these to be covered is now upon us.  Who better to detail the medium cross-country Lorries (commercial) – m. gl. Lkw. (o) – of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht.
You may not be au-fait with this particular truck – but it is the very large three axled  3.5 tonne workhorse of the German effort from the 20’s through the war and after. We even see one here used up until recent times as a back-up vehicle in the cold war. A hardy design indeed and we see in this book’s technical and general description just how versatile and long lasting the strong design was.

Technical diagrams and photos help break up and explain the text.
This is a weighty book – although this is a softcover in a slightly larger than A4 portrait format it has a lot inside those covers. There is  224 pages inside this book filled with German & English text side by side, thirty five pages is packed – and I mean packed with technical information accompanied with some black and white pictures and technical diagrams. The nook itself comes in at a total of 471 photos (279 historic, 45 model, 147 modern) which the authors have included twenty-seven blueprints and sixteen full colour camouflage schemes, tactical markings, and a detailed unit table of organisation.

As well as black and white there are several colour photos of beautifully restored vehicles ad museum pieces in this book as well
This is a book with a thick quality feel and a solid spine on the glossy finish.
The first section of the book totals about thirty-five pages. It traces in great detail every aspect of the development of these vehicles was started in the second half of the 1920s and it traces the development of these trucks (and the evolution of the variants) through the time of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht in the 1930s till the second world war and after..

The book’s first section of a LOT of block text tells of the changes that these vehicles faced especially in the course of the Second World War. Meant to be used on roads and hard surfaces with some mild cross country capability they found themselves in the snow and ice of Europe’s and eastern front, to the rocky deserts of Africa. The book describes every part of the vehicle from the wheels up to the various outer- skins and the different cabs and back cargo sections that were manufactured.

If you want to get deep into the subject this is the place...
This section of the book is almost like a different book in itself and it isn’t for the casual reader. This if fir someone really interested in EXACTLY how this truck was made and how it evolved. The lucky thing is the book gets lighter from here on in word count.  For those interested though you could not ask for a better grouping of info on these trucks.

During the war, these vehicles had to face strains in the different theaters of operations for which they had not been developed. Nevertheless, many of these lorries served until the end of the war. Only a few vehicles have survived until today. This was partially caused by the shortage of transportation vehicles in Europe after the war. Due to this, most remaining vehicles were driven to destruction.

The model kits of this series of trucks has been taken on by Mr Heiner Duske, Tony Greenland and Vinnie Brannigan – some real talented modellers right there. I have to laugh at this section a little as I have made the same kit they are talking about and ohh the memories came flooding back of repressed anger and frustration at the fallibilities of the kit plastic made by ICM. I think back now though and it wasn’t all that bad? Maybe it is time making my memories fade I do not know but i can relate to the honesty of what is written here.

Tables of organization help you understand how and when the truck was used
Helpfully the authors have gone through all of the mistakes in the ICM kit and pointed them out in a graph to hopefully help you along. Later on in the book – and the first inside cover – there are more pictures of these trucks in model form being made. For the life of me I do not know why they are so spread out like this – I think they should all be put together into one section.

While I am at it there are a bunch of acknowledgements at the end of the block text chapter on about page 36. I think this is better served at the start of the book. It is in a hard place to find.

Alter the main reading section your eyes get a rest and there are about ninety pages packed with lots and lots of period photos of these trucks in action. From the earlier versions of pre-war trucks to the wartime variants in all theatres and pretty much every shape you could think of.
The picture galleries of these vehicles show the more unusual aspects of the designs in use – with traction assisting devices, radio trucks, trying to sell the vehicle overseas,  propaganda, fuel and firetrucks, decontamination for clothing, smoke making vehicles, workshops and all types of loads and arrangements are covered. This section, more than any other in the book enables you to understand how many different types and how versatile this long lasting base design sired so many offspring.

The next part features several pages of 35th scale drawings of the main uses for this truck. In all there are twenty-six pages of line drawings illustrating most of the common uses for the truck with options of a hard or soft convertible cab, high wooden sides ad full cabins like what was used in the radio and repair trucks as well as personnel carrying and cargo layouts. I wish model makers would take into account the fuel tank trucks as we need some more of these in this scale!
This is a great section for modellers who want to check on the accuracy and maybe make their own versions of these trucks – like the rest of the book very comprehensive!

Next there are some very well drawn colour profiles of these trucks – you can see as well pictures of the real versions inlaid in the profile spot. Eight pages with two trucks each page that include small unit emblems or special points of interest like a name or motto. I like this section – but again I think it would be better served going into the section that talks about colours of the vehicle – or maybe that section of text should be brought to this section. In any case this is a great thing for modellers as well.

Edit: i have received a very good explanation which is a positive reason why the modelling section has been broken up by the publishers:

"The problem with the split modelling photos on the inner side of the front and back covers and the modelling section from page 212 to 224 has the following reason:

The cover and pages 157 to 224 are printed in 4 colours system, the pages from 1 to 156 are printed in 2 colours systems black and blue. We decided to follow this system to keep the price below 30 €. And even this expanded volume 32 with 224 pages could be sold to the normal price when we have in an average between 160 and 176 pages. Therefore we used the inner sides of the cover for coloured modelling photos."

I think this is a good explanation of the Publisher's thinking - it seems they are giving them something at the cost of editorial flow which I think is great.
Fifty-six pages follow that are a bounty of reference for the modeller or the person wanting to paint one of these trucks they have in a garage! There are seven different trucks preserved in mint condition for the main in museums in Spain, the Netherlands and in Germany that really give you a lovely feeling for these big brutes of trucks. To see them still serving now-days really makes you appreciate the quality of design and build.

We look at all sections of the truck – from close up walk-arounds of some very old and oil stained engines and chassis to the shiny outsides of a fire-red firetruck which is amazing to behold. The photographers have taken some good shots of these trucks and the pictures are all very good reference to complement the rest of the book.
Next we see a continuation of the modelling section of this book. Like I said I really like this part as I share some experience with these modellers with this kit – it should all be bundled up together and not spread through three parts of the book and I'm not sure why that happened.

Tony Greenland’s Krupp L3 H 163  is very impressive with the extra photo etch and stowage details he added – as well as this the solution to having not been given any interior with this kit! Vinnie Brannigan’s Typ 33 is a real head turner in it’s beaten down faded grey colour which I like a lot.

Heiner Duske’s collaboration with Tony Greenland has also been very fruitful in turning out another first class dirty big old Mercedes LG 3000 with faded paint on the rear deck and lots of lovely detail. This modelling section is very good and an inspiration to get cracking on another one.
Well that ends this book. I can say without any messing around this is THE most detailed book on this series of truck I have read – saying that there is more than a lot of casual reader will take in. Lucky there are "light reading" sections in here as well whilst the text at the start of the book covers pretty much all most people would want to know. The profiles are excellent and the pictures of both the modern and the in service vehicles back in time is a wonderful reference not bested anywhere else in one place either.

If you are serious about wanting to know more about these cross country trucks then this is your book.

Adam Norenberg

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