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Book Review of

"4-Wheeled Armoured Cars In Germany WW2"

 

By Patrick Keenan - Editor

 

 

Basic Item Information

Title

4-Wheeled Armoured Cars in Germany WW2

Author

Alan Ranger

Publisher

MMP Books

ISBN

978-83-65958-78-5

Media

Soft Cover Book

Number of Pages

80 Pages
Number of Photographs 150 Black/White Photos

Text Language

English

Retail Price

$25 USD

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan - Editor

Review Date

September 14, 2020

Review Summary

Review Type

Full Read 

Basic Positive Features Most of the photos provided in the book have never been published before.
Basic Negative Features None

Recommendation

A "Must Have"

Photos

                             

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Detailed Review

This review is of the new book "4-Wheeled Armoured Cars in Germany WW2" authored by Alan Ranger and published by MMP Books.  The book is the 21st release in MMP's "Camera On" Series of books. The review copy was provided by WarWheels sponsor Casemate Publishers.

When I first heard about the release of this book, I had a couple questions come to mind.  The first one was "what vehicles are covered in the book"?  Well, after quickly scanning the book, I came to find that the vehicles covered in the book are:

  • Kfz 13 Maschinegewehrkraftwagen

  • Kfz 14 Funkkraftwagen

  • Sdkfz 221 (M.G.) leichter Panzerspahwagen*

  • Sdkfz 222 (2 cm M.G.) leichter Panzerspahwagen *

  • Sdkfz 223 (Fu) leichter Panzerspahwagen *

  • Sdfkz 247 Ausf B. schwerer gelandegangiger gepanzerter Personenkraftwagen

  • Sdkfz 260 kleiner Panzerfunkwagen

  • Sdkfz 261 kleiner Panzerfunkwagen

* The majority of the book is dedicated to these vehicles.

 

The second question I had was, "Does the book replicate the numerous references covering the above subjects or does it provide new/unique coverage of the aforementioned vehicles"?  After all, I wouldn't necessarily want to purchase a reference that provides the same information and photos that I already have in my collection.  The answer to that question is that this book does indeed provide unique photographic coverage of German World War Two Era 4-Wheel armored cars.

 

As it relates to the question concerning old vs. new coverage, Mr. Ranger does provide perfectly adequate background information of the vehicles covered so as to give the entire work a solid frame of reference.  However, the book's basic textual information does not provide a lot of unique or new information when compared to previous references available to us.  Secondly though, Mr. Ranger makes it clear in the book's introduction that the purpose of his new reference is not to retread subject matter contained in the multitude of other references covering 4-wheeled German armored cars, but to provide "new" and unique photographic coverage never seen before.

 

With that being said, one type of textual information the author does provide "above and beyond" other books, are descriptions of the visual differences between production lots of each armored car type, which one can use to help identify vehicles from each batch.  Although not unique, those descriptions are not normally provided in other books. Finally, the author excels in providing very detailed captions for each photograph.  The captions contain a myriad of background details about each photograph (when available), including the area of operations, timeframe and unit(s) involved.  Mr. Ranger also provides "bonus" details about each photo including unique aspects of the vehicles/personell shown, most notably the production batches of some of the cars as mentioned above.  

   

Now on to the main point of the book, the presentation of unique photographs.  This is where this reference sets itself apart from others and becomes truly unique.  The author provides approximately 150 black/white photographs that have NOT been seen in any other books.  They come from his and others' personal collections. Most of the photographs contained in the book were originally taken by service members and found their way into the author's (and others) collections, so they would indeed be mostly unpublished.  I did briefly scan my references covering the Sdkfz.  221, 222, 223, etc. and did NOT find any of the photos provided in this book, so the author's claim looks to be legit.

 

As for the quality of the photographs, they range from excellent to fair, although surprisingly most are good to very good images.  After all, the pics were taken by non-professionals, so the quality would not normally be expected to be at a professional level.  The sub-average photographs the author does include is by design as he probably rationalized that a fair quality photograph of a unique vehicle or detail is better than none.  I wholeheartedly agree with this reasoning.

 

Conclusion

The new book "4-Wheeled Armoured Cars in Germany WW2" by author Alan Ranger, is indeed a unique and welcome addition to the plethora of references available covering the Sdkfz 221, 222, 223, etc. vehicles.  It provides sound background information about the vehicles featured, with the addition of a very large number of unique and interesting photos never before published.

 

A "Must Have".

 

Thanks to Casemate Publishers for the Review Sample.

 
Copyright: Patrick Keenan - September 2020