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Book Review of

"Schwerer Gelandegangiger Personenkfraftwagen and Successors"


By Christophe Jacquemont


Basic Item Information


Schwerer Gelandegangiger Personenkfraftwagen and Successors


Alan Ranger


MMP Books




Soft Cover

Number of Pages

80 Pages
Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations

132 Black/White Photos

Text Language


Retail Price

$25 USD


Christophe Jacquemont

Review Date

July 19, 2022

Review Summary

Review Type

Full Read 

Basic Positive Features

Very well documented coverage of the subject with new, never-before published photographs

Basic Negative Features None


A Must Have




Detailed Review

At the time I am writing this review, this book is the latest volume of the Camera On series, which started back in 2017. For me, as a German WW2 military vehicle enthusiast and modeler, this series was the best surprise of the last few years. It delivers high quality books containing all new unpublished material and backed by expert information. This information not only covers the subject matter, but also the specific circumstances of each photograph.

The book starts with over three and a half pages of text providing a thorough examination of the three different types of vehicles covered within: the Horch Typ 108, the Steyr 1500 and the Mercedes Benz L 1500.  The introduction also provides details on the many official Kfz designations of the vehicles. For instance, Kfz. 31 was the ambulance version (Krankenwagen) and Kfz. 81 the light anti-aircraft version (Leichter Flakkraftwagen). The introduction also covers the different production runs of the Horch Typ 108, built by manufacturers Horch and Ford Germany. A presentation of the various Steyr production versions is next and is followed by an appraisal of the Mercedes 1500 A and S types.

But, as with other volumes in this series, this book is primarily a photographic collection. What is interesting is that the photos are very well chosen and exclusively provided in this volume. I have a keen interest in the vehicles covered in this book, so I own many references on the subject and have collected thousands of pics from the Internet.  Yet, I had never seen any of the photographs published before! In addition, the quality of the photos is mostly very good.  However, the author acknowledges (as always) that the quality of the book photos is dependent on that of the original pictures.  These were often printed very small as was the norm at the time.  Also, these photos were usually taken by the common soldiers, amateur photographers. This means that whilst most photos in the book look great (even in full page), a few appear slightly washed out and not as sharp as could be. But all in all, given the source material, an excellent job has been done.

The photos are presented in three (3) main chapters covering the Horch Typ 108, the Steyr 1500 and the Mercedes Benz L 1500, respectively. The Horch Typ 108 is covered from page 7 to page 64, which is the bulk of the volume. Vehicles are shown in various theaters of war (Germany, Austria, France, Italy, North Africa, Eastern Front, etc...)  and in various conditions (from new to mine damaged). It is a fantastic collection of photos! I personally think that the many pics provided of the ambulances seen in Germany and Libya, alone warrants the purchase of this book!

The Mercedes-Benz 1500A follows, from pages 65 to 71. Photos of this vehicle are rather rare so it's still a nice collection, despite the small number of pages. Of interest are several pics of a doctor's vehicle, showing a white bonnet and adorned with a red cross.  This photo should inspire many a model project I am sure. The Steyr 1500 ends the volume, covering pages 72 to 80.  Again, the photos provided are really interesting and most welcome. But being a big fan of the vehicle type, I would have loved to see more.  Also on the plus side, many great photos of the command version (Kommandeurwagen) are provided. One of note shows a unique field-built anti-aircraft car (more on that one later).

As always with this series, the captions are very thorough, containing detailed background information. Although the caption information is usually based on solid evidence, sometimes, the author must offer his opinion on some occasions.  Usually, his judgement is as accurate as can be expected, considering the circumstances. On a small few, I do have some doubts.  For instance, I was puzzled looking at some vehicles with dates in 1941 and 1942 as they look too light to be colored dark grey.  However, dust, film processing and light conditions can change the appearance so much, I am willing to trust the authors judgement. Besides that, I only found one error in the entire book.  It concerns the photo showing the Anti-Aircraft gun equipped Steyr at the bottom of page 72.  I believe that it does not have a 37mm Breda 37/54 gun mounted as mentioned. The gun barrel is much too thin (probably 20mm) and the general features do not match my references. I must say I have difficulty identifying the gun myself as it looks a lot like an Italian 20mm Breda 20/65 mod.35. AA gun, yet significant characteristics differ. With all this being said, one slight caption error for 132 photos is really trivial and Im very pleased with the book.


For modellers, this is a fantastic reference as Im sure many of the photos will prompt building projects or dioramas. Thankfully, the book vehicles are well covered in scale model form, specifically in 1/35. For instance, the Horch Typ 108 is represented by Tamiya's legendary kit from the 1970s, and the most recent ones by ICM.  In 1/48 there is also a Tamiya Horch model. The Japanese brand again covers the Steyrs in 1/35 and 1/48, while ICM and Miniart take care of the Mercedes 1500s in 1/35. Many kits also exist in 1/72 as well. Military vehicle enthusiasts will also definitely want to add this reference to their library, simply due to the excellent photos, all of which are published nowhere else. Finally, I want to add that considering the excellent information and photographic content provided for the price, this book is an excellent value for the money; as with the other volumes in the Camera Onseries.


A Must Have.


Thanks to Casemate Publishers for the Review Sample.

Copyright: Christophe Jacquemont - July 2022