Book Review June 2017

In Focus 1: Jagdpanzer 38, by Lee Archer. (978-1-908032-13-3, published by Panzerwrecks and distributed by Casemate Distributed in the U.S. by Casemate, 908 Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19083, 610.853.9131; www.casemategroup.com. Softcover, 11” x 8.25”, 112 pages 117 photos and 7 color illustrations, 2016, $37.95)

In Focus 1: Jagdpanzer 38 is the first in a new series of books from Panzerwrecks. As its titles implies, the subject is the German Jagdpanzer 38 tank hunter. The subject has been written about before and many photos published, but this book combines 20 years original research and gathering of materials to take a look at the vehicle using 117 rare large format photographs over 112 pages. These are supplemented by specially commissioned high quality artwork by Felipe Rodna. The author and artist have worked closely together and incorporated the latest findings to offer the reader the most authentic color plates of the Jagdpanzer 38 yet published.

Kübelwagen/Schwimmwagen: A Visual History of the German Army’s Multi-Purpose Vehicle, by David Doyle. (978-1944367039, The Ampersand Group. available from David Doyle Books, PO Box 172287, Memphis, TN 38187, orders@DavidDoyleBooks.com; www.DavidDoyleBooks.com. Softcover, 10.9” x 8.7”, 136 pages, more than 250 color and black-and-white images, 2016, $22.95).

The vehicle that was to become the Type 82 Kübelwagen had its roots in the development of the Volkswagen “People’s Car.” With war clouds gathering over Europe, the efforts of the Volkswagen facility were turned to the production of military vehicles. In January 1938 work began in earnest on the vehicle that would come to be popularly known as the Kübelwagen.

The term “Kübelwagen” means “bucket car” and was actually applied to a variety of vehicles from a number of makers, but has come to be synonymous with the Volkswagen Type 82. Even under the skilled tutelage of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, two years of work and testing were required before the Kübelwagen  took its classic form. It was soon to become as ubiquitous as the U.S. Army’s Jeep and was also designed a produced as an amphibious car known as the Schwimmwagen.

As always, this Visual History title mixes rare and interesting archival imagery with photos of restored vehicles. Produced with the full and complete cooperation of the Kubel Korps, one of the world’s largest Kübelwagen-Schwimmwagen restoration groups, this title presents only the very finest restored examples. Early examples of the Kübelwagen are featured, as is a very rare 1945 model. No detail is left uncovered, with interiors, multiple engine views and undercarriages. Additionally, the Schwimmwagen is covered in equally great detail.

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