SLT 56 and SLT 50-3 in Detail (Present Vehicle Line No. 10), by Josef Spurny, Jan Martinec, and Frantisek Koran (ISBN 80-86416-44-5, Wings & Wheels Publications, RAK, P.O. Box 35, 170 06, Prague 7, Czech Republic, distributed in North America by 4+ Publications, 855 Bebout Rd., Venetia, PA 15387, phone/fax: 724.941.8755, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Softcover, 9-1/2" x 8-3/4", 72 pages, 274 color photos, 7 black-and- white drawings, 2005, available direct from Wings & Wheels for $38).
The FAUN SLT 50-3 8x8 wheeled tractor and its 8x6 sister vehicle, the SLT-56, teamed with 52- and 56-ton semi-trailers, served the Bundeswehr as heavy tank transporters. These powerful units have proven their worth in peacetime as well as in UN deployments from Africa to the former Yugoslavia.
This book is an exhaustive examination, in photographs and a few pages of text, of the SLT 50-3 and SLT-56 and their two types of semi-trailers. The text sketches out the developmental history of the vehicles and describes them. The English translation is rough, but readers should be able to get the gist of it.
The star of the book is the collection of 274 photographs, expertly taken and reproduced in crisply focused and vivid color. The photos provide a virtual walk-around of the tractors and semi-trailers, keying-in on many details, from the undercarriages and engine compartments to the cab interiors and details of the winches and hydraulic systems. The captions are brief (sometimes one short caption serves to explain a page full of photos. This leaves the reader wondering about some of the finer details.
This book was designed as a reference tie-in with a recently issued plastic kit of the SLT-56, but it also would appeal to anybody with a keen interest in tank transporters. With its rather hefty price tag for a thin paperback, this book will probably only appeal to a specialized audience, but that audience should applaud the highly informative photography and the generous amount of images herein.—Thomas R. Kailbourn