Book Review
German Standardised 'Einheits-PKW' Field Cars of World War Two
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The following introduction is as provided by Tankograd Publishing
The idea of a unified design for a military passenger (field) car for the Wehrmacht began to take shape in the early 1930s. The intention was to avoid the many types of different vehicles that were used in the Reichswehr by concentrating on the so-called leichter (light), mittlerer (medium) and schwerer (heavy) ‘Einheits-PKW’ standardised designs. The Einheits-PKWs were in their time technically state-of-the-art and played a vital role from the rearmament of the Wehrmacht up to the first years of World War Two. The campaign into Russia in 1941, however, showed the weaknesses of the designs and many were subsequently replaced by more modern types. This publication comprehensively shows the types, variants, production batches and technology of the three Einheits-PKWs, illustrated with wartime photographs almost all of which are hitherto unpublished. A major work on the topic!

This offering from Tankograd Publishing is one of their duel language offerings, German on the left and English on the right of the page. The book consists of 80 pages with a glossy finish and printed in portrait format, the pages are protected by a glossy card cover with further relevant printed information on the insides faces. The text in this offering is split over several areas of the title. The text covers all three types of the Einheits-PKW, light, medium and heavy. The author of this offering from Tankograd Publishing is Jochen Vollert.

This title from Tankograd Publishing is titled as German Standardised 'Einheits-PKW' Field Cars of World War Two, but for me it’s a look at the Horch family of vehicles regardless of how accurate that description is as I know many modellers will have the same opinion. I should point out that Horch was one of the manufactures and never the name of the vehicle. The text begins with a look at the requirement for cars during World War 1 and in the years following the German Armies need for cars as part of their mechanization.

This continues with the need for a light, medium and heavy car to perform various tasks in service, as such the designs, the Horch family as I think of it, was laid down in the 1930’s. There was also a requirement for standardization across the types and so while they all looked so similar, But the likenesses on the outside was only skin deep in most areas. The text can then be considered in three separate sections covering the three types of vehicle. The light version when it came into service was considered to be over complicated and underpowered for its role. In addition to these it was also heavier, used twice as much fuel and cost twice as much per unit than its equal the Volkswagen type 82 Kübelwagen.

The medium vehicle started out with a wheel on the outside of the vehicle which I had considered to be spares, but it would seem that their purpose was to prevent the vehicle from grounding itself on rough terrain; I bet they were still used for spares as well. The second version of this vehicle is easy to identify as the two external wheels are gone and a single spare appeared on the inside of the vehicle. The medium vehicle was by far the most successful of the three vehicle variants despite still having some issues, and was the only type to see service until the end of the war usually as a radio vehicle behind the lines. The heavy version of this vehicle family was popular with the troops, but still suffered with frames and axle springs breaking on a regular basis. As such this vehicle was in desperate need of replacement by 1941.

The pictures in the book are all black & white period photographs and I like this approach. Tankograd could go out and photograph a museum piece or a vehicle in private ownership and provide colour photographs, but there is always the risk of none period parts and inaccuracies creeping in. The black & white photographs are of an exceptionally high standard that allows some great features to be picked out, keep an out for the timber bundles secured to the front of some of the vehicles that I believe are to help a stuck vehicle get moving again. Something I like that Tankograd has supplied in this title, is that each section has a double page spread showing photographs of the various of the various vehicle setups for roles performed. All of the photographs are accompanied by captions in German and English and as usual the captions don’t scrimp on information.


Of the most recent batch of titles from Tankograd Publishing this offering is my favourite release. I had not looked at it with that expectation that this title would excel, but it does just that. I have been looking at the ICM and Bronco model releases of late and this title will help me add a little life to mix when I get started. If you have any interest in this family of vehicles, even if you are not interested from a modelling aspect, this title is a great book to add to your reference library.
Highs: I think this book covers everything I want from a book on this family of vehicles short of scale diagrams.
Lows: I cannot come up with a valid negative about this title, yes it is that good.
Verdict: With nearly 25% more pages than a standard offering at the same price this is a great book to look up.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 4021
  Suggested Retail: €14.95
  PUBLISHED: Apr 02, 2017

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review Darren, that's a really useful reference book with all the new and older kits available. I'll have to get it. Cheers, Christophe
APR 02, 2017 - 02:11 AM

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