by: Henk Meerdink [ ]
introductionThe simple title “Militaer Fahrzeug” (Military Vehicles) covers the contents of this German magazine exactly, and the sub-title “The Magazine for Enthusiasts, Vehicle owners and Modellers” gives a clear indication as to whom this is aimed at. The magazine is published quarterly, and covers military vehicles of all ages, and the emphasis is on the development and operational use rather than lists of specifications.The ability to read German would be a big advantage, as the magazine is written in German, but an English Summary of some of the major articles is provided in the back. All photograph captions are however bi-lingual.
layoutThis is what could be classed as a “Coffee Table Magazine”. A4 in size with glossy card covers. The pages are high quality glossy paper and the magazine uses a classic layout of two-column text, interspersed by an average of two large photographs per page. The position and size of the photographs varies pleasantly throughout the articles, resulting in a highly readable layout. The magazine is divided in 12 chapters, 4 of which deal exclusively with a vehicle type. A short synopsis of each chapter will be given below.
· Readers Letters
· KfZ.13 and Kfz.14 Adler
· Reconnaissance Vehicle Wiesel 1
· North Wind 2006
· Char B-1bis
· Drohne CL 289
· Hard Targets, Trucks
· ‘Explosive’ Tank Recovery
· English Summary
Editorial and Readers Letters
Three pages with the Publishing and Editorial details, and two letters (or rather e-mails) from readers dealing with German Bundeswehr questions.
This 10 page chapter charts the development of the LVT family of vehicles, and it’s service with the U.S. Marines. 19 colour photos accompany the article, including one in Italian and one in Spanish Service.
Panzerspaehwagen Kfz. 13 and Kfz. 14 Adler
A six page chapter about this pre-WW II Armoured Car, with 12 black and white photographs. An interesting vehicle, its development between 1929 and 1932 would lead to the Sd.Kfz. 221 series, and although obsolete and replaced in the armoured frontline units by 1938, some of these vehicles saw active duty during the early years of the war. The photographs are of exceptionally high quality, and provide clear examples of the pre-war camouflage scheme.
Aufklaerungsfahrzeug Wiesel 1
This chapter introduces the new Airborne Reconnaissance Vehicle Wiesel 1. After a detailed introduction to the development of the new German Airborne Force, follows a detailed look at this intriguing little machine. The 14 colour photographs of the Wiesel on exercise provide some detail shots for Modellers, but are most useful as a weathering study. Those who have served in Germany may well remember the fog and mud.
North Wind 2006
A five page chapter giving a small overview of the combined Japanese-American Winter-exercise North Wind on the island of Honshu in Japan. 13 photographs of various soft skin vehicles, some in Winter Camouflage. Of interest are the two photos of a HMMWV and it’s Japanese counterpart, the Toyota build ‘Kohkidosha’.
8 pages, 6 of which are given to just photographs. The article gives a brief but concise history of the development and organization of French Armour before WW II, and a short description of the Char B. The photographs are again of very high quality, and of special interest for modellers will be the picture of a Char B on it’s side, and of the chains carried on the back.
Drohne CL 289 – Teil 1 (part 1)
A 6 page article about the German unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance drone. This article tells the detailed story of the development and deployment of the German ‘eye in the sky’, and although probably of less interest to the average Armour Modeller, 4 of the 12 colour photographs show the German Bundeswehr camouflage uniform.
LKW (Hard Targets)
In what is the eight installment of a continuing series, 9 colour photographs of soft skins on the firing range. These vehicles have been shot up in target practice and are a great study in battle damage and rust. Required material for Modellers.
Combat Correspondent-Explosive Tank recovery on the East Front
8 black and white photographs, showing the recovery of a Pzr IV and a Pzr III with the help of explosive charges and four half tracks. The two photographs of the Pzr IV and III stuck in the frozen mud are a great diorama inspiration.
This chapter shows four different vehicles, each on one page, and gives a brief description of each.
Two pages of ‘industry’ news, detailing the deployment and sale of current AFV’s to various armies.
The English Summary provides a translation of the German text in the articles, and a translation of the most common technical phrases.
conclusionThis is a magazine that has something for everybody. There is background and development information on the vehicles, as well as details of their users and deployments. Like other Tankograd titles the text is informative without being to academic, and the photographs are superb.
At Euro 8.95 it’s not cheap, and it’s diversity of subjects makes it both interesting and hard to value. If you have a wide interest in matters and vehicles military than this is without a doubt a magazine that’s worth every Euro cent. If you are only interested in WW II tanks, this might not be for you. Most modellers will look in a book or magazine for references for their models, and for this the magazine is very good. The many colour photos are a valuable asset, even for WW II modellers, as a reference for weathering effects.
The magazine is of course written in German, with the Summary Translations for the articles in the back. This is not always easy, but as the text does not contain references to the accompanying photographs, you can avoid going back and forth between the article and the translation. I find this potentially less confusing than the ‘side by side’ layout. The English translations are on the whole very good, with only the occasional spelling or grammar slip up. Highly recommended!