by: Bill Plunk [ ]
Introduction Allied-Axis by Ampersand Publishing serves as a photo journal of World War Two, highlighting various vehicles and pieces of equipment from both the Allied and Axis armies. Issue #22 in the series is a soft-bound 8.5”x11” edition printed on high-quality glossy paper consisting of 96 pages of photos and corresponding captions. As a photo journal, the series emphasizes photos over text although the captions are thorough in their descriptions and explanations. The photos featured include a mix of wartime photos as well as walk-around photos of surviving examples some of which are drawn from various archives and private collections.
Review Issue #22 is organized into 7 different sections covering the Marder II, the M15/M15A1 half-track multiple gun carriage, the Scheinwerfer 37 150cm Searchlight, the 57mm antitank gun M-1, the Universal Carrier, the M10 Ammunition Trailer, and U.S. Armor and Infantry Rations in WWII.
7.5cm PaK 40/2 auf Fahrgestell Pz.Kpfw. II (Sf) (Sdkfz 131) Marder II:
The first section dealing with the Marder II is also the largest at 22 pages and 37 photos in total. 18 full page war-time photos are included covering some of the initial pilot vehicles and their variations as well as the production series. One full size page includes a shot of a field-modified Pz II fitted with a Pak 38 with some detail shots of the mount and interior for this unusual Marder II. An additional 16 walk-around photos of a museum example are also provided with these photos organized in a 4-to-a-page format.
M15/M15A1 half track multiple gun carriage:
The next section of 19 pages covers the lesser known anti-aircraft platform on a half-track chassis mounting two .50 caliber machine guns and a 37mm auto-cannon. 14 full page photos are provided including images of the T28 and T28E1 prototypes as well as the M15 and M15A1 production variants. An additional 19 walk-around photos of a surviving example, focusing primarily on the fighting compartment and gun platform areas, are provided as well.
Scheinwerfer 37 150cm Searchlight:
The next section of 14 pages deals with the German anti-aircraft mobile searchlight and supporting equipment. 7 full page photos are provided including photos of the field generators and various trailers used to move and position the searchlight batteries. An additional 25 walk-around photos on 7 pages provide up-close details on the searchlight, its trailer, and the supporting generator and trailer as well.
The 57mm antitank gun M-1:
The last half of the issue has multiple sections and they tend to get shorter as a result, this particular section is 16 pages dealing with the U.S. towed 57mm antitank M-1 derived from the British 6-pounder gun. 12 full page photos are provided showing the M-1 in action in various theaters including the Pacific and details some of the modifications it underwent in both the carriage and gun shield details. An additional 16 walk-around photos are provided in a 4-to-a-page format of a surviving museum example.
The Universal Carrier:
The next section is 9 pages and deals with the Universal Carrier, often erroneously referred to as the Bren Gun Carrier, and includes 5 full pages of in-action photos including photos of Carriers outfitted for wading operations. The remaining 4 pages include 2 full photos and 7 walk-around photos of a Carrier completely restored by John Bizal of Midwest Military. The walk-around photos emphasize the details on the driver’s compartment as well as the rear compartment including a shot showing the No. 19 wireless set.
The M10 Ammunition Trailer: This section consists of 8 pages and covers the ammunition trailer designed to carry either 75mm, 105mm, or 150mm ammunition as a towed trailer. 5 full page war-time photos are provided as well as 1 page of 4 photos showing the trailer outfitted with various ammunition loads. An additional 7 walk-around photos are provided of a surviving example with the emphasis on the trailer hitch and suspension details.
U.S. Armor and Infantry Rations in WWII:
The final section is one that I found particularly fascinating as it explains via photos and captions the different types of rations used by both Infantry and Armor troops in WWII. The section consists of 7 pages and has 2 full page photos of troops with rations in the field and the remaining 5 pages containing 20 additional photos. These photos show all the different types of rations, their inner and outer containers, their labeling, and explains when/how they were intended to be used by the troops in the field.
Conclusion As always with the Allied&Axis series, you get a good variety of subjects covered in this issue. All of the photos are clear and well organized with detailed supporting captions providing substantial information on the vehicle and details depicted. Recommended for those looking for a good supplemental photo reference for the subjects covered.