Book Review
Beute-Tanks - British Tanks in German Service Volume 1 - World War One Series Number 1003
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


After British forces first introduced the tank, in significant force, to modern warfare during World War One at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917, the German High Command realized that the tank was an instrument of war that was to be reckoned with. The Germans then started their own tank development program which was a slow process so the Germans started capturing British tanks and salvaging British tanks parts and added them to their own growing tank force. With a few modifications, such as adding German guns and machineguns, the British tanks were ready to be turned against their former owners. In addition to British tanks, the Germans captured French tanks and added them to their own tank forces as well which significantly increased Germany’s tank numbers. The captured armor became known as Germany’s Beute-Tanks.

Tankograd Publications - World War One Series Number 1003 –Beute-Tanks British Tanks in German Service Volume 1 by Rainer Strasheim with Verlag Jochen Vollert collection is a 96 page soft cover book and contains 159 black & white photographs and illustrations, 32 color photographs and illustrations and 24 pages of text. There is one page with line drawings that details the modifications needed when the British 6 pounder guns were replaced with the German 5.7cm Maxim-Nordenfelt guns. The book's ISBN is 978-3-936519-24-2 and it has a 2011 copyright.

The book

• A New Weapon of War - Brief History
• To the Green Fields Beyond - Cambrai 1917
• Lumber and Canvas - German Dummy Tanks
• Battlefield Booty - German Tank Recovery
• Towards Captured Tank Detachments
• Bayerischer Armee-Kraftwagen-Park 20
• Beute - The Mk. IV Tank in German Service
• Forming Beute-Abteilungen 11 to 16
• Numbers, Names, Camouflage and Markings
• The French Connection
• The Mark IV in Detail and Colour

The Photographs:
Shown throughout the book are a wide variety of photographs of the German Beute-Tanks of WWI. The photographs range from action scenes to casual scenes to scenes that were obviously staged. The photographs show the Beute-Tanks during various times of the year and different types of settings such as trenches, cities, roadways, factories, railways and test areas. Several, if not most, of the photographs were new to me so that was a definite plus.

The color photographs in the final chapter are set up as a walk around type of arrangement. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, although there are some that have an out of focus look to them or appear to be too dark. However it needs to be taken into consideration that most of the photographs are approaching 100 years old and are excellent for their age. The quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and takes nothing away from the book. It is obvious that the author took the time to research and arrange the photographs in a well thought out chronological manner and separate them as to the subject matter of the individual chapters.

The Captions:
All of the photographs are accompanied by captions that are in English text. The captions are well written and go into great detail in regards to the scene that is shown. It is obvious that Rainer Strasheim has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that the captions are well detailed and point out several items of interest. The captions are specific to the tank shown in regards to its number and name, details as to when that specific tank was lost, and points out modifications that were made to that specific tank. Some of the captions also discuss the soldiers and tank crew members in the photograph and point out items of interest in regards to them and their equipment.

As with my other book reviews I like to mention certain things shown in the book that I hope will provide additional information and will be of interest to others.

Some of the captured British armor shown and discussed is the:
• Male MK I tank
• Male MK IV tank
• Female MK I tank
• Female MK II tank
• Female MK IV tank
• Whippet tank

Some of the captured non-British armor shown and discussed is the:
• French FT-17 tank
• French Char Saint Chamond tank
• French Schneider tank

One piece of German non-armor shown and discussed is the:
• A7V Uberlandwagen supply carrier

Some weapons shown and discussed are the:
• Belgian 5.7cm quick firing Maxim-Nordenfelt cannon
• German 5.3cm cannon Fahrpanzer (moveable armor)

Some non-armor items shown and discussed are:
• Steam traction engines
• Artillery tractors
• Trains
• Trucks
• Staff cars
• Horse drawn wagons


All in all I am very impressed with the book. The Beute-Tanks are shown and discussed very well. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the World War One historian and enthusiast, the military diorama and figure modeler and the military enthusiast, and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. I would have no hesitation to add other Tankograd Publishing World War One Series titles, or any of the other Tankograd titles, to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others. This is an excellent title from Tankograd Publishing. As captured tanks, vehicles, equipment, etc. are a long time favorite subject of mine I was very excited to see the release of this publication.

• Landships – British Tanks in the First World War
David Fletcher
HMSO Publications Centre

• German Military Vehicle Rarities (1)
Imperial Army, Reichswehr and Wehrmacht 1914-1945
Henry Hoppe
Tankograd Publishing – Verlag Jochen Vollert

• German Tanks in World War I
The A7V and Early Tank Development
Wolfgang Schneider & Rainer Strasheim
Schiffer Publishing LTD

• German Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918
Robert Kirchubel & Ramiro Bujeiro
Concord Publications Company

Beutepanzer website

A review of Volume 2 can be found here on Armorama.
Highs: Several unique and excellent photographs. Well written, researched, and detailed captions and text.
Lows: Some of the photographs appear dark and not very clear.
Verdict: This is an excellent reference book that is well written and contains many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. This will make a nice addition to anyone’s personal reference library and will also be a benefit to the World War One historian.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-3-936519-24-2
  Suggested Retail: $25.00 Euro / $35.00 U.S.
  PUBLISHED: May 21, 2011

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


This one's going on the "to get" list for sure. I didn't realize this one was going to be focusing on WWI, it will make a nice companion to the excellent A7V book they released last year
MAY 20, 2011 - 07:12 PM
Yes! a must have book excellent subject matter.
MAY 20, 2011 - 07:24 PM
Just a heads up for everyone........I have submitted my review of Beute-Tanks Volume 2 as well. Please watch for it. Randy
MAY 22, 2011 - 03:25 AM

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