The Bundeswehr formed in 1955 are best known for their Leopard tanks in all of its various types, however the Marder 1 A5 and 1 A5A1 are also worthy of attention. To my knowledge the only injection moulded plastic kit available of the Marder 1 A5 is from Revell with a few kits available from other manufacturers of earlier renditions. Tankograd Publishing has with their latest releases released a book on the Marder 1 A5 / 1A5A1, which looks at the beginnings of this vehicle designed specifically with the Panzer Grenadiers in mind and follows it through to the current day.
This book is printed on good quality glossy paper with a heavy card gloss cover for protection. The book consists of 64 pages and has 128 colour photographs, I will admit I did not count the pictures but I know there are 4 black and white photographs as well. The text in the book follows the usual Tankograd Publishing style with German text on the left of the page and English on the right. There are 10 pages of text in total in the book and 1 full page data sheet in English and German. I tend to think of this style of book from Tankograd Publishing as easy reference as regards the text, and as detailing books when it comes to the pictures and looking at them from a modellers stand point.
The text in the book firstly looks into why the Marder series of vehicles came about and the purpose they were designed to fulfil. This text looks at the role of the Panzer Grenadier during World War II fighting both on the ground and from vehicles, a role that the German Panzer Grenadiers excelled at to the cost of the Allies. In 1955 when the German army was reformed obtaining vehicles for in some cases very specific roles was difficult to put it lightly, and a vehicle ideally suited to the Panzer Grenadierís role was either too expensive or not available to them. The Bundeswehr tried several vehicles as interim solutions but none came close to satisfying all of the requirements, then in 1968 the first delivery of a vehicle purposely designed for the role was delivered the Marder 1. The book then takes you through the upgrades that occurred to the Marder series of vehicles up until the end of the Cold War and looks at the Marder 1 A5 in more detail. This section is of course accompanied by a great series of pictures from various time periods, and which I believe the modeller will find of great use.
With the end of the Cold War the Bundeswehr saw service in a number of NATO operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During these policing action a Dutch Leopard hit a mine and the results of that mine strike sent shivers through the NATO forces, as a direct result the Bundeswehr Mine tested the Marder 1 A3 and after continues tests and upgrades the Marder 1 A5 entered service in 2002. Most of these mine protection changes effect the floor and internal layout, also these changes could not have come at a better time with Afghanistan just around the corner. This section covering the Marder 1 A5 has a very nice walk around photo shoot in it, the pictures not only provide great pictures of the specific areas of the vehicle but also shows some of the mine protection improvements on the Marder 1 A5; there is also a particularly good reference picture of the power pack.
The book comes to an end with a look at the Marder 1 A5A1; this is basically a Marder 1 A5 with an air conditioning unit which proved to be needed for operations in Afghanistan as the heat was causing problems with electrical equipment not to mention the effect on troops in the vehicle. The text continues by looking at the CG-12 Counter measure system (Without giving away any secrets) and the (MMT) Mobile camouflage system. This section is followed by some excellent pictures of the Marder 1 A5A1 in Afghanistan which I know will be of interest to modern armour fans. The very last text in the book looks at the further improvements to the armour of the Marder 1 A5A1 and also touches on armour improvements that are currently under trial and Tankograd Publishing provide images to show these improvements with a short walk around.
Tankograd Publishing adds another great title to their range with this book covering the Marder 1 A5 / 1A5A1. The text is clear and gets the information to you in easy to digest chunks, I did find 1 minor error in the text but that should not affect your use of this book. The pictures are all clear and in focus showing the Marder 1 in all of its guises which make it a great easy reference to use. I believe you would be hard pushed to get better value for money and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the Marder 1 family and the Marder 1 A5 / 1A5A1 specifically. Something I perhaps would like to see offered by Tankograd Publishing is a purposely designed folder system for storing books in the series together that cover alike subjects.
Highs: A great easy to use reference on the Marder 1 A5 / 1A5A1.Lows: I cannot think of a weakness.Verdict: Highly recommended.
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.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís 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 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...