by: Darren Baker [ ]
The following introduction is as supplied by Tankograd Publishing:
After a long and demanding development the new Schützenpanzer Puma armoured infantry fighting vehicle has now been introduced to the German Bundeswehr. During his research the author was granted hitherto unprecedented access to the development history, technology and training of the Puma crews. This publication shows on 128 pages, over two volumes, and with a total of 350 illustrations so many details of the weapon system that the reader is able to "look over the shoulder" of engineers, mechanics and crew. A worthy documentation of this latest high-tech asset to the German armed forces.
These two new titles from Tankograd Publishing are duel language publications, German on the left and English on the right. Both of these offerings are soft backed books, they consist of a good quality glossy card cover and both have 64 good quality glossy pages inside. Interestingly the page count in the second title continues from the first title, in many respects this does make sense as they do continue from one to the other.
The first book of the two can be considered as looking at the development and progression of Puma. The book follows the Puma from conception through to introduction to the Bundeswehr. This first title also covers the Puma as it progressed from five road wheels to six, something to watch for as models appear. Development is followed through to series 11 vehicles and the changes identified via photographs that identify the change or changes. There is an unusually large amount of writing in this first title, the text is easy to read and informative for those specifically interested in aspects of the vehicle. The first title comes to an end with an excellent Walkaround with a good number of close ups.
The second book can be considered as looking at the Puma in service, its place and function in the Bundeswehr. This is an excellent addition to the first book and an obvious follow on title. Of particular use to the modeller are the images of the crews and the complicated camouflage patterns of the uniform. Images of the crews at their stations an disembarking the Puma could prove of great reference value to those who have not served in the military. The section covering the primary and secondary weapons of the Puma are interesting and again have very good images.
The photographs are all of a very high quality and cover the vehicle in great detail. Each photograph is accompanied by a comprehensive caption in both German and English, and this clearly informs you of what you are looking at, or for that matter draws your attention to a specific attribute. I like that the photographs have a logical layout to them; this is specifically true when the walk arounds in the titles are looked at. The walk arounds can be considered in three parts: firstly the production vehicle gets a good all round look and this is highlighted by the close up photographs, there is a separate section looking at the weapons system in detail that could be considered an extension to this walk around. The driver training vehicle also gets a fair walk around should some modellers to try something a little different. Lastly there is a excellent series of photographs showing the interior of the vehicle to a much greater detail than I expected would be allowed.
I knew nothing about this vehicle until I read these two books. I know that we should not really cover two titles in one review, but these offerings can really be considered as one book in two covers. The first being the progression of the vehicle and the second the vehicle in service, you do really need to purchase both books to get the full story. The photographs are excellent and with the very clear captions make great reference.