The latest volume from Nuts&Bolts deals with the standard chassis for diesel lorries of the German Army during WWII.
This chassis was developed under the supervision of Henschel and the engine by MAN at the end of 1935.
It was the base of a large number of variants in service from 1937 until the end of the war, despite production finished probably in early 1941 at latest. To have an idea of the importance of the truck, it can be said that the Einheitsdiesel was manufactured by Daimler Benz, Henschel, Krupp, Magirus, MAN, Vomag, Borgward, Bussing Nag and FAUN.
The book follows the usual structure of the series, with the main sections known:
- Technical and Historical description
- Contemporary Photos
- Drawings and Profiles
- Preserved Vehicles
It has 208 pages, in softcover A4 format, and printed in good quality, satin, paper. The photos are large and clear, and all text is in English and German.
The first section is predominantly text, with a lot of information. It covers the development of the vehicles,a detailed technical description, features, usage, variants, camouflages and markings. There is also a chart with the changes during production.
The text is supported with abundant photos, charts and drawings.
Considering the wide use of this lorries, and the large number of variants produced, the author makes an excellent job summarizing the information without leaving important pieces behind.
This part ends with some comments about the kits currently available. There is also a list of abbreviations used and an extensive bibliography.
The contemporary photos extend for 84 pages, almost a half of the book, and are a real treasure.
The first seven pages are clear photos of the chassis, engine and other parts, with numbers identifying the most important of them. Some photos of the ground tests and production follow.
Then comes an excellent collection of photos of the different variants fielded.
As this was a standard lorry issued to many different units of the Wehrmacht, each one adapted it to its needs. Therefore we can find here Field Kitchens, Fuel Delivery, Snow Plough, Recovery Crane, Cable Deploying and more.
The photos often show the interior and provide plenty of ideas for modelling conversions.
The next big section is a collection of drawings by Lieven De Coninck, as usual at 1/35 with several views.
Some vehicles are shown with the traditional five views (front, rear, right, left and top) but some include also four more 3D views from front-right, front-left, rear-right and rear-left.
There are some interesting variants covered here, apart from the standard cargo version, like the Funkmastkraftwagen, showing the mast stored and deployed, the snow plough or the Bilstein crane.
The colour profiles have been beautifully rendered by Laurent Lecocq and have a thumbnail of the photo in which it has been based.
Given the long time service of the lorries, there are pre-war Buntfarbenanstrich schemes, dark grey, dark yellow, three-tone and winter wash examples. Some of the drawings show vehicles lightly weathered for a more realistic looking.
For the preserved vehicles photos, the authors have included images of five different surviving vehicles (out of the approximately thirty known).
The photos show in good detail the suspension, transmission, engine and other parts.
One of the vehicles carries a Bilstein crane, which is also photographed in detail.
Some of the images have numbers for identifying the components that can be seen on it.
As usual with Nuts&Bolts books, all the preserved vehicles photos are captioned and whenever a restoration differs from the original, it is noted.
These images allow a level of details hard to get with contemporary photos so both sections complement each other perfectly.
As with other books in the series, it finishes with a gallery of models by Tony Greenland, David Nickels and Vinnie Branigan. These three models are masterpieces, with extra detailing and a great paint job.
The photos are captioned to show the parts added or replaced, or the steps on the weathering sequence. Although it is not a full modelling guide of the Einheitsdiesel kits, it surely provides good advice and tips.
Whitout any doubt this is an essential reference for the Einheitsdiesel. It provides everything you need: its history, usage and technical details, a bunch of clear wartime images, details and commented photos of preserved vehicles and models.
Even if you do not intend to build a kit of this lorry, you still will enjoy with the interesting variants shown and the beautiful photos.