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SdKfz 251 Half-Track 1939-45 (New Vanguard) 2nd Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1855328464
ISBN-10: 1855328461
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The unrivalled illustrated reference on fighting vehicles, transport and artillery through the ages. Each volume is illustrated throughout, making these books uniquely accessible to history enthusiasts of all ages.

About the Author

Bruce Culver, born in 1940, was for many years a professional medical illustrator, while still pursuing his interest in the history of Second World War armoured vehicles and colour scheme practices. He has been an active member of IPMS USA, and is probably best known for his highly praised books Panzer Colours and Panzer Colours 2. He has contributed to numerous Osprey titles over the years, chiefly dealing with military vehicles.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Vanguard (Book 25)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 2nd edition (November 27, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855328461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855328464
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stone Dog VINE VOICE on May 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Armored theorists between the wars realized that, in order to be effective, tanks needed infantry and artillery to accompany them and fight with them. This Osprey New Vanguard title, Sdkfz 251 Half-Track 1939-1945, tells the story of the first to see action in appreciable numbers.

The author lays the groundwork for the appearance of the armored personnel carrier in Germany's armed forces after combat in Spain showed that tanks in built-up areas or confined spaces needed accompanying infantry to protect them and help take and hold objectives. He moves quickly to the creation of the German half-tracked carrier, it's characteristics and specifications. There's a lot of time taken with the various versions and changes as the war went on. Among these are pioneer (combat engineers) versions, armored ambulances and even a support version with a 75mm short-barreled howitzer.

The book does a fine job of explaining the training and organization of armored infantry within both Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions. There's a fairly good exposition of the way these vehicles and the men that rode in them were used in combat. Briefly, the author talks about the tactics of offense and defense for these units. Lots of the period photos show this vehicle and its infantrymen in action.

There are a couple things I would have liked to have the author go into in more depth. Firstly, there's the comparison of German and American half tracks. He briefly mentions it, but not in much depth. There seems to be a consensus that one was about as good as the other with the German vehicle having slightly better off-road capabilities and having a little better protection for the crews and infantrymen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with all of the New Vanguard series, this book leaves me disappointed. I like to see the inside of the subject vehicles. The color cut-away-center fold doesnt show enough detail. It should be supplemented with line drawings from top, left & right side.
Good mini-history of the development of this vehicle, but some of the photos are blurry.
I bought this because there is nothing else in print right now on this famous vehicle that helped to pioneer blitzkreig. Wake up, Vanguard - for the price, you can do better.
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Format: Paperback
A good quick to read allround book about the primary Armoured personel carrier of the German army during WWII. It's got quick description to most of it's modells and pictures of others as well. The construction of the vehicle and problems during design is all described here in an easy to read format.
Like all the books in this series it's to thin in my opinion but this book is one of the better ones.
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This particular study of the German 251 Halftracks has suitable pictures and color plates with
general back ground info the Sdkfz 251 and variants with a section on tactics. What is missing is a more detailed production history , Production figures and Avail Dates, actual combat usage or after action accounts. Overall very good however.
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Format: Paperback
The Vanguard series is intended to give a brief introducton to various weapons systems used in the major wars of the 20th century. As such, they include color plates of various paint schemes on campaign, a sectional drawing of a representative vehicle, and plenty of B&W photos in the text. All this is wrapped in an elementary text based on new research in newly opened archives and presented in an attractive format. Useful to war gamers, students, and model makers.
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