Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen: A Visual History of the German Army’s Multi-Purpose Vehicles

Published: August 22nd, 2016     
Product Image
Book cover
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: The Ampersand Publishing Group
ISBN #: 978-1-944367-03-9
Other Publication Information: Soft Bound, 8.5” x 11”, 136 pages
Price: $22.95
Product / Stock #: 367039

Ampersand's latest book continues to expand on their Visual History format, as this edition follows up with David Doyle's "251 Half-Track: A Visual History of the German Army's Sd.Kfz 251 Armored Half-Tracks". Ampersand got their start in 1993 when Pat Stansell distributed a free issue of Military Miniatures in Review at the IPMS Nationals in Atlanta. Ampersand joined forces with HobbyLink Japan in 2008 and have continued to expand their military AFV publications ever since.

True to the Visual History Series name, the focus of this book is on the visual, detailing the development and service history of the German Army's Kubelwagen and Schwimmwagen. This is slightly expanded from Ampersand's standard 120 page version of their Visual History format, and it runs 136 pages packed with large, clear photographs.

David Doyle starts with a one page introduction and then launches into the photographs, allowing the pictures (along with excellent captions) to tell the story. The "In Service" chapters are largely period photographs in black and white, followed by color photographs of restored vehicles.

The cover photo is a color nice shot of a Type 82 Kubelwagen and a Type 166 Schwimmvagen at a 2015 Kubel Korps reunion. I counted 290 well-captioned photographs, 245 in color. Ampersand has provided a short preview at: http://www.ampersandpubco.com/new-products-1/kbelwagen-schwimmwagen

The Table of Contents includes the following:

  • Introduction
  • Type 82 Kubelwagen in Service [Page 6]
  • 1940 Type 82 Kubelwagen [Page 33]
  • 1941 Type 82 Kubelwagen [Page 43]
  • 1942 Type 82 Kubelwagen [Page 48]
  • 1943 Type 82 Kubelwagen [Page 53]
  • Kubelwagen Ambulance [Page 69]
  • 1944 Type 82 Kubelwagen [Page 79]
  • Kubelwagen MG Mounts
  • 1945 Type 82 Kubelwagen [Page 89]
  • Schwimmwagen in Service [Page 96]
  • 1943 Type 166 Schwimmwagen
  • 1944 Type 166 Schwimmwagen [Page 134]

This is a gorgeous soft-bound book and is well worth the money. David Doyle provides lots of detailed photographs with the majority in color. Luckily, there are several 1/35 kits of the Type 82 Kubelwagen on the market: the old Tamiya, the new Tamiya, the Bego /Hasegawa/ DML/ Tasca/ CyberHobby, and the Tomy/Peerless/Italeri/Bilek/Zvezda/Revell-Germany kit. You will also find Type 82 Kubelwagens in 1/72, 1/48, 1/24, and 1/16. The kit situation for the Schwimmvagen is similar with kits available in the same scales as the Kubelwagen. Highly recommended!

My thanks to The Ampersand Group, Inc. and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

  • Front cover
    Front cover
  • Page 6: Two men demonstrate the light weight of the vehicle by lifting its left side.
    Page 6: Two men demonstrate the light weight of the vehicle by lifting its left side.
  • Page 33: Restored Volkswagen Kübelwagen
    Page 33: Restored Volkswagen Kübelwagen
  • Page 43: Pictures showing details in the taillight and in the engine compartmet
    Page 43: Pictures showing details in the taillight and in the engine compartmet
  • Page 48: Picture of restored Kübelwagen
    Page 48: Picture of restored Kübelwagen
  • Page 53: Rack for storing four rifles in the vertical position
    Page 53: Rack for storing four rifles in the vertical position
  • Page 69: A litter mounted as viewed from the driver's seat
    Page 69: A litter mounted as viewed from the driver's seat
  • Page 79: Photos detailing differences in the vehicle by year
    Page 79: Photos detailing differences in the vehicle by year
  • Page 89: Photo showing the engine compartment of the later Kübelwagen, demonstrating its V-shaped air filter (at left), and handcrank and tire pump in the hood
    Page 89: Photo showing the engine compartment of the later Kübelwagen, demonstrating its V-shaped air filter (at left), and handcrank and tire pump in the hood
  • Page 96: Reichsmarschall Göring being met at his private manor by an SS officer driving a Schwimmwagen
    Page 96: Reichsmarschall Göring being met at his private manor by an SS officer driving a Schwimmwagen
  • Page 134: Various pictures of the Schwimmwagen
    Page 134: Various pictures of the Schwimmwagen
  • Back cover
    Back cover