This is a beautifully illustrated book showing more than 170 profiles of vehicles used by the Deutsche Afrika Korps (D.A.K.) during the North African campaign. The sections of the book include:
- Light vehicles
- Medium/Heavy Vehicles
- Armored Fighting Vehicles
- Photo credits/bibliography.
A Prologue briefly describes the military episodes of the Afrika Corps between 1941 and 1943. The Prologue describes how the Afrika Corpstook over for the Italian army and, despite being outnumbered and out-supplied, effectively battled the British and, later, American forces. The Prologue provides a brief backdrop for the vehicles that are profiled in the book.
The Introduction describes how the German vehicles and how their vehicle repair units modified many vehicles in the field. Many Allied vehicles were also captured and adapted for German use. The Introduction goes on to discuss how weather, nearness to the sea, battle damage, and other factors altered the color and appearance of vehicles. Dust scratches, dents, multiple layers of paint,rust,and markings are illustrated for the modeler. The book does not describe how to achieve the appearance of the vehicles in models, but is a very good visual guide for modelers.
The introduction also briefly describes the German RAL system for standardization of colors. In the early stages of the war vehicles were provided in dark gray (RAL 7021), which wasn’t suited for the desert environment. Later,yellow-brown(RAL 8000) and gray-green (RAL 7008) were adopted and better suited for the desert. Germany also used Italian paints and captured British vehicles often retained their original color. The introduction goes on to describe how new specific colors were introduced in 1942 for the African campaign.
The profiles in this book are supplied as a reference to re-create to the multitude of vehicles, colors, battle damage, and weathering effects for D.A.K vehicles.
The next several sections provide beautifully rendered colored illustrations of vehicles showing weathering effects,and battle damage. Some vehicles are rendered as if brand-new. Each vehicle has a brief description of the vehicle, it's use, and includes the listing of the RAL colors and other markings.
The first section, Light Vehicles, includes motorcycles, cars,medium off-road passenger cars, heavy staff cars, off-road light trucks, and ambulances. The section includes 36 pages with 38 colored illustrations, photographs, and details of vehicle markings. The vehicles include BMW and Zundapp motorcycles - several models with and without sidecars, Kubelwagon, Horch trucks Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and Opel vehicles, Steyr vehicles, and even some captured Willys units.
The second section, Medium Heavy Vehicles, is mostly trucks of medium,3 ton capacity. Trucks include captured British Bedford trucks, reused Italian vehicles, Ford trucks, Opel Blitz trucks and buses, Bussing-NAG trucks,Krupp trucks and many others. Again the vehicles are beautifully illustrated, with and without weathering and battle damage.
The next section, Armored Fighting Vehicles, includes light and heavy armored cars, halftracks, artillery tractors, light tanksthrough to the main German tank in Africa the Pz. Kpfw III, IV, & VI Tiger tanks, tank destroyers, and self-propelled artillery vehicles. This section, like the others, describes the units using the vehicles and includes descriptions and illustrations of the unit markings. Many photographs are also included of actual units in use. This section alone is over 48 pages long and includes almost 100 different vehicles.
The next section, Artillery, includes both truck mounted and towed artillery and antiaircraft guns, including a variety of Italian &British captured vehicles with mounted guns. This section also includes a double page spread of Rommel’s personal Storch airplane, with illustrations of the camouflage and markings used on the plane.
The last section also includes a page of markings showing Army Vehicle Command Flags and Pennants, Regimental/Battalion basic turret markings, and Italian Tactical Symbols. There is also a page describing the chronology of German colors in North Africa 19 41–19 43, with some of the field applied modifications.
The last few pages include some photographs of both Allied and Axis forces, photos of some contemporary museums, and lastly a page of Photo Credits and Bibliography. On the inside of the back cover AK-Interactive includes an ad for their AfrikaCorps Colors and D.A.K. weathering set. This is the only advertisement in the book.
In summary this is an excellent book, beautifully illustrated, and an indispensable reference for modelers of the D.A.K. My thanks to AK interactive and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this book.