MMP Books, On Camera
Krupp Protze Lorry
MMP Books is back with another in their series of "Camera On" photographic studies of machines of war, mostly German, mostly Second World War subjects. This series of books covers a wide range of interesting subjects, and are largely made up of previously unpublished, privately taken photos sourced by the author. The books in this series are all of a similar size and format, with good production qualities seen thus far. The books all share a distinctive green colored spine, making them immediately recognizable on a book shelf.
What is interesting in particular about this series of books, is that the images are not your usual official, propaganda type photos, but were taken by the soldiers themselves. As explained by the author in his forward, this is a bit of a double edged sword, as along with interesting, fresh images, there can be some less than perfect images included as well. That said, the occasional less than perfect image of a rare or interesting subject is certainly preferable to no image at all.
The subject of this particular volume is the six wheeled Krupp Protze truck, which served most commonly as a prime mover for light artillery or as a troop carrier. The truck was also built in versions to allow for use as a radio/telephone truck, radio mast truck, a staff car, and several other variants. The truck served on all fronts, and roughly 7,000 were produced between 1934 and 1941. With it's distinctive sloping engine hood made possible by a horizontally mounted engine, this truck was nicknamed the "Boxer".
Format - softcover, portrait format
Page Count - 80 pages
Size - 11.5" x 8.5"
Photos - all black and white period images
Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - none
All text and photograph captions are in English.
What's in the Book?
This volume opens with a brief Forward, where the author does a nice job of explaining the concept behind this book ( the use of previously unpublished, non-professionally taken photos ). This is followed by an Introduction that gives the reader some very well presented information on the history and development of the Krupp Protze truck.
The book covers the wide range of Krupp Protze truck variants, as noted below. Some variants were quite rarely seen, so images of them are quite interesting. The most commonly seen variants of the truck were the troop carrier and light artillery prime mover types.seen here are;
Kfz 19 - the radio/ telephone vehicle
Kfz 21 - staff car type, apparently never produced in numbers
Kfz 61 - radio vehicle
Kfz 68 - the radio mast variant
Kfz 69 - light artillery prime mover
Kfz 70 - light troop carrier
Kfz 83 - types I and II, searchlight prime movers
Above - there is a very nice mix of subjects and actions shown in the photographs in this volume. As noted above, some of the images are somewhat less than perfect, a bit dark or taken from a bit of distance away. Given the non-professionally taken nature of these photos, plus the wartime circumstances that they were taken in, less than perfect is sometimes acceptable.
Above - the photo captions are generally good, with a good amount of information provided in a clear, concise manner.
Above - there are images of some of the fairly scarce variants of the truck in this book, including the nice images seen above of the radio truck version. The above left image is so typical of some soldier wanting to show the folks back home the vehicle he was assigned to, and his buddies. I can almost hear the photographer saying "smile!"....quite a few of the images in this book are similarly posed type photographs.
Above - photograph image sizes range from quarter page size, up to two page spreads. A fair amount of detail is visible in most of the photographs.
Above - an example of a two page image. Very nice!
The quality of the photographs selected for this volume vary a bit in overall visual quality as discussed above. But again, given the intent and nature of this book this is both reasonable and expected. Some looks at some fairly rarely seen vehicles are provided, the photos are generally of high interest.
As is the norm for a photographic study, where text space is limited, text and photograph captioning is quite important to convey information on the subject matter. This is done in a very solid manner in this volume. The text work in the volume's forward / introduction and in the photograph captions is concise and informative, while remaining very readable.
This volume will certainly be of value to those interested in one of the Wehrmacht's work horse trucks of World War II.
Thanks to MMP Books / Casemate Publishing for the review copy
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
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