The half-track was a key element in the German Blitzkrieg, giving the infantry and support troops a chance of keeping up with the fast moving armour. These vehicles served as transports, towed guns, as reconnaissance vehicles and carried a wide variety of weapons as the war developed.
The chronological structure of the book is interesting, giving a different picture of halftrack development and use than books organised by model number. The early chapters are dominated by the more truck like early half-tracks. The familiar armoured half-tracks appear and become more numerous in the mid-war period, but as Germany came under siege the older models remerge and an increasing number of half-tracks are pressed into service as armed vehicles, mainly carrying anti-aircraft guns.
This is a very tightly focused book - half-tracks and nothing else, so if you aren't that interested in German half-tracks then it isn't for you! For anyone with an interest in the subject the book will be very valuable, providing multiple pictures of every major half-track in German service from several angles and a good selection of pictures of the rarer models and modifications.
I found the less familiar early half-tracks the most interesting. These unarmoured vehicles had more in common with standard trucks than with the armoured half-tracks that appeared later on, and appear in a wide range of configurations.
The book finishes with a useful list of the different prime movers and their many variants that gives a good idea of the variety of uses the half-track found during the war. The pictures are generally of a high quality and supported by informative captions.
1 – Early Years of Victory
2 – 1941
3 – 1942
4 – 1943
5 – 1944
6 – 1945
Appendix – Artillery Prime Movers
Author: Paul Thomas
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military