Nuts & Bolts Vol.39 Sd.Kfz6

The SdKfz 6 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 6) was a half-track military vehicle used by the German Wehrmacht during the Second World War. It was designed to be used as the main towing vehicle for the 10.5 cm leFH 18 howitzer. Development of a new medium artillery tractor began in 1934 at Büssing-NAG, in Berlin. The vehicle, produced in around 750 units until 1942, could carry up to 11 men in three rows, covered by a canvas structure. Along as a tractor for the 10.5 leFH 18 howitzer, the vehicle was to be used to tow heavy equipment for engineer units. Production was carried out by both Büssing-NAG and Daimler-Benz.

  • SdKfz 6/1: Standard half-tracked vehicle, used for towing various artillery pieces and transporting anything up to fifteen people.
  • SdKfz 6/2: 37 mm FlaK36 auf Fahrgestell Zugkraftwagen 5t (SdKfz 6/2): SdKfz 6 fitted with a 3.7 cm FlaK 36 gun, sides would fold down to allow space to work on. Crew of seven.
  • SdKfz 6/3: 7.62 cm FK36(r) auf Panzerjäger Selbstfahrlafette Zugkraftwagen 5t (SdKfz 6/3). SdKfz 6 fitted with a captured Soviet 76-mm divisional gun model 1936 (F-22) in an armoured superstructure.

From the publisher’s website:

224 pages A4, glue-bound, approx. 430 photos, of these 272 contemporary photos from manuals. Combat and war fronts in b/w, most of them previously unpublished; 120 colour photos of restored vehicles and their components in public and private collections, 38 colour photos of the four models from T.Greenland & V.Branigan, English / German captions, 31 pages English / German text with 10 tables, 28 pages of scale drawings of all versions and details in 1:35 scale from John Rue & Lieven deConinck, 14 camouflage schemes from Laurent Lecocq, tactical signs and three tables of organization of units (Kriegstärke-Nachweisungen KStN) having these vehicles in their arsenal, first published November 20th, 2017

Book details:

  • by Dr. Nicolaus Hettler
  • published on November 20, 2017
  • softcover
  • German & English texts
  •  224 pages
  •  430 photos (272 contemporary photos from manuals, 120 colour photos, 38 models)
  •  14 camouflage schemes, tactical markings, table of organization (KStN)
  • only 29.90€
  • Available from the Nuts & Bolts website.

The texts are in English and German with the English texts on the left of the page and the German on the right. All images and photographs have captions in both languages. The English translation is excellent. Now, let’s take a look at the book to see what we get.

The various sections of the book are:

  • Historical & Technical development and productions p3
  • Organisation & Structure p19
  • Modelling the 5 ton Sd.KFz. 6 series p27
  • Acknowledgements p0
  • Bibliography p31
  • Contemporary Photos
    • KM I 4 p31
    • Sd.Kfz. 6: BN I 5 – I 7 p35
    • Sd.Kfz. 6/1: BN I 5 – I 7 p49
    • Sd.Kfz. 6: BN I 8 p59
    • Sd.Kfz. 6/1: BN I 8 p66
    • Sd.Kfz. 6: BN I 9 p81
    • Sd.Kfz. 6/1: BN I 9 and 9b p87
    • Sd.Kfz. 6/2 p91
    • Sd.Kfz. 6: armoured variants p107
    • Sd.Kfz. 6: special soft skinned vehicles p110
    • Sd.Kfz. 6/3: “Diana” p115
    • technical details and components of the Sd/Kfz. 6 series p122
  • Drawings p128
  • Colour Profiles p155
  • Preserves vehicles and components p163
  • Modelling  211

The book starts with an introduction as to where this vehicle came from in its history. The roots of this vehicle lay in the 1920s in some designs built in other countries. The book then goes through the complete development history of the vehicle including naming all the different manufacturers. The differences between the various subtypes also highlighted. There is a good technical description of vehicles along with a good description of each of the different types of vehicle that were produced even for one-off prototypes.

The book covers the usage of the different vehicle along with the way they were organised into units. There are tables listing the production numbers of the various types along with various technical details. There’s a good section on modelling this series of vehicles and a handy table that lists all the models that are available. The author has gained permission from Perth Military Modelling Site to repeat the text from a few of their build reviews for 1/35 scale models and these are very informative if you are planning to build one of these kids.

We then move on to the contemporary photographs which start with the very first prototype in 1934 and moves chronologically through to the later versions including prototypes and one-off conversions. In this section, there are approximately 270 black-and-white photographs that show the vehicles on all fronts of the war in a multitude of situations. There are also photographs of some of the engines used and the trailers used by the engineer units.

The next section is a series of 1/35 scale drawings again covering all versions of the vehicle over approximately 78 drawings. We then move onto the colour plates section where certain images from the contemporary photographs have been turned into colour plates and matched with the colours used at the time of photographs. These images are very clear and of immense value, if you’re modelling the kit.

Finally the book covers some vehicles in collections and museums and shows many colour photographs of the vehicles and in particular it shows views of the vehicles that are not well covered in earlier contemporary photographs, such as close-ups of the running gear and engine for example if you are fine detailing the kit then this section will be of immense value to you.
The very last pages of the book are some photographs of three high quality builds with some short notes about each of the photographs.

Overall this is a definitive reference for the Sd.Kfz.6 and its versions. There is a wealth of information and photographs that will cover all your needs and it will probably be the only book you need.

I have bought my books direct from the publisher at Nuts & Bolts.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International


Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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