The Bv 206 is a Swedish built All-Terrain vehicle that is capable of transporting it's load over the most arduous terrain, from tropical swamps to arctic snow. Less well known than the Land Rover, it is almost as widely used by Armies around the world. It has developed from a simple tracked mover to a fully Armoured weapons or personal carrier, and the vehicle comes in almost every conceivable configuration. An extra trailer can be pulled, and with the addition of a large tent attached to the rear body, a complete 'field hospital' can be created. It is fully amphibious, and air portable. Perhaps the only task this 'go anywhere, do anything' vehicle can not perform on it's own is flying.
This book follows the familiar Tankograd lay-out of two columns of text per page, German to the left and English to the right. Initially this can be a little confusing, but it does not take long to get used to. The chapters start with a detailed description of the vehicle, the various types, and users. After the text there are many photographs of the vehicles, most 'in action' during various exercises across Europe. The photographs are captioned in both German and English.
The development of the Bv series of vehicles is used to divide and arrange the chapters. The book logically starts with the initial search by the Swedish Army for an existing vehicle that could be procured and put in use. The likes of NSU Gebirgskarette, the Snow-Trac and Flexmobil were tested but in the end the Bv 202 gave the best performance and was produced in quantity. The improved Bv 206 followed, and when the German Army needed it's own all-terrain vehicles, after comparative tests between the Bv 206 and Flexmobil, it purchased the Bv 206 D. The next chapter is all about the technical specifications of the Bv 206 D. Following this is a chapter outlining the various other countries that use the Bv 206, with details of the variants and deployment, where applicable. The final two chapters are about the Bv 206 S, the Armoured version, and the BvS 10, which is as similar as it is different from the Bv 206.
The book is illustrated with 103 colour and 6 black and white photographs, 12 of which are close-up pictures. All the other photos are of the vehicles in their various theatres of deployment, and a very large number of those are in the snow. The vehicles are pictured from clean to 'just dragged out of a bog' and as such provide a wealth of weathering reference for the modeller.
As with other Tankograd books, this one is full of technical detail, as well as excellent photographs of the subject. And whilst the Bv 206 may not be one of the best know military vehicles around, without it the job of the Marines and Mountain Troops using it would be a lot harder. Tankograd's expanding list of titles is largely specialising toward the lesser known subjects of military history (they have not yet published a book about the Tiger or Panther for example), and whilst I would applaud this fact on it's own, Tankograd manages to go on better by filling their books with a wealth of quality photographs.
Although the lack of close-up photos will disappoint some modellers who are looking for intricate detail, the photos do provide an excellent painting and weathering reference, which is of course not just restricted to this specific vehicle. This is a nice book, and would be a well read addition to any modellers, or military enthusiast's, library. Recommended.
- soft cover
- 64 pages
- 103 colour photographs
- 6 B&W photographs
- 2 1/72 scale drawings
- Author Carl Schulze