Nuts & Bolts 33: Leichte Feldhaubitze 18, GW II für le.F.H. 18/2 “Wespe” and “Hummel-Wespe”
Nuts & Bolts first took a look at the German Wespe 10.5mm self-propelled howitzer way back in 1996 with volume 2 of the series. This little book was pretty good for its day. However, N&B 33 will totally blow your doors off as it has the most extensive coverage of both the Wespe and the towed le. F.H. 18 towed howitzer that we’ve seen in any single publication.
In all, there are 353 photos inside: 198 period photos, 115 walk around photos from surviving examples and 40 pictures of two models from Tony Greenland. In addition, there are technical drawings and color plates in their own respective sections.
Each chapter is broken down into two parts. Information on the towed 10.5cm le. F.H. 18 is given first followed by details on the Wespe.
Here is a breakdown of the individual chapters and some details on each:
1. History/ Technical development & production
The le. F.H. 18 information is rather concise but includes information on variants, production, typical unit strength and crew configuration.
The Wespe data is much more extensive encompassing not only a technical description but also detailed information on individual unit allocation for the different divisions that were issued this vehicle. A nice graphical table of organization is included for a typical battery as well that includes support vehicles. A section on the Hummel-Wespe is also included.
2. Museum vehicles and modeling
This section has a short write-up on the Tamiya Wespe by Tony Greenland along with a chart of available kits and accessories for the Wespe and le. F.H. 18. There is also a listing of surviving examples and an extensive bibliography for those who want to dig deeper
3. Technical details & active service
This section contains all of the period photos. All three versions of the le. F.H. 18 are pictured. The Wespe section is extensive wit many pictures from the front lines and includes the munitions carrier.
The le. F.H. drawings are of the 18m version, with different wheels types and the limber, which we all wish someone would produce in 1:35 scale! The Wespe drawings include production variations and interior detail
5. Colour profiles
This section contains 13 color plates of the Wespe, one of the munitions carrier and one of the different ammunition components.
6. Preserved vehicles in museums & private collections
There are color pictures here or the le. F.H 18, 18m and 18/40 with wheel variations and some nice pictures of the Rundblickfernrohr 36 sight. The Wespe photos are from several different survivors great exterior and interior shots as well as a short section on the radio and ammunition.
This section actually begins on the inside cover with Tony Greenland detailing the venerable AFV Club le. F.H. 18 kit and continues at the end with a super-duper detailing job on Tamiya’s outstanding Wespe kit.
In summary, it’s all here folks: Background, period photos, drawings and color plates, surviving examples and even models.