The book starts with the role of the motorcycle in war and who the pioneer developers were. We then move on to the anatomy of the bike and the gradual standardization of layout. There are sections that cover the expansion of military use and wartime production. We then look at how the riders were dressed and the specialist roles designed for them.
Needless to say, peacetime between the wars and the great depression forced most of the smaller operators out of business, with only the stronger, “favoured“ marques surviving.This book deals with those problems and the re-mechanization of the German Army. Indeed, Germany was the only nation to extensively use motorcycles in their “blitzkrieg“ tactics. While other nations used motorcycles as messengers, stretcher-bearers and transport, the German Army created Kradschudtzen, motorcycle troops attached to brigade and divisions as a tactical fighting arm. Many of the larger Kradschudtzen units had machine guns attached to the bikes to be used as “shoot and scoot“ reconnaissance.l
The final section of the book deals with the deployment of the motorcycle from World War 2 onwards and includes the development of the Heavyweight bikes, the Lightweights and the folding airborne bike. Oddities include the ubiquitous Kettenkraftrad SdKfz2, the trikes, ATV's and Quads. This section also holds some interesting pictures of bikes from France, Belgium, the Commonwealth, Italy, USSR, Japan and neutral Europe
This is an excellent reference source for the Military historian, model-maker or bike enthusiast. The text is plain English without too much technical jargon. The photos are excellent; Crisp, clear and some of the close ups are ideal for the larger scale modelller. This is a must-have for the bike modeller.
I do not often give out top marks for a review, but this book gets 5 out of 5
Published by Anness Publishing, Blaby Rd, Wigston, Leics LE18 4
First published 16 January 2013. ISBN13: 9781780192024
96 pages with 230 coloured and black & white photographs.