World War II Ordnance Illustrated: APG 1946

WWII Ordnance Illustrated Special Issue Mark 1A selection of photographs of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds collection of captured AFVs and artillery in the early postwar period.

Armor Plate Press has been producing WWII Ordnance Illustrated for a couple of years now and I’ve been very pleased with the first six issues. Each issue includes a solid mix of articles covering armored vehicles, artillery, and small arms. We had never selected a specific topic to take up an entire magazine, but I had been working on a concept about the US Army’s captured vehicle collection at Aberdeen after World War II. I had far too many photos for a magazine article, but not enough for an entire book. Somewhere in that time frame a conversation with Bill Auerbach yielded a group of slides (many in color) from Colonel GB Jarrett’s collection (Colonel Jarrett started the foreign vehicles and artillery collection at Aberdeen as he was the head of the foreign weapons evaluation branch there.) At that point, I decided to create a special edition of the magazine that featured my photo collection of Aberdeen collection in the early postwar period.

Why create this special edition? First, many of the photos are outstanding and they show the vehicles soon after capture, still in their original paint schemes. The color slides (taken by Colonel Jarrett) show many of the vehicles camouflage paint. Hopefully these rare color images will end more arguments than they start. Next, there are many photos that show vehicles that were smelted down during the scrap drives of the early 1950s. Even Colonel Jarrett (by then the civilian head of the APG Museum) could not save them. Other vehicles have since been returned to Germany, ostensibly on loan for restoration. God knows if they will ever be returned.

Some highlights from APG 1946:

  • A color view of the “Landwasserschlepper”
  • A color view of a late-war camo scheme on a Jagdpanther
  • A color view of the 7.5cm Pak 40 mounted on the RSO tractor
  • Several views of the Sturmtiger
  • A photo of the massive Karl-Gerat mortar and its PZIV Munitionschlepper
  • Views of the B1V “Springer” demolition vehicle
  • The Panther II prototype
  • Many views of the Sd. Kfz. 234/3 heavy armored car
  • Many photos of rare Japanese tanks