Kagero's 39/40 M.Csaba Armord Car


Peter Mujzer




$26.95 from www.casematepublishers.com


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 76 pages, softbound, A4 format
ISBN: 978-83-66673-99-1

Hungary was one of the last of WWI's defeated powers to rearm their military. As it didn't start until 1938, they had some catching up to do. Initially they were able to get equipment from Italy in terms of aircraft and some other arms. However, they also needed armored cars and wanted German vehicles. Germany was unwilling to supply these so Hungary had to go it alone. They already had a very good chassis, designed by Nicholas Straussler while he was in England during the mid 1930s. This chassis was the basis of several British vehicles.

This design was the basis for the 39 M Csaba armored car, built by Weiss Manfred. These cars were powered by a 100hp Ford flathead V-8. It had a body reminiscent of the German SdKfz 221/222 series and was armed with an 8mm machine gun and a 20mm anti-tank rifle. Armor was not very thick, though able to withstand small arms fire. A similar vehicle, the 40 M Csaba was basically a radio command car with a smaller turret and only the machine gun. This variant is shown on the cover with the antenna in the raised position.

Construction was not very fast as the factory was also a repair depot and involved in building other items for the military. Taken into combat, the car was effective where there wasn't any serious opposition. Its thin armor was fairly easily penetrated by even small calibre anti-tank rounds, but its speed and off road capabilities made it an effective scouting vehicle. It was also useful in anti-partisan work as well as general policing.

The book covers the development of the chassis and the armored car itself. These is a fairly detailed description of the vehicle as well as its operations. Lots of photos of the vehicle are included in the book, including quite a few that have been colorized. In addition, there are a fair number of color profiles that show all the different camouflage schemes and different insignia worn by the vehicle. Well worth picking up. 

August 2022

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