Author: Blaine Taylor, ISBN: 9780850526578, Hardback, 208 pages, Published in 1999, condition NEW (old stock)
Difficult as it may be to believe, over fifty years after the end of World War Two tens of thousands of photographs from the Third Reich era, many chronicling important meetings and appearances of the Axis leaders, have never been published. The full extent and content of these historic photo archives are known only to a handful of dedicated researchers. Blaine Taylor is one such researcher, and has gathered in this remarkable volume hundreds of rare photos illustrating one of the most intriguing stories from the dark era of the 1930s and 1940s, the use of Mercedes-Benz automobiles by the leaders of Nazi Germany.
The luxurious and technically advanced Mercedes-Benz automobiles were much admired in Germany and were naturally taken into use by the various agencies of the Third Reich. Many of these automobiles appear in dramatic photographs of the period, from pre-war Party rallies to the entry into Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to Hitler's departure from Rastenburg after the assassination attempt upon him.
Since Mercedes-Benz automobiles were seen as symbols of the prosperous Germany promised by the Nazis, they were often displayed by Party leaders during the years of struggle, with aring's 1931 roadster being the most famous example. The cars were also speedy and sturdy, allowing Hitler and his top associates to campaign throughout Germany at a speed that caught his political opponents unprepared.
State power brought almost infinite resources into the hands of the Nazi Party, and liberal use of luxury automobiles was part of the spoils of victory. Again, a vehicle belonging to Hermann Goring typifies the era, in this case his massive Grosser Mercedes six-seat touring car.
The early war saw the automobile's most colorful moment, as part of Hitler's personal Grey (or Filhrer) Column, which toured parts of Poland and France even as fighting was still in progress. Allied air supremacy soon made such operations too hazardous, but Mercedes cars soldiered on with important state duties, often with bullet-proof windows and low-visibility headlights and occasionally with anti-aircraft machine guns mounted.
Mercedes-Benz Staff Cars of the Third Reich covers in detail all of the models, personalities and important events in the automotive history of the Third Reich. Blaine Taylor's fascinating text is supplemented by an extraordinary array of illustrations, from retro-futuristic paintings of the 1930s to unpublished photographs from the Hermann Goring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Eva Braun, and Heinrich Hoffmann archives.
Blaine Taylor served with an elite light infantry brigade in Vietnam and was awarded twelve medals and decorations. He has worked as a Congressional press officer, and has been a photographic researcher for numerous works on the Third Reich and other periods of German history.