Professor Porsche’s Wars- The Secret Life of Legendary Engineer Ferdinand Porsche Who Armed Two Belligerents Through Four Decades
Received this book in the mail this week from Pen & Sword Military books in the U.K., compliments of the author Karl Ludvigsen. I am so excited to get into reading it thoroughly. Have to read the book before making any conclusions or review. However, from reading the first chapter last night about the young automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company, so far sounds very interesting and well documented about him creating the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle (Lohner-Porsche). There will be more to review later on. Definitely an in-depth and richly illustrated account of Ferdinand Porsche‘s little-known career as a military engineer embracing both World Wars. Providing insights into the creative thinking and working methods of one of the greatest automotive engineers.
It’s a hardback book, containing 272 pages worth, 250 black and white historical images, size of book is 11 x 1 x 8.8 inches (276 x 215 mm), 3.1 pounds. Imprint/publisher is: Pen & Sword Military
About the new released book & the author
Regarded as one of the great automotive engineers of the twentieth century, Ferdinand Porsche is well remembered today for his remarkable automotive designs including the Volkswagen Beetle and Auto Union Grand Prix cars. Yet there is another side to his extraordinary career, for he was an equally inventive designer of military vehicles and machinery. In this field too he excelled. Indeed the sheer versatility of his contribution is astonishing. Karl Ludvigsen’s study is the definitive guide.
He tells the complete story, focusing on Porsche’s relations with the German armed forces and on the stream of advanced designs he was responsible for. Included are Austro Daimler’s pioneering aero engines, the Kübelwagen, Schwimmwagen, Type 100 Leopard tank, Ferdinand or Elefant tank destroyer and the astounding Type 205 Maus tank. He also describes Porsche’s creative work on aero engines, tank engines and even a turbojet for the V-1 flying bomb.
Karl Ludvigsen ‘s account confirms the pre-eminence of Ferdinand Porsche as a brilliant and prolific engineer, one of the most remarkable of his generation.
About the Author
Karl Ludvigsen is a world-renowned and prize-winning historian and author with over fifty books to his credit. He has made in-depth studies of the cars and histories of Volkswagen, Corvette, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz as well as the careers of leading Grand Prix drivers and designers. A former vice-president of Ford of Europe, Ludvigsen has had a life-long interest in engineering and military history. Among his most notable publications are Porsche: Excellence Was Expected, Battle for the Beetle and Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator.
In addition to his motor industry activities as an executive (with GM, Fiat and Ford) and head of a consulting company, Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over 50 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some four dozen books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl’s life-long passion.
Since 1997 Ludvigsen has been drawing on the photographic resources of the Ludvigsen Library to write and illustrate books on the great racing drivers. His first title in this series was Stirling Moss ‘ Racing with the Maestro. He followed this with Jackie Stewart ‘ Triple-Crowned King of Speed and Juan Manuel Fangio ‘ Motor Racing’s Grand Master. Fourth in this series for Haynes Publishing was Dan Gurney ‘ The Ultimate Racer and fifth was Alberto Ascari ‘ Ferrari’s First Double Champion. Next came Bruce McLaren ‘ Life and Legend of Excellence and Emerson Fittipaldi ‘ Heart of a Racer.
Also in the field of motor sports Karl Ludvigsen has written about road racing in America, the cars of the Can-Am series, the AAR Eagle racing cars, the GT40 Fords and Prime Movers, the story of Britain’s Ilmor Engineering. His introduction to At Speed, a book of Jesse Alexander’s racing photography, won the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism. Other motors-sports titles include Classic Grand Prix Cars, a history of the front-engined G.P. racer, and Classic Racing Engines, Karl’s personal selection of 50 notable power units.
Four of Karl Ludvigsen’s books concern the Chevrolet Corvette, one of them an industry best-seller. He has written three times about Mercedes-Benz, twice about its racing cars. His books on the latter subject have won the Montagu Trophy (once) and the Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (twice), both recognising outstanding automotive historical writing. In 2001 he again received the Cugnot award from the Society of Automotive Historians for his book about the early years of the Volkswagen, Battle for the Beetle, a Robert Bentley publication.
Karl Ludvigsen’s Porsche history, Excellence was Expected, is considered by many to be a model of the researching and writing of the history of an auto company. He has updated it twice in a three-volume format for Bentley Publishers for the new Millennium. He is the author of a series of monographs on great Maserati cars. His book BRM V16 for Veloce Publishing tells the story of one of the most controversial racing cars of all time. In The V12 Engine for Haynes he describes the creation and consequences of all the cars ever powered by the iconic vee-twelves.
In 1997 Ludvigsen researched and wrote the catalogue for a special exhibition of Ferrari technological innovations on the occasion of the company’s 50th anniversary and contributed a major section to the company’s official 50-year history. He has updated this for the company’s 60th anniversary. Karl’s understanding of the Ferrari world combined with his Library’s holding of the Rodolfo Mailander photo archive to produce Ferrari by Mailander in 2005, a Dalton Watson publication. In 2006 with Dalton Watson Karl has published The Incredible Blitzen Benz, the story of six great record-breaking cars.
In co-operation with publisher Iconografix, Ludvigsen has established the Ludvigsen Library Series of 128-page books drawing on the holdings of the Ludvigsen Library. The series now numbers 19 titles, including books on Indy racing cars of 1911 to 1939, the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the Indy Novis, Chevrolet’s Corvair and Corvette, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL of 1952 and 1954-1964, the 300SLR of 1955, Porsche Spyders, Porsche 917, Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150, Land Rover Defender the Ferrari factory and American sports-racers: the Cunninghams, Chaparrals and Can-Am racing cars. More titles are in preparation.