Back in 2006 when Photoclubalpha started out, I kicked off the website with a story:http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2006/05/2 ... en-geisha/
This was my May 2006 summation of Minolta's history (if you know all the incidents involved, like Minolta trying to release a camera with the Leica M mount in the 1950s, it all makes sense). The arrangement with Leitz actually dates right back to the big clash they had when Leitz stopped Minolta releasing an M-mount system. They gave help to Minolta to use many Leica engineering concepts, including the concentric lever-wind focal plane shutter, in the SR reflex camera series. Minolta launched that instead and worked with Leitz/Leica for a quarter of a century on mechanical components, optical parts etc.
In 1982 I was able to see the showcase museum in Osaka with all the Leica parts (things like prisms, screens etc) made by Minolta on display.