Sturmgeschütz, Volumes 1 & 2
Germany’s WWII Assault Gun: Early War / Late War Versions
These books are the two newest additions to the Legends of Warfare ( Ground ) series published by Schiffer Publishing, long known for their extensive lines of military history titles. This series of books covers ground, naval and aviation subjects, with previous ground titles in this line featuring the German Panzerkampfwagen IV tank, and the US M40 Gun Motor Carriage. Both previous Ground titles were favorably reviewed by AMPS.
This series of books all share similar formats, being heavily illustrated with vintage photography of the subjects, with contemporary in-detail style, walk around photos incorporated when available as well. The series is touted as being economical, yet still offering high quality images combined with detailed text.
As both volumes covering the Sturmgeschütz series are being published and released simultaneously, I will review them as a set.
Format - hardcover, square format
Page Count - heavyweight, glossy paper, 128 pages each volume
Size - 9.25" x 9.25"
Photos - 137 photos in Volume 1, 132 photos in Volume 2, vintage Black and White, a few contemporary Full Color images of restored vehicles.
Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - Tables detailing technical specifications and performance of the various production models of the StuG.
All text and photo captions are in English
What's in the Books?
Above - cover image, Volume 1
Volume 1 Contents
As seen in the table of contents, Volume 1 of this two volume set introduces the Sturmgeshütze series, and has thorough coverage of the early war Ausf. A through the Ausf. E production models.
Above - an interesting image of a StuG re-arming on the Eastern front.
Above- the full page size of the majority of the images allows for great detail to be seen in them.
Above - There are some terrific, crystal clear views of StuGs shown at factories or proving grounds. Here we see great images of the StuG III Ausf. F armed with the more powerful 7.5cm StuK 40 L/43 gun. This put the StuG on a bit more of a level playing ground when opposing Soviet armor.
Above - There are some really nice contemporary images of a restored Ausf. D, captured by the British at El Alamein
Above - page upon page of great images and diorama ideas
Each chapter is handled by the author in a uniform manner; opening with a block of text discussing the production version differences, production figures, and other points of interest. Also provided here is a very complete table giving the vehicle’s performance figures and technical specifications. Dimensions, Performance, Armament, and Automotive figures are provided, as is production information.
Above - cover image, Volume 2
Above - contents of Volume 2, note the chapters on the manufacturers
Above - here’s a different look for a StuG!
Author David Doyle must sort through thousands of images to select the ones in his titles. I have a genuinely difficult time selecting a handful to include in a review, due to the overall very high quality of his image selections for his publications.
Above - no, that’s not a Flying Tiger P-40 somewhere over China...
Above - similarly to Volume 1, this book also has a couple of pages of contemporary photos, these are of the StuG III G at the Munster museum.
Above - every page, another terrific image to examine!
Above - wars end for this group of German AFVs. Another Wonderful image, showing a wealth of fine detail.
This two volumes contain so many high quality, interesting photographs that I had to make a conscious effort to limit what I included in this review.
The photographs are very well chosen for these volumes, being (for the vast majority of them) very crisp and sharp, despite some of them obviously taken under somewhat less than ideal conditions. The reader sees all versions of the StuG in a wide variety of actions and conditions; in combat, factories and in the workshop / re-arming areas, in mud, snow, and on the vast steppes of Russia. The wide variety of photos in these books gives the reader a very complete look at this entire vehicle range throughout WWII.
The text provided by the author is of two sorts; the opening text with each chapter providing comprehensive background information on each production version of the StuG, and the photo captions. The photo captions are very thorough, providing a great deal of information on the subjects illustrated, and pointing out areas of special interest in the photograph. The author’s including such complete and all inclusive text in photo captions makes these books considerably better than “just” a book of outstanding photographs of an interesting subject line.
Finally, a word about value. For a good many of us, good references for vehicles or any weapons class or type that we are interested in, are good at any price. We will spend many times the price of a kit in order to have good trustworthy references to build said kit. Considering that, it needs saying that this Legends of Warfare series of books is priced incredibly well, at just $19.99 each. That’s not a whole lot more than what many hobby magazines or slim soft cover titles cost these days.
NOTE - for a limited time, these books can be ordered for $18 USD, postage paid from www.daviddoylebooks.com
These books are sold separately, I’d certainly recommend purchasing the set, I like them that much. Kudos to Schiffer and to author David Doyle for more winners in this series of books.
Thanks to David Doyle Books for the review copy
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
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