Sturmgeschütz III & Sturmhaubitze 42
Ostfront Warfare Series Volume I
A4 format, 114 pages, 142 b/w photographs
The Sturmgeschütz III was initially introduced as an assault gun armed with the short-barreled 7.5cm KwK L/24 and intended for the infantry support role. By early 1942 however, the German army needed a powerful gun capable of successfully engaging the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 at reasonable combat ranges. In parallel with efforts to up-gun the Pz.Kpfw.IV, they undertook a program to re-arm the StuG.III with the 7.5cm StuK L/43 and soon thereafter with the longer L/48. The L/43-armed vehicles were designated StuG.III Ausf.F and the version with the longer gun was known as the Ausf.F/8. When further revisions were made to the vehicle itself, it became known as the Ausf.G.
Later in 1942, work also began on a version armed with a variant the 10.5cm leFH 18. The first vehicles were delivered in November based on StuG.III Ausf.F chassis, and series production deliveries began in March 1943 on StuG.IIII Ausf.G chassis.
First in a new 'Ostfront Warfare' series from Panzerwrecks is a volume covering the long-gunned Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.F, F/8 and G, and the 10.5cm-armed Sturmhaubitze 42. The book is presented in Panzerwrecks' usual A4 landscape format with crisply printed photographs and concise but informative text. Author Vyacheslav Kozitsyn has gathered photographs from a variety of museums and private collections, and has researched the vehicles and the locations of the photographs, in some cases even giving us geographical coordinates in Google Maps via 3D barcodes on the pages.
Furthermore, the Panzerwrecks team has translated the captions and text from the author's original Russian into English, and then gone the extra mile to give us grammatically accurate and meaningful translations. This reviewer has some experience with how difficult that exercise can be, so congratulations to the author and to Maria Sinitsina, Ivan Polkin and Lee Archer for taking the time and having the patience to do it right.
In some instances, the book contains multiple photographs of the same vehicle or group of vehicles, and these are placed together in the book.
The photographs are reproduced in sizes ranging from a full page to one-quarter of a page. One or two photos are slightly grainy but not overly so, and details of the subject vehicles are still discernible. For seven of the photos, artist Felipe Rodna has created color plates to match. These are included on the facing page opposite the photo they represent, and on the back cover of the book.
Many of the photographs come from Russian, Belarussian and Bulgarian sources and collections, though a few are sourced from the Archive of Modern Conflict and NARA. However, few if any of the photos have appeared before in English language publications. This reviewer had certainly not seen any of the photos before, despite having numerous books on the Sturmgeschütz.
In summary, this is a well-researched and well-presented volume that certainly lives up to the standard we have come to expect from Panzerwrecks.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Panzerwrecks for this review copy.
Reviewed by Neil Stokes
If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.
Click here for more information about joining AMPS