Panzerwrecks- Sturmtiger- The Combat History of Sturmmörser Kompanies 1000-1002
Authors: Lee Archer & Timm Haasler
Artwork: Felipe Rodna
Hardcover, Landscape Format, 176 pages with 130 black & white and color photos and 13 pieces of artwork
From the Panzerwrecks website:
Sturmtiger: The Combat History of Sturmmörser Kompanies 1000-1002 documents this fascinating weapons system from inception in 1943 to its first use in Warsaw and the battles in Germany during 1945.
Researched over many years using German, American and British records, authors Lee Archer and Timm Haasler are the first to tell the story of the units that used the Sturmtiger. This 176-page book is illustrated with 130 large-format black and white photographs. A separate map by Simon Vosters shows the combat areas, and Felipe Rodna has created 14 specially commissioned artworks, the most accurate to date.
Here is a glimpse at how the book is organized:
Another welcome book from the Panzerwrecks team-- this time focusing on one of my favorite German AFVs from the war- the Sturmtiger. One has to usually do some searching to get any idea of any actions these assault guns took part in as so few were actually used in combat (only 18 were ever produced). There were many production delays due to the reluctance to delay Tiger tank production, until Hitler ordered that these would be built on repurposed Tiger I chassis from combat damaged tanks. This is an excellent resource to fill in some serious gaps. I had a difficult time putting it down as they go into great detail relating the actions of the units that used them in combat. They saw service in only a few engagements- including the Warsaw Uprising.
Hitler inspecting a factory "fresh" Sturmtiger
The following section on Technical Features is excellent for a lot of ways. We get some excellent in-depth photos of some of the unique features of this vehicle, including the loading mechanisms and procedures for the giant 38cm shells, details on the shells themselves, and the actual gun. There are a few black and white images of some of the interior details, but no color references. There is an excellent drawing in color of the shell as seen below. This section is by no means a walk around, but what photos that are here are definitely useful. So much so that it motivated me to grab an RFM interior kit from my favorite online store.
From there, we get to the best part of the book in this reader's opinion. The combat actions of Sturmmörser Kompanies 1000, 1001, and 1002. The content is broken down primarily by the months from August of 1944 through May of 1945, before then focusing on specific Sturmtiger wrecks. In a dozen or so instances, the excellent black and white photographs are coupled with the amazing artwork by Felipe Rodna- I have included an example below. The latter sections of the book focus on specific Sturmtiger wrecks and are classified by the towns they were found in. In some of these sections, we get more up close pictures of the interiors of these AFVs. Occasionally, there are some covered in American GIs taken for photo ops, and one often sees one of them with their bodies poking through the massive gun barrel- which make for some interesting diorama options.
A rather rare in-action shot of a firing Sturmtiger during the Warsaw Uprising
Color artwork reproduction
This is another excellent book in the Panzerwrecks series. Filled with excellent high quality photos and well written accounts of their actions, anyone interested in this rare Tiger variant would be happy to add this one to their collection. The artwork by Felipe Rodna brings some of these 70+ year old photos to life and give an excellent color profile of the camouflage used to boot. Nothing I can say here can emphasize more how great this series of books are and Lee Archer and his team are to be commended for another great release! Time to crack open that RFM kit now...
Highly Recommended for modelers and historians of any level interested in the Sturmmörser Kompanies 1000-1002 and their massive assault guns.
Thanks goes out to Panzerwrecks for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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