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Mike

Sturmgeschütz III on the Battlefield 5

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Sturmgeschütz III on the Battlefield 5

World War Two Photobook Series (9786155583179)

Peko Publishing

 

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The Sturmgeschütz, or StuG for short was a turretless armoured tank destroyer from WWII that was part of a successful line of ambush predators employed by Nazi Germany against enemy tanks.  The StuG III was unsurprisingly based upon the chassis of the Panzer III, with the upper hull and turret removed and replaced by a low-profile casemate on the front half and a flat engine deck at the rear.  The casemate was filled with a 75mm gun that was adapted to the chassis with -10 to +20 elevation and 12 degrees of traverse before the driver would need to reposition.  It was eventually upgraded to a longer barrel that offered higher muzzle velocity for a more powerful punch, which coupled with the low profile made it perfect for laying in wait for Allied convoys, taking a heavy toll before the element of surprise was lost.  It was later superseded by the Jagdpanzer IV, Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger, but it remained in service until the end of the war.

 

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This new volume from PeKo's World War Two Photobook Series, and as the name suggests it is primarily a book of photos, which isn't too difficult to divine.  Although this is Volume 5 of the set it still covers the earlier variants with their shorter barrels as well as the more mature variants of the StuG, beginning with the Ausf.A and carrying on through C/D/F to Ausf.G with all the variations in fit and finish between the main factories that were engaged in construction of this important and numerous piece of German WWII armour.

 

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It is hardback bound with 112 pages between two blank inner leaves, finished in an overall white cover, and arriving protected by a layer of shrink-wrap that also helps keep out dirt. The photos are almost without exception full page, with space left only for the captions, which are in Hungarian and English, each one adding valuable insight to the photo, which may not be immediately apparent without it.  For the modeller there are plenty of diorama possibilities, as well as opportunities to see how the crews actually stowed their gear on their vehicles (or otherwise) in real-world circumstances.  Seeing how they come apart when blown up is also useful for diorama purposes, but thankfully there are no grisly scenes accompanying the destroyed vehicles.  Quite a few of the photos are from private collections with attributions in the top corner as appropriate, with substantial quantities of soldiers standing in front of damaged or abandoned vehicles between or after the fighting is over, plus a number of groups investigating the wreckage after a cataclysmic explosion of the tank's magazine, or demolition by the escaping crew.  There are also a number of maintenance scenarios with the Maybach engine in or in the process of being removed for serious repairs or replacement.

 

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While the contemporary photos are in black and white as expected due to the scarcity and expense of colour film at the time, the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any AFV enthusiast or modeller, especially those wishing to go down the route of realism and authentic settings.

 

 

Conclusion

Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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