SU-76 Assault Gun...
... from Osprey Publishing
Title: SU-76 Assault Gun
Author: Stephen J. Zaloga
New Vanguard number 270 from Osprey is another from well known author Steve Zaloga plus some excellent artwork from Felipe Rodriguez. In this compact book we find the development story of the Assault gun that was the SU-76, a small armoured vehicle that was only second to the T-34 in terms of the numbers that were built during WW2. The development story is an interesting one, with original plans to use the chassis of the small T-60 but this proved to be unfit for the job, so it was changed to using the T-70. In the early examples it used two engines, side by side, with the driver sitting between them and without any firewalls, so it is hard to image how horrible that driving experience must have been. Later it was change to using two engine in an in-line arrangement on the right hand side.
It describes the experiences of it in Combat and the development of a 'Foreign' SU-76, using captured Pz III chassis with the turret removed and replaced with a simple casemate and the gun. The SU-76 was assigned to Infantry divisions, as it was for infantry support and not intended to be used as an anti-tank weapon, though it could be if pushed. It goes on to explain various adjustments made and production in multiple factories, all of which had to fit in with factories being moved and the demands of other AFV production. It also covers the air defence version, the ZSU-37, which was only built in small numbers. Other developments were tried but didn't make it to production versions.
As well as the Red Army, the SU-76 was supplied to a number of other Warsaw Pact countries, as well as China, and to North Korea, where they were used during the Korean War in the early 1950's. It had some shortcomings but did remain in service long after the end of WW2, a story which is also included.
Plenty of interesting information, as we'd expect from a regular expert such as Steve, accompanied by plenty of good clear photo references and some equally excellent artwork from Filipe Rodriguez. Another useful addition to the New Vanguard series which I am certain modellers will love.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.