SU-76 on the Battlefield
...WW2 Photo Book Series
Title: SU-76 on the Battlefield...
Author: Neil Stokes
Publisher: PeKo Publishing
...WW2 Photo Book Series
This is volume 12 in their photobook series and makes an ideal modellers reference, especially if you are building, or planning to build, the recent 1/35 Tamiya kit of the SU-76M. The book is printed in dual language throughout, Hungarian and English, a hardback, landscape format book of 112 pages and with 105 large format black and white archive photos, all printed to a high quality.
It opens with an Introduction (repeated in each of the two languages) which provides the development background of this self-propelled gun, based around the adapted hull (lengthened and widened) of the T-70 light tank. The early versions, the SU-76 had two engines, coupled together but fitted on either side of the driver, each one driving the track on just one side. It also had a roof over the fighting compartment, which made it cramped and with ventilation problems when the gun was in action. Though not certain, it suggest a figure of some 530 were built. Improvements were made to create the SU-76M, which used a pair of diesel engines driving a common transmission and drive while the fighting compartment was now open topped. Various detail changes were made during production between 1943 and 1945, but around 13,000 were built before production ceased in November 1945.
The photos all have dual language captioning, which all give good details about the machines pictured and where and when they were. They essentially follow on in a chronological sequence, from 1943 through to 1945. They show plenty of detail of the external fittings of the type and changes in fittings and stowage over the years. Plenty also show useful details of the uniforms and equipment of the crews and the frequent use for carrying troops. They also show the varied conditions in which they operated, in mud and dust, in summer and in very snowy winters. It also shows the various rough winter whitewash camouflage applied as well as those where signs of the winter finish remain, even after much of it has worn off. There is also good variation of the SU-76M in action, moving in safer, rear areas as well as examples that had been knocked out. There are even a couple in use with German forces who put a captured example into use, complete with German dunkelgelb and green camouflage colours.
For those interested in Soviet equipment during WW2, and particularly of interest to modellers with that new Tamiya kit, another good addition to this Peko photobook series. It is available in the UK through Panzerwrecks.