TankCraft 19, Stug III & IV...

 

...German Army, Waffen-SS and Luftwaffe, Western Front 1944-1945, from Pen and Sword

 

Title: TankCraft 19, Stug III & IV

Author: Dennis Oliver

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-52675-586-5

 

Number 19 in the TankCraft series from Pen & Sword is another from author Dennis Oliver. In the early years of WW2, the Sturmgeschutz were fitted with short barrelled 75mm guns, intended primarily to support infantry and for 'bunker-busting'. Later in the war they began to build them armed with the longer 75mm guns, and this led them to have a powerful, mobile anti-tank capability. By that time the Pz III tank was outclassed, but the reliable chassis, fitted with a fixed superstructure meant simpler production by not needing the turret and rotating system.

So this new addition to the TankCraft series looks at the units equipped with the Stug III & IV during the second half of the war, and their units on the Western Front. As the author points out in his introduction, this period also saw units destroyed and reformed, sometimes with a different name. So I think Dennis has been brave to take on the challenge of trying to keep track of them all. There are a multitude of units, equipping the Heer (Army), SS and Luftwaffe. The units service history are detailed one by one, while there are also a number of unit organisation charts as well.  interestingly, It includes the Funklenk units which operated with radio-controlled Borgeward demolition vehicles. Equally, an unusual Minenkommando Daenark unit formed by the allies at the end of the war, with POWs helping out with mine clearance operations.

Following the usual format for the series, the unit histories are intertwined with archive photos, 11 pages of excellent colour artwork profiles; a Modellers' Showcase, with 3 very finely 1/35 Stug models before a look at the variety of models that are available in a mix of scales, along with a wide variety of detailing accessories from various manufacturers. The book is rounded off with a couple of pages detailing technical modifications made to the Stug series, between the different manufacturers over the last couple of years of the war.

Another excellent addition to the TankCraft series, one which armour historians will like  as well as the many fans of German Armour modellers. Recommended with no hesitation.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this copy.

Robin