Sunday, March 31

in review…PeKo Publishing - Sturmgeschütz III on the Battlefield

Popular with the soldiers who fought with and inside it – the Sturmgeschütz III was probably what the German army of WWII should have mass produced – we have reviewed the new book from Peko Publishing titled “Sturmgeschütz III on the Battlefield” which documents the variants and career of this sturdy vehicle.

Peko Publishing Sturmgeschütz III on the Battlefield

World War Two Photobook Series Vol.II
Text by Matyas Panczel
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Peko Publishing (January 28, 2013)
ISBN-10: 9638962313
ISBN-13: 978-9638962317
Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
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PeKo Publishing is a new company from lovely Hungary,they have released two books specializing on some of the most produced vehicles in military history – namely the T-34 and now the German Sturmgeschütz III AFV. This New title takes a look at the progression of the Stug III throughout the war.

Physically this book is a large landscape style book with a lovely white hardcover which immediately separates this title from a lot of others in this genre. Coming in at 118 pages the format of this book is that of one large picture to a page and then the paragraph or so explaining not only what is going on but the history of the development of the vehicle if the photo presents it.
So instead of a dry commentary piled into a few pages and then lots of piccies in the back we have a detailed view of the gradual creeping development from the factory and ersatz additions by the soldiers in the field. We see how the feedback of the soldiers then again led back to changes in the factories again. The two factories who made the Sturmgeschütz are mentioned in every caption in brackets and this really helps you work out who made a certain series or modification. The Alklett factory making features like the 80mm cast gun turret solely and the MIAG factory’s vehicles immediately identifiable by the mesh type of Zimmerit. Little facts like these really help you understand easily the variation of the types and helps you better identify the vehicle’s origin.
The writing itself has a few grammatical errors in translation here and there but nothing that effects the ease of reading the text. I cannot speak Hungarian so it is not up to me to have a go at someone else for their translation.  There is a dual introduction in Maygar and English at the start of the book which gives you a good oversight of the vehicle’s history and the variants, which factory made them and their features. There is as well a table showing which of Germany’s allies got this vehicle and in what marque.
A feature I really appreciate in the writing is how the book followed the natural progression of the vehicle from short gunned under-armoured light tanks in 1940 and the early Russian campaign to the slant armoured vehicles with constantly upgraded guns and features at the end of the war nearly chronologically throughout the war.

The pictures must be commented on here as well – they are of good quality and most are taken with the whole vehicle in the frame so this isn’t a “walkaround” book at all you are given plenty of different aspects of the vehicle as a focus in all of the pictures. All angles are pretty much covered here in this book.

There are several little photo essay type sections in the book where you get five or six pages of pictures or either one or a few of that unit’s vehicles. Shot from all around the Stug’s in repair and in action are a nice addition, especially to modellers wanting to replicate a single vehicle in a diorama.

The H version of the StuG with it’s short barrelled 105mm is shown in several pictures at the rear of the book along with some really interesting shots of a heavy crane removing an engine deck to effect repairs. My inspiration senses are starting to tingle and this book definitely got me thinking of some interesting dio possibilities.
After reading this book I have a much better understanding of the Sturmgeschütz and it’s variants. The book I found easy to read and interesting at that. It never felt to me like a dry rendition you may find in some histories.

If you like German armour or want to model the StuG especially than this book is a must for your collection.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks are due to Peko Publishing for the review sample.