Concord Publications has expanded its Armor At War Series with Volume 2 of the German Sturmartillerie at War by Frank de Sisto. As the title suggests, it builds on the already published Volume 1 and comes as a soft cover 8.5” x 11” edition consisting of 72 pages printed on high quality glossy paper.
Designed primarily as a photo reference, the book is largely devoted to period photos of various vehicles that fall into the Sturmartillerie category of German WW2 equipment. The Introduction covers 2 full pages with single-spaced text with short sections discussing the redefinition of Sturmartillerie and its role as the war progressed. Detailed sections describing the development and deployment histories are also included for the following vehicle types: Sturmgeschutz (StuG) IV 7.5cm Sturmkanone 40 (L/48) (Sd.Kfz. 167), s.IG33 auf Fgst.Pz.Kpfw. III (Sfl.), Sturmgeschutz IV fur Sturmhaubitze 43 (Sd.Kfz. 166) aka “Brummbar”, and Sturmmorser 606/4 mit 38cm Raketenwerfer 61 aka “SturmTiger” A short Note on the Photographs is also provided that indicates that while every effort was made to include new/fresh photos in this volume, many were also drawn from the Panzer Vor! Series and other works by Frank de Sisto and published by Concord, so some overlap is to be expected if you already have the volumes in that series.
The format of the remainder of the book focuses on providing as many photos as possible while including detailed captions with each. Depending on the pages in question, there can be as many as 5 or as few as 2 photos per page. There are a total of 165 photos provided along with a middle section of 8 pages with color plates of 16 vehicles by Laurent Lecocq with all of the vehicles portrayed in profile and individually captioned. All of the color plates are of vehicles actually featured in various photos in the Volume, providing a cross section across all the vehicle types covered.
The breakdown of the 165 photos is as follows:
• StuG III Ausf A: 6
• StuG III Ausf B: 33
• StuG III Ausf C/D: 15
• StuG III Ausf E: 2
• StuG III Ausf F, F/8:24
• StuG III Ausf G: 68
• s.IG 33: 1
• StuG IV: 10
• Sturmpanzer IV: 4
• Sturmmorser: 2
The organization of the photos by vehicle type is meant to show a clear progression/narrative in the development of Sturmartillerie but in reality the vast majority of the book (158 out of 165 photos) is devoted to the StuG III/IV variants with only scant attention given to the other vehicles mentioned in the Introduction. This is understandable to a degree given the rarity of existing photos on some of the vehicles but the fact remains that this is essentially a photo reference on the StuG family and those looking for additional photos of the larger Sturmartillerie family will be sorely disappointed. The quality of the photos overall is very good however some of the pages that have 3 or more photos included inevitably make some sacrifices in the size department in order to accommodate them. This is made up for somewhat with the detailed caption descriptions that often include important details for the specific variant pictured that you wouldn’t have been able to recognize on your own. In the case where some of the photos or captions had been featured in previous Concord volumes but contained errors, those errors have been corrected and noted in the caption where appropriate.
Considering the price of approximately $14 USD, this volume represents an effective way to build up your reference library with a good stock of photos covering the StuG III/IV family of vehicles in particular. While the other vehicles described in the Sturmartillerie family only have a grand total of 7 photos present, the text information presented on them, in particular that for the “Brummbar” or Sturmpanzer IV, is detailed and useful. Recommended.
Highs: High number of photos with informative and descriptive captions. Lows: Some photos repeated from previous Concord works. Light coverage of some of the more interesting subjects vs. the StuG III/IV family. Verdict: Recommended as an excellent supplemental reference for the subjects covered, and represents a good value for the price.
About Bill Plunk (wbill76) FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES
Like many, I started out in the hobby as a kid building airplanes to hang from my bedroom cieling. I took a long break from the hobby, returning in 2001 with an interest in armor inspired mostly by online gaming. WW2 armor, 1/35 scale, is my preferred genre with a special taste for the stranger vehi...