A welcome addition to a very popular series aimed at model makers and military vehicle enthusiasts. Circumstances forced the Germans to find creative ways of keeping obsolescent armoured vehicles current and the STUG III & IV are classics of this – Highly Recommended.
NAME: STUG III & IV, German Army, Waffen-SS and Luftwaffe, Western Front, 1944-1945 FILE: R2964 AUTHOR: Dennis Oliver PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword, TankCraft BINDING: soft back PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, armour, tank killers, assault guns, obsolescent designs, German Army, Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe, SP anti-aircraft guns, Western Front, Closing Stages of WWII
IMAGE: B2964.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y5onktg4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A welcome addition to a very popular series aimed at model makers and military vehicle enthusiasts. Circumstances forced the Germans to find creative ways of keeping obsolescent armoured vehicles current and the STUG III & IV are classics of this – Highly Recommended. The Pkw III and IV tanks were late into service with the Polish invasion and early WWII actions depending heavily on the training tanks Pkw 1 and Pkw II which were inadequately armoured and armed. The small number of Pkw III tanks used in the Battle of France proved inferior to the British Matilda infantry tank which could shrug off fire from the Pkw III and hit it fatally with a much more effective anti-tank cannon. The Germans faced a fundamental problem that it could not build tanks fast enough and faced an even greater challenge in developing and adequately testing new designs. To fill the gap they came up with some creative methods of increasing firepower and armour, if with a number of limitations. The basic problem facing tank designers around the world was that as soon as a new model entered service, the enemies or potential enemies were introducing more effective designs. The Soviet T-34 was an example of a new design that caught the Germans on the hop and made their existing tanks obsolete almost overnight. The Pkw III and Pkw IV models needed urgently to be up-gunned and up-armoured to meet the Soviet threat and also the new designs entering service with the Western Allies. However, the most reliable approach would have been to design a larger tank with much heavier and better sloped armour, topped with a larger, better armoured turret mounting a much more powerful gun with better fire control. The real answer was the Pkw V Panther and the Tiger I & II designs but producing them fast enough and fixing all the teething problems meant delays and reliability problems. Fixing the gap was addressed by converting the Pkw III and Pkw IV designs into assault tanks, where an much heavier gun was mounted directly in the hull to overcome the limitations of trunnion spacing and turret ring limitations of a turreted design. To improve protection, additional armour was bolted on, spaced from the original armour. The resulting vehicle had the advantage of lower silhouette against the disadvantage of limited traverse and elevation/depression and a greater overall weight that limited performance. This book provides outstanding illustration and a concise history of the models and their development. This is accompanied with the comprehensive review of available model kits and specialist parts to modify kits to produce exhibition standard models. It will be very well received by its primary targeted readership, but this is a great value book with impressive illustration that is affordable and informative for those developing an interest in military history.