Combat History of Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 217
Title: Combat History of Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 217
Author: Timm Haasler & Simon Vosters
A landscape format hardback book of 284-pages and the result of around 20 years of research, piecing information together to create this history of an interesting unit which was equipped with a specialised and quite rare Sturmpanzer. It is in fact the only Wehrmacht unit which operated the Sturmpanzer IV on the Western Front. Others were in use but only on the Eastern front.
Split over 9 chapters it starts with the formation of the unit in January 1944 and goes on to their deployment in Normandy where they lost all their equipment. Survivors reformed and re-equipped in Belgium, fought through to Aachen and on to the Ardennes before their final movements up to the end of the war. Good use of surviving unit diaries along with other references, though there are still some gaps that remain to be filled. A chapter at the end devoted to the details of the Sturmpanzer IV itself. The book is well illustrated throughout with a lot of archive photos, reproduced in full page size, and some have been interpreted into excellent colour artwork by the talented Felipe Rodna. Add maps and then another batch of detailed photos at the end which include modern photos of the internal fighting compartment of museum examples at Saumur and Munster.
The quality of this new book from Panzerwrecks is first class, as we have come to expect from them over the years. Fascinating for the WW2 armour historian and equally for the modeller who wants to know the story behind a specific vehicle they choose to make. Highly recommended.
Thanks to Panzerwrecks for our review copy.