Author: Lee Archer & Timm Haasler
The Combat History of Sturmmorser Kompanies 1000-1002, a super new 176-page hardcover book from Panzerwrecks. A landscape format book, mixing a marvellous collection of archive images with fine artwork from Filipe Rodna and text which has all the detail I think we could want on this particular variant on the Tiger I chassis, and its' unusual armament.
One of the first things to impress me was the inclusion of a fold-out sheet with a map, tucked between the pages of the book, showing the different locations where the Sturmtiger was used in combat. Bear in mind that there were only 18 of these vehicles made, and only issued to the 3 units mentioned in the sub-title of the book. Some of the images of abandoned Sturmtigers are well known, but the authors have tracked down a number of additional pictures showing the same vehicles over time, as more and more other sightseers take the opportunity to be photographed with them. Just 18 examples of the Sturmtiger were built, not as new build tanks, but the projector and superstructure fitted to the chassis of Tigers that had been returned to the workshops for repair. The book gives the development story, with the 38cm weapon originally developed for the Kriegsmarine but adapted for use by the army. Two types of projectile were made and these are described in detail and well illustrated, including colour artwork. They were rockets. Developed with the idea of being used against concrete defensive positions, or buildings, they were first used in Warsaw in 1944, where a round could easily demolish a while city building. In addition to the fantastic collection of archive images, which are reproduced at full page size, there is super colour artwork illustrating 9 specific examples when they were captured. Interesting to see that most of these appear to have been finished in the late war Ambush style camouflage. With the combat history of the units included, along with plenty of data tables showing the unit returns of both equipment and personnel within the Appendices, along with the US Ordnance Dept detailed report on the weapon.
This is a marvellous and detailed piece of work on the history of this very distinctive AFV. As well as the AFV historian though, modellers will love this for the detail on show in the photos, both inside and out. There is a 1/35 kit of the Sturmtiger with interior detail so this has to be the ideal reference for anyone building one, and equally plenty of inspiration for diorama ideas. Recommended without hesitation.
Thanks to Panzerwrecks for our review copy.