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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Thursday, December 05, 2019


A surprisingly good StuG book for both AFV buffs and modellers.

Having a special interest in StuGs it takes a special StuG book to surprise me. Well, Dennis Oliver´s new book StuG III & IV: German Army, Waffen-SS and Luftwaffe, Western Front 1944-1945 contained some news for me - not least about Danish postwar StuG use.

Why are WWII assault guns/tank destroyers of special interest among AFV buffs and modellers? I reckon there are several different answers depending on who you ask, but here in Sweden I think quite a few guys (now rather mature AFV buffs/modellers) once trained to use the Swedish "S-tank" (strv 103), like myself, will be aware of the historical roots between the S-tank and the WWII assault guns. I recall my 1980s exchange of letters with the chief designer of the S-tank, Sven Berge - from which I understood that the design similarities of StuGs and S-tanks were no coincidence.

Now, having read about StuGs since the glorious 1980s it takes quite a lot to impress me. But Dennis Oliver´s book has done so. Almost all WWII photographs in his new book are new to me and then he has produced 23 brilliant colour illustrations, clearly displaying different types of camouflage and markings. Aside from these Oliver provides short but good unit histories with graphics plus all the different StuG scale models ever made and very good photos of assembled and painted kits.

Being a blogger/writer with a Nordic angle on military history I must of course also mention my big surprise when I found Oliver´s photo of a StuG III Ausf. B belonging to Minenkommando Dänemark, a company-sized formation formed by the Allies after WWII to remove the about 1 million mines that the Germans had laid along the Danish coast. I knew of this mine-clearing operation but did not knew it had StuG IIIs and PzKpfw IIIs. Well, Oliver knows a lot about StuGs, and has the ability to transfer his knowledge in this quite short (64 pages) but large size book in the excellent TankCraft series.

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