By Łukasz Gładysiak, Tomasz Idzikowski, and Marek Jaszcolt
Kagero Photosniper Series Book 13
Paperback, 80 pages, profusely illustrated, eight color profiles, three isometric
Published by Kagero November 2014
Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 11.6 inches
This is an interesting book for what would at first appear to be a simple vehicle modeling guide. It starts off with a brief history of the development of the Sturmgeschütz IV design, which was an amalgamation of the StuG III superstructure and the Panzer IV chassis. This is accompanied by the expected tables of specifications and a few period photographs.
The narrative then shifts to the recovery and restoration of a StuG IV from the river Rgilewka, near Grzegorzewo, Poland. The vehicle had broken through ice on the river during the German withdrawal in 1945 and had remained sunken in the mud in the riverbed ever since. A team from the Museum of Armoured Weapons in Poznan, Wielkopolska recovered the Stug IV in 2006. Remarkably, they were able to completely restore this assault gun to running condition and it is currently the only running StuG IV in existence today.
There are several photographs of the recovery of various components from the river and their restoration, culminating in the finished and fully restored vehicle. The bulk of the book, and the part most interesting to modelers, is an extensive “walk around” style presentation of photographs of various details. These are reproduced in large full-color spreads, usually two or three photographs per page. These show both interior and exterior views of the vehicle and constitute the majority of the book, 48 pages in total. This is followed by a short discussion of crew uniforms and paint colors. A strength of Kagero publications is the computer rendered artwork, in this book we have three vehicles shown in isometric illustrations and eight others in the more usual side profiles.
This is a quality publication which contains a wealth of useful information for modelers or anyone else interested in the details of the Sturmgeschütz IV. There are some rather cryptic text passages which have suffered during the translation from Polish to English, but the meaning of most can be determined. In any case the value of this book lies in the photography and illustrations, which are of high quality and well reproduced. Recommended.