SU-76 On the Battlefield
This book by Neil Stokes, provides A thorough background on the design, development and employment of the SU-76/SU-76M. The introduction provides the reader with a short and concise description of the design ideas behind this vehicle and detailed information on the main armament and vehicle features. It does a very good job of setting the stage for the pictures and narrative for the remainder of this book.
This book contains 99 black and white photographs printed on the full page with a complimentary legend. The legend identifies the important features on the vehicles shown and where possible the unit identification and scene location is given. Photographs are of a general high quality although some are a little challenged by both the photographer's skill, equipment and the ravages of time. These photographs come from private collections and also Russian archives, so be prepared for some new and unseen images.
About This Book:
Hardcover Pages: 112
Format: Landscape 12”X8.5”
99 Black and white photos, the text is written in Hungarian and English
Summary: The SU-76 was developed from the T-70 light tank, but had an extra pair of road wheels added to distribute the weight of the 76.2mm main gun and crew of four. The SU-76 was initially designed with a closed fighting compartment, twin engines and gearboxes. Feedback from the field showed this initial design was not satisfactory so the fighting compartment was redesigned with an open top and the twin engines were mated to a single gearbox and final drive. This re-design resulted in a very successful combat vehicle with approximately 12,000 produced over it service life.
The first few pages of this book show prototype developments and provide examples of SU-76 with a closed fighting compartment. These are mostly factory and field trial vehicles; however, there are two photographs of SU-76 with a roof of a fighting compartment removed. The main critique from crews who used the SU-76 was the bad ventilation in the fighting compartment. This lead to the development of the SU-76M with an open top fighting compartment. There are a large number of photographs which capture the SU-76M during fighting on the Eastern Front in both winter and summer conditions. Variety of winter camouflages, markings and weathering effects shown should provide the modeler with some great inspiration. Four pictures at the end of this book show SU-76M in German use and provide a good reference for those that would like to build a Beute SU-76M. Below are some representative photographs from this book.
Conclusion: This is a great book for modelers. The introduction provides a thorough background on the design, development and employment of the SU-76/SU-76M. The selection of pictures provides views of the US-76/US-76M in use in various combat settings. It should provide the modeler with a lot of good ideas on building an US-76/SU-76M.
Thanks goes out to PeKo Publishing for this review kit.
Reviewed by Mike Petty
2nd VP, South Region
AMPS Central Virginia
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