by: Roman [ ]
PeKo Publishing are well known for their series of photo books dedicated to WW2 armour and from time to time they also release other titles, e.g. King Tiger book or books dedicated to specific units and operations. Not so long ago they launched new series of “light” photo books entitled “WAR photographer”. At the moment already two volumes are out and more are in productions. Let’s have a closer look at them.
“WAR photographer” is a soft cover A4 format title with 60 pages inside. The text is limited to captions and photographs occupy the majority of the A4page. Sometimes there are few smaller photographs on the page, most often it is one full page photograph. The first volume (1.0) is authored by Tom Cockle and the most recent print (1.1) by Vyacheslav Kozitsyn. Both volumes are based on photo albums from stuff of the particular units, Sturmgeschützabteilung 189 and Sturmgeschützabteilung 191, respectively. Clearly, the unit names hint towards many StuGs in these books - this is indeed the case.
Volume 1.0 is a photo album of an unidentified person from the unit. It starts with their pictures from pre-military labour service and has some shots in uniform as well a few staff cars. Then, after graduation from labour service the military service starts. The owner of the album is enlisted into assault gun unit and we see many short barrelled StuG III on their grounds, on the march and during training, alone or with soft skins and APCs. Then the photographs show the story of the unit that was sent to Eastern front. Here one can see various living and operating conditions, maintenance, camouflage application and daily life besides battles. Few Sd.Kfz.252 are also shown here. In March 1942 the unit received StuG III Ausf. F with long barrel and there are quite a few photographs with them. The album ends with the owner of the album in the officer school, presumably in 1943.
Volume 1.1 starts in the Balkans when unit arrived to Romania. Here one can see StuGs, staff cars, ammunition carriers and many soldiers as well some local population. This is followed by Bulgaria, and then participated in battles in Greece. After that unit was sent to Eastern Front and one can find many photographs of StuGs, German soft skins and APC’s as well as various Soviet vehicles – T-34, T-60, KV-2. StuG’s are mostly photographed during the battles and maintenance. Few wrecks are present as well. In spring 1942 this unit also got long-barrelled SPG’s and later StuG’s with side skirts. Here one can see photographs taken between battles towards the Caucasus and later when unit retreated to Crimea and finally Balkans again. The captions are very informative as the author speaks about exact locations and events taking place at that time.
In conclusion, both titles feature excellent quality of production, great glossy paper and many interesting photographs that were not otherwise seen in any literature to date. If you are interested in German mobile artillery, StuG III in particular or just collect war time photographs of German army – this new series would be a good addition to the library.