PeKo publishing from Hungary are well known for their series of reference photobooks dedicated to vehicles used in WW2. Each volume is focused on a single vehicle and one can easily find something exciting in those series. All books in the photobook line re bilingual (English and Hungarian), have a hard cover and landscape layout (300x215mm).
The new volume (#12) is dedicated to an Allied vehicle – Soviet self-propelled gun SU-76/SU-76M. Don’t be confused by the SU-76M in Axis markings on the cover, it is mostly Soviet and Polish vehicles inside.
SU-76 title is authored by Neil Stokes and the author starts with thorough background information about SU-76/SU-76M development. The reader will become familiar with design, ideas that were behind that vehicle development, detailed information on the main armament and vehicle features. I think this is a very good starting point and the author had done a good research before writing the introduction. These 4 pages basically contain everything necessary for the reader to get enough knowledge.
After the introduction the main content section begins and it has around 100 black and white photographs printed on the full page with a complimentary legend. The legend identifies the important features on the vehicle/vehicles shown and where possible the unit ID is given. Photographs are of a high quality and I did not notice any blurred or distorted images. They come from private collections and also Russian/Soviet archives, so be prepared for new and unseen images.
First pages show prototype development and examples of SU-76 with a closed fighting compartment. These are mostly field trial vehicles; however, there are two photographs of SU-76 with a roof of a fighting compartment removed. Bad ventilation was the main critique from the crews and SU-76M that was the most common produced variant (around 12000 vehicles) had newly designed fighting compartment with an open top. Plenty of photographs capture SU-76M on the move and during the fighting, both winter and summer conditions. Variety of winter camouflages, markings and weathering effects shown would be a great inspiration for modellers. SU-76M was used everywhere on the Eastern Front starting from second half of 1943 and one can imagine many different areas and locations where the photographs were taken (Belarus, Poland, Germany, Austria). Some photographs also show damaged vehicles – good idea for modelling as well. Finally, there are four photographs of SU-76M in German use, from 5.SS panzer division, a good reference for those that would like to build a MiniArt kit of Beute SU-76M.
Overall, it is another great title from PeKo which covers an important Allied vehicle.
Highs: Nice collection of photographs with good supplementary information and complimentary introduction.Lows: NoneVerdict: Highly recommended.