Home > Reviews > Germany WWII > Nuts & Bolts Volume 19, 15cm s.IG33 (Sf) auf Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B & 15cm s.IG33 (towed)


Nuts & Bolts Volume 19, 15cm s.IG33 (Sf) auf Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B & 15cm s.IG33 (towed)

by Jurgen Wilhelm

ISBN, unknown. Price: Varies due to currency fluctuations; approximately 25 Euros.

The Nuts & Bolts series has made a name for itself over the years by profiling the less well-documented AFVs and military vehicles as used by Germany in World War Two. The emphasis has actually been two-fold: profiles of relatively rare vehicles, or widely known vehicles that were, in either case, never adequately described in previous references. The ungainly self-propelled 15cm s.IG33 (Sf) auf Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B gets the full treatment between these covers, as does the towed version of its main armament, the 15cm s.IG33 infantry gun.

Coverage begins with 277 B&W photos of the self-propelled gun and the towed gun, as well as photos of some accessories such as ammunition, their packaging and the 15cm Stielgranate 42 hollow-charge anti-tank round. Various means of wheeled, half-tracked and horse-drawn hauling of the gun is also given in the photos. But, by far, the main portion of the historic photos include coverage of every unit that used the SP mount, as well as nearly every individual vehicle. Many photos come from veterans as well as the usual archival sources. So, there is tons of good stuff here!

Ninety-one of the 99 color photos detail several surviving 15cm s.IG33s, including their components such as gun-sights, and their accessories, such as the 15cm Stielgranate 42 hollow-charge anti-tank round. The remaining color photos depict an older conversion by noted modeler Tony Greenland, based on the Italeri Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. B and a white metal s.IG33 gun kit by Pit Road.

The five pages of color plates depict six different SPs. However, the artist seems to be unaware that German AFVs employed from the war’s beginning through the end of the French campaign were painted in a two-tone camouflage scheme of Nr. 45 dunkelbraun and Nr. 46 dunkelgrau, as per information in Jentz and Doyle’s Panzertracts Vol. 1-2, “Panzerkampfwagen I”, which has been available since 2002. It seems that so few persons (especially those who should be interested in the Panzertracts team’s findings) have paid any attention! The color plates are complimented by seven pages of 1/35th-scale profile and perspective CAD line drawings of both the vehicle and the towed gun. This information will be extremely valuable for those who wish to construct the Alan kit, or convert/scratch-build based on an Italeri or DML kit. Four pages of tables describe known vehicles (and their dispositions within units), in the French and Balkan campaigns, as well as the early stages of Operation Barbarossa. There is an organization chart with vehicle profiles for an entire Kompanie, as formed on March 30, 1940.

The dual German-English text gives details on development of the gun and its vehicle mount, as well as technical specs. There are also notes on markings and colors (with the caveat here that the colors are not properly described). There are organizational notes and a history of s.IG Kp. (mot.S.) 703, from its formation in 1940, to its disbandment in September of 1943. But, much of the core of this book’s information comes in the form of extensive photo captions, which describe the archival images, the color plates and the images of preserved guns. There is also one tantalizing archival color photo, which is unfortunately un-captioned, that has a wrecked SP hulk sitting among other wrecked German vehicles.

As an aside, although I am a dedicated “tread-head”, I was extremely happy to see more than just a few “token” archival photos of horse-drawn guns. The N&B team wants to know if we’d like to see more of that. I say, “Yes, please!!” Finally, a brief note about this new book’s graphic presentation. With the departure of Frank Schulz, the design of this N&B book was taken over by David Parker, who is well-known as a modeler and for his work on AFV Modeller magazine. So, the book has an entirely different look compared to earlier volumes.

However it is presented, this is probably the best thing yet that the Nuts & Bolts team has delivered, and that’s saying something! Have you seen their Famo, Nashorn and Hummel books? The N&B team will have a tough time topping this one!

Highly recommended.

Frank V. De Sisto

Nuts & Bolts books are available at retail and mail order shops and from the publisher Heiner F. Duske at: Nikolaus-Otto Strasse 10, 24536 Neumunster, Germany. E-mail: hfd.duske@t-online.de.