MARDER III & GRILLE
by Vladimir Francev and Charles K Kliment
Reviewed by John Prigent
This book is crammed full of information about all the SPs based on the Pz 38(t) chassis (apart from the Hetzer which will be covered in the next volume). And I do mean all - including the anti-tank and 15cm SPs plus ammunition carriers, FlakPz 38(t) and AufklarungsPz 38(t).
The book starts with a short section on the inter-war experiments, PzJager I, Marder I on French chassis and Marder II on Pz II chassis before moving on to its main subjects. First the rear-engined SdKfz139 with 7.62cm Russian gun (which gets a four-view 1/35 plan) and SdKfz138 with 7.5cm PaK40, then both rear- and mid-engined Grilles with the 15cm infantry gun, and then the mid-engined SdKfz138 Ausf M with its PaK 40. After looking at these and their ammunition carriers the authors move on to the 2cm-armed FlaKPz 38(t) SdKfz140 (which also gets a 1/35 four-view plan) and AufklarungsPz SdKfz140/1. All are well illustrated with clear photographs to a good size, and plans, sketches and side views point out any details which might be missed in a quick study of the photos. The two Grille types in particular come with interior photos which will be very useful to modellers.
The few remaining vehicles in museums are briefly covered, then comes a section on combat use by the German and Slovak armies. This includes the actual allocations to units - joy for the modeler! - the FlaKPz 38(t) issues being covered in the text while the Marders and Grilles are shown in tables. There are no details of the unit allocations of the Aufklarungspanzer 38(t), presumable because no information has been found.
A short but very valuable section on camouflage and markings shows no fewer than 21 vehicles in colour plates, almost all from identified units. This is followed by the technical section with details of armour thicknesses and angles, drive train, running gear and of course armament.
The whole book is full of useful information and photographs (and those colour plates!) and I look at it as being an essential reference for building an accurate model from any of the available kits of these vehicles.
Many thanks to Czech-Six Publications for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 1999 by John