Elephant Paths Combat history of Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 203
The book covers the history of the unit from its creation through the end of the war, and is divided into an Introduction and six sections, as well as a glossary of terms on page 2. The book refers to the unit designed first as StuGA.Abt.203 and later named StuGBrig.203. Book information was gathered from Russian archives as well as those located in Freiburg, Alexandria and Podolsk. The first chapter deals with the establishment of the unit and how they were trained. The second chapter deals with their transfer to the east. Many of the pictures in this chapter deal with the type of equipment used by the unit. These included both AFV's as well as soft skinned vehicles.
In the third chapter we are introduced to the unit at war. Some of the battles are given by dates, while others are introduced by the name of the area where they were fought. The narrative in this chapter extends from June, 1941 through June, 1942. The unit was withdrawn from action in April, 1942, and was fully refurbished by the end of April. After refitting, the unit was sent to the Caucasus, and Chapter 4 deals with the actions of the unit there. The combat history of the unit in the Caucasus extends from July, 1942 through December, 1942.
Chapter 5 introduces us to the actions of the unit in trying to reach and relieve the Sixth Army at Stalingrad. After the failed attempt to reach the Sixth Army, the unit was in continuous action against the Russian forces. The chapter provides us with information of the unit's actions between March, 1943 and December, 1943. The last chapter mainly concerns the strategic situation of the German forces between January, 1944 to the end of the conflict in May, 1945.
The book has a great deal of photos of the unit, and equipment, both AFV and soft skinned. I felt that the book, although full of very good information about the unit was more like a unit photo album. and therefore of primary interest to the historian and history buff. This does not take away how informative the book was!
My thanks to Casemate Publishers for the opportunity of reviewing the book.