Dragon 1/35 s.IG.33 auf Fgst.Pz.Kpfw III(Sfl.)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sturm-Infanteriegeschütz 33B was a German self-propelled heavy infantry gun used during World War II. A new, fully enclosed, and heavily armored superstructure was built on the chassis of the Sturmgeschütz III. It mounted the improved sIG 33/1 infantry gun, offset to the right side, for which 30 rounds were carried. It could only traverse 3° left and right, elevate 25°, and depress 6°. A Maschinengewehr 34 machine-gun was fitted in a ball mount on the left side of the superstructure with 600 rounds. Its traverse limits were 15° left and 20° right, and it could elevate 20° and depress 10°.
Sources differ as to the development history. Chamberlain and Doyle say that Alkett was ordered in July 1941 to convert a dozen Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. E chassis and that these were finished in December 1941 and January 1942 - but not issued. On 20 September 1942, another dozen Sturmgeschutz IIIs were ordered to be converted, and the existing vehicles were rebuilt. Trojca and Jaugitz contend that all twenty-four were built by Alkett starting in September 1942 from repaired Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. B, C, D and E chassis.
The first dozen were delivered by the end of October 1942 and assigned to Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen (Assault Gun Battalions) 177 and 244, then fighting in Stalingrad. The remaining dozen vehicles could not be delivered to Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen 243 and 245, also fighting in Stalingrad, after the Soviets surrounded the German 6th Army on 21 November. Instead, the vehicles were formed into Sturm-Infanterie-Geschütz-Batterie/Lehr-Bataillon (Assault Infantry Gun Batterie/Demonstration Battalion) XVII. The battalion was assigned to the 22nd Panzer Division as the Germans attempted to relieve the trapped 6th Army. The Division was virtually wiped out in the fighting and the battery was assigned to the 23rd Panzer Division where it became the Sturm-Infanterie-Geschütz-Batterie/Panzer-Regiment 201 (also known as 9. Kompanie/Panzer-Regiment 201) for the rest of the war. The last strength report to mention them lists five remaining in September 1944.
Dragon continues to provide kits of somewhat esoteric vehicles and continues with this one on one of the many s.IG 33 based AFVs. This time, they combine the s.IG 33 gun kit with a Panzer III chassis. Of course, this means that there are new mold pieces to go with it, the most obvious being the superstructure to accommodate the gun enclosure, which is completely sealed so those wishing to show the complete gun will need to either build it with the hatches open or have it so that the cover can be lifted off. There are a small pair of photo etch frets for handles and screens and the like. An aluminum barrel and Dragon's Smart Tracks are also part of the parcel. As, like many similar kits, it is pretty well based on existing sprues, there will be a number of parts not used in this version. For a full listing of features, here is a rundown from Dragon:
Markings are for two of the units that operated this vehicle. One is in overall Panzer Grey as used by StuG Abt 177 at Stalingrad in 1942. The other two are from 1943 with Pz.Rgt. 201 on the eastern front. These are in later war colors of Panzer Yellow with Brown and Green splotches.
We now have another superbly detailed AFV for armor fans. Though not one I would recommend for beginners, those who are methodical in their construction habits will be able to produce an excellent model with this one.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your favorite retailer.
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