Nuts & Bolts Vol.9: 7,5 cm Pz.Jäger on armoured RSO

Nuts & Bolts Vol.9: 7.5 cm Pz.Jäger on armoured RSO

60 pages A4, 44 b/w action- and archive photos from 1943-1960 and 90 b/w photos of the existing vehicle in the WTS Koblenz, English / German text and photo captions, 5 side views and detail drawings in 1:35 scale of the vehicle and Pak from Peter Kwok, first published September 15th, 1998, enlarged by 12 pages with new historic photos and new drawings, (available again)

Book details:

  • by Heiner F. Duske, Peter Kwok
  • published on September 15, 1998
  • soft cover
  • german & english texts
  • 60 pages
  • 134 photos (44 historic, 90 modern)
  • 10 blueprints
  • only 19.00€
  • Available from Nuts & Bolts website.

This book is one of the earlier ones and so has a different layout than the more recent issues. The texts are in English and German with the English texts on the left of the page and the German on the right. All images and photographs have captions in both languages. The English translation is excellent. Now, let’s take a look inside the book to see what we get.

The various sections of the book are:

  • Bibliography p2
  • Panzerjagers in the 2nd half of the war p3
  • Development of the RSO p4
  • Development & Deployment of the 7.5 cm Pz.Jäger on armoured RSO p5
  • Camouflage p6
  • Surviving vehicles and Models p7
  • technical Data p8
  • Period Photos p9
  • Restoration photos p14
  • 1/35 scale drawings p19
  • Restored vehicle photos. p21
  • NEW INSERT: 6 pages of period photos
  • NEW INSERT: 6 pages of 3D drawings
  • Replica photos p49

As the German army faced ever increasing numbers of Allied armour, more ways were found to place anti-tank weaponry on already existing chassis, in order to try and counter the Allied numerical superiority. The Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO) was no exception to the armed conversions that were built upon so many German vehicles at the time.

The decision was made in 1943 to take the well proven battle tractor and place a Pak 40/4 on its back, in order to provide more mobile anti-tank capabilities on the front line. After only a very limited amount were produced, it was made clear that this was one conversion that was not a successful fighting vehicle.

The small fighting platform made it difficult to work in an effective manner, and the floor lockers for ammunition storage were difficult to open when the weapon was in use. The vehicle earned the nickname “Rollender Sarg Ost”, a play on the RSO abbreviation. This nickname translates to “rolling coffin east”, reflecting the thoughts of the soldiers who operated it.

The book starts with a description of the state of tank hunters in the second half of the war and the problems that needed to be addressed. It then covers the development of the Raupenschlepper before moving onto the development of the subject of this book itself, 7.5 cm Pz.Jäger on armoured RSO. The book then covers the deployment of the weapon, camouflage and a brief note about its unsuitability for the task it was designed for. There’s only really one surviving example although two others are in museums, but those are more likely to be good replicas than original vehicles. There is then a short paragraph about models available of this vehicle. However this information is almost 20 years old and since then there have been a couple of mainstream kits released by Dragon and Italeri.

After a page of technical data we get into black-and-white photographs starting with the prototype. There are 16 photographs of the whole vehicle and some close-up detail shots. Then we move on to a series of photographs showing the sole survivor being restored from 1992 to 1993. After this there are two pages of 1/35 scale drawings. Then we continue with five pages of photographs of the restored surviving vehicle.

At this point there is a 12 page insert into the original book which consists of six pages of original black-and-white photographs and six pages of 3D drawings. The 3D drawings were produced by Dragon when they were designing their 1/35 scale model of this vehicle.

After the extra pages we continue with many close-up photographs of the sole surviving vehicle. These photographs show a lot of small and fine detail all over the vehicle and are clearly labelled in both English and German. This last section actually forms the bulk of the photographs in this book. On the inside of the rear cover is a photograph of each of the other two vehicles, that are believed to be replicas. It is believed these are post-war conversions as some of the details do not match the production vehicle that survived.

Conclusion
As always from Nuts & Bolts, this book goes into a lot of detail of the subject in question. If you’re building a model of the 7.5 cm Pz.Jäger on armoured RSO then this is the only reference volume you need.

Many thanks to Nuts & Bolts for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
Scifiantasy

Resources:

http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/nazi_germany/Pak-40-auf-Raupenschlepper-Ost.php

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