Nuts & Bolts Vol.26 Grille Sd.Kfz. 138/1 Ausf. H

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The Grille (German: “cricket”) was a series of self-propelled artillery vehicles used by Germany during World War II. The Grille series was based on the Czech Panzer 38(t) tank chassis and used a 15 cm sIG 33 infantry gun.

The original order for 200 units of the Grille, was to be based on the new 38(t) Ausf. M chassis that was being developed, however, delays caused production to start on the 38(t) Ausf. H chassis.

The first variant of the Grille was based on the Panzer 38(t) Ausf. H chassis, which had its engine in the rear. Instead of a turret, the vehicle had a low-slung superstructure and a fighting compartment. The 15 cm schweres Infanteriegeschütz 33 was mounted in the front of this armored compartment. 

A total of 200 (including one prototype) were produced in Prague from February to June 1943, further 10 were built in November 1943. 

From the publisher’s website:

144 pages A4, glue-bound, approx. 298 photos, of these 120 historical shots of the prototype and the production vehicles in b/w, a number of them previously unpublished; 128 colour photos of the only surviving vehicle from the Loidl collection in Austria, 50 colour photos of three models from Tony Greenland, Jari Lievonen & Carlos de Diego Vaquerizo, English / German captions, 34 pages English / German text, 24 scale drawings of all versions in 1:35 scale from John Rue, 12 camouflage schemes from Carlos de Diego Vaquerizo, ammunition scheme from Laurent Lecocq, and a table of organization of units using the “Grille” Ausf. H (Kriegstärke-Nachweisungen KStN), first published December 5th, 2010

  • by Martin Block, Jari Lievonen, Detlev Terlisten
  • published on December 4, 2010 soft cover
  • German & English texts
  • 144 pages
  • 298 photos (120 historic, 50 model, 128 modern)
  • 24 blueprints
  • 12 camouflage schemes, table of organsisation (KStN)
  • Available from Nuts & Bolts for €29.90 (approx US$33.00)

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 at the book to see what we get.

The various sections of the book are:

  • Introduction page 2
  • Development page 3
  • Production Plans & Manufacturing page 6
  • Camouflage & Markings page 9
  • Organizational Charts page 12
  • Delivery to Units page 15
  • Service History to 1945 page 16
  • Corrections to Nuts & Bolts 22 page 27
  • Modeling page 30
  • Acknowledgments page 34
  • Contemporary Photos page 35
  • Drawings page 71
  • Colour Profiles page 81
  • Preserved Vehicles & Components page 87
  • Modeling page 131

The book starts with a thorough introduction to the development of the Grille and the major differences between the H and K variants before going into detail abuot the differences between the prototype and production vehicles of the H version.

The main part of the book is taken up with the 120 contemporary photographs. The description under each image explains what is going on in the photograph and what particular things are of interest. There is all manner of diorama ideas here.

Next, there are 1/35 scale drawings of all the main versions of the vehicle with different views of each type. This is followed by 128 colour photos of the surviving vehicles in public and private collections.

There is a couple of areas in the book that cover modeling the Grille Ausf H with reviews of a few kits, a big list of what is currently available and several photographs of quality builds.

Conclusion
This is a definitive text on the Grille Ausf H. It gives you all the detail and technical information you might ever need. If you’re building any version of the Grille Ausg H then this is the only reference you will need.

Many thanks to Nuts & Bolts for the review sample.

This book is available from the publisher for €29.90,

Paul Tosney – Editor
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