by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
In 1967 the Ministry of Defense Industry of the USSR adopted a resolution on the development of a new tracked self-propelled artillery piece. The only requirements specified were a firing range of 30km and the ability to use nuclear weapons.
With its design centered around a massive 203mm gun barrel which sat atop a tracked chassis, the 2S7 "Pion" was taken into USSR inventory in 1975. The weapon provided engagement ranges out to 37.5 km and supported the use of rocket-assisted projectiles which increased ranges out to 47 km. The standard operating crew numbered fourteen, seven carried on the primary vehicle and the remainder brought along in an assisting vehicle. A modernized variant, 2S7M "Malka" was introduced in 1983 and featured updated fire control system, improved rate of fire (up to 2,5 rounds per minute) and increased onboard storage of the 203mm rounds (from four to eight). Despite its Cold War roots, this effective fire support vehicle remains in service to this day, and has even seen action in the recent conflict in Ukraine.
Wings & Wheels Publications is a small company from Czech Republic producing reference books for modelers. WWP books are very impressive: printed on a high-quality paper, well structured, professionally presented and full of large color photos showing every aspect of the subject in great detail. The latest publication from the company covers 2S7 Pion, and it is another great example of WWP’s dedication to produce the best possible reference material a modeler could have.
Title: Pion 2S7 in Detail
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Jan Horák, František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $25 (€20)
The book features ex-Czechoslovak Army and ex-Polish Army vehicles, either in army artillery collections or restored by private workshops. The book consists of over 240 full color photos and diagrams, and is organized in 5 chapters:
• Introduction (002-007)
• Walk Around (008-031)
• Gun Details (032-055)
• Front Interior (056-066)
• Rear Interior (067-071)
The opening chapter, Introduction, gives a short history of the Pion 2S7 development, describes vehicle construction and provides technical data on the vehicle. The Walk Around chapter focuses on all external details of the Pion, providing plenty of large photos of each vehicle segment: front hull, left and right hull side, hull roof plus engine details and schematics, rear hull and spade blade, wheels and tracks, loading slide and ammunition storage boxes. The chapter on Gun Details follows, with a very comprehensive set of photos covering the large 203.2 mm self-propelled gun: the barrel, recoil valves, gun cradle, gun breech, as well as gunner's compartment platform. A detailed set of photos show the gunner's sights and controls too. This chapter also includes images of gun loading crane. The two chapters on interior details are next. The Front Interior features front crew compartment: driver's side, front wall with center operator area and commander's side. All the controls, seats and communications gizmology is shown in great detail. The Rear Interior displays rear cabin with seats for 2 soldiers on each side as well as the APU details.
Pion 2S7 in Detail is the latest photo reference book from WWP. The book feels professional in every aspect, from the high-quality paper and clear presentation to the incredible amount of large full color photos showing Pion in amazing detail, inside and out. The information about the vehicle is given in a short and concise form; the introduction provides a short history on Pion development, while the brief captions explain various details presented in the photos.
Marketed as a photo reference manual for modelers, this book should be a very important companion to Trumpeter's impressive 1/35 scale renditions of Soviet 2S7 (#05593) and 2S7M (#05592).