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SdKfz 142 StuG III (Sturmgeshutz III)


Self-Propelled Assault Gun


Nazi Germany | 1940



"The StuG III series proved a pivotal battlefield element for the German Army, up through the closing months of World War 2."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/18/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The StuG III served as an assault gun in the German Army during World War 2. The platform stemmed from a German Army need to supply ground troops with a mobile artillery system where traditional armored elements such as tanks were not made available. The German requirement was for a system to have to mount a formidable main gun upon a capable hull that could provide a mechanized element to advancing fronts in keeping with blitzkrieg concepts. The resulting system - though at the time seen as more of an interim solution - became the Sturmgeshutz (StuG) III which utilized the existing Panzer III medium tank hull and fitted a 75mm main gun in a fixed position within the superstructure.

The StuG III entered production in January of 1940. The system mounted a powerful 75mm (7.5cm) StuK 40 L/48 main gun into what was essentially a turretless, all-hull assault gun / tank destroyer design. While some may wonder why the 75mm gun was not simply installed into existing Panzer III tanks, the reality was that the selected 75mm gun was simply too long to fit into Panzer III turrets, these being originally designed to house the smaller 37mm main gun series (though progressively upgraded to 50mm and 75mm in later models). However, this combination of existing gun/hull materials cut down on production costs and time. The major drawback of such a design was of course the lack of a traversing turret - this forcing the crew to maneuver the entire tank in the direction of the enemy. Later models would add a self-defense 7.92mm machine guns for crew protection. Crew accommodations amounted to four personnel. Externally, the design of the StuG III was characterized by the small six road wheels and, in some models from 1943 onwards, side skirt armor for additional point protection.

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The StuG III appeared in a few variants with earlier ones mounting the StuK 37 L-24 main gun. The definitive StuG III came in the form of the Ausf F model which sported an StuK 40 L/43 main gun. This models designation changed slightly to showcase the difference from previous ones and became the SdKfz 142/1 and would sometimes be known as the StuG 40 from that point on. Additionally frontal armor protection was further addressed and continued to be so in future variants.

Production of the StuG series numbered in the thousands with a majority of production facilities concentrating on StuG IIIs by war's end. The system proved so effective and vital that even captured Soviet versions turned up with the Red Army sporting a variety of Soviet main armaments. Finland was also the other major user of the StuG III. Easy to build and relatively inexpensive when compared to other German systems, the StuG III series became a pivotal battlefield component of the German Army up through the closing months of the world conflict.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the SdKfz 142 StuG III Ausf. A Self-Propelled Assault Gun.
1 x Maybach HL 120 TRM V-12 water-cooled, gasoline-fueled engine developing 300 horsepower.
Installed Power
25 mph
40 kph
Road Speed
85 miles
137 km
Range
Structure
The physical qualities of the SdKfz 142 StuG III Ausf. A Self-Propelled Assault Gun.
4
(MANNED)
Crew
17.7 ft
5.41 meters
O/A Length
9.6 ft
2.94 meters
O/A Width
6.4 ft
1.95 meters
O/A Height
49,000 lb
22,226 kg | 24.5 tons
Weight
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the SdKfz 142 StuG III (Sturmgeshutz III) Self-Propelled Assault Gun.
1 x 75mm StuK 37 L/24 main gun
2 x 7.92mm machine guns
AMMUNITION:
44 x 75mm projectiles
600 x 7.92mm ammunition
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the SdKfz 142 StuG III (Sturmgeshutz III) family line.
StuG III Ausf A - 30 examples produced; fitted with L/24 main gun.
StuG III Ausf B - 320 examples produced; fitted with L/24 main gun.
StuG III Ausf C - 50 examples produced.
StuG III Ausf D - 150 examples produced.
StuG III Ausf E - 272 examples produced.
StuG III Ausf F - Assault Gun / Tank Destroyer Designation; fitted with L/43 main gun; later models with L/48 type main gun; improved armor protection and commander visibility.
StuG IV (StuG 40) - Based on the Panzer IV tank with a 75mm StuK 40 L/48 main gun.
StuG 40 Ausf G - SdKfz 142/1 designation; StuK 40 L/48 main gun.
"Sturmhaubitze 42" - 4.1in howitzer mated to the existing StuG III hull design.
SU-76 - Soviet modified assault guns of captured StuG IIIs; fitted with Soviet 76.2mm main gun.
SG122A - Soviet modified assault guns of captured StuG IIIs; fitted with 122mm main gun.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the SdKfz 142 StuG III (Sturmgeshutz III). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 9,642 Units

Contractor(s): Daimler-Benz / Alkett - Germany
National flag of Finland National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Nazi Germany; Finland; Soviet Union ]
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Image of the SdKfz 142 StuG III (Sturmgeshutz III)
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Image of the SdKfz 142 StuG III (Sturmgeshutz III)
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Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
FIRE SUPPORT / ASSAULT / BREACHING
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The SdKfz 142 StuG III (Sturmgeshutz III) Self-Propelled Assault Gun appears in the following collections:
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