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Sturmgeschütz III Assault Gun



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Ausf F/8

After the Ausf F had been in production for a time it was modified by the introduction of a new gun, the StuK 40 L/48, that was 5 calibres longer. The chassis design also changed as it was now based on the PzKpfw III Ausf L and therefore most of the rear engine deck was altered. The cast deck ventilators now ran lengthways rather than across the engine inspection hatches, and the tail-plate was redesigned. Additional 30mm armour was bolted to the 50mm armour on the nose plates and the driver’s and offside front plates. Some vehicles had the older single-baffle muzzle brake but most had the later double-baffle one as fitted on the L/43. Some vehicles had an MG 34 for the loader, with a folding shield, and some had Schürzen armour fitted.
Ausf F and F/8 vehicles saw service on the Eastern Front, in Italy and in the last stages of the North African campaign in Tunisia. Their low silhouette, thick frontal armour and powerful gun made them excellent anti-tank weapons when fighting from an ambush position.

Ausf G

The Ausf G was the final production version of the StuG III and appeared in early 1943. It had a number of changes evident in the superstructure, and during its production run many smaller improvements were incorporated.
Early Ausf Gs had the same armour arrangement on the nose plates and driver’s plate as the Ausf F/8; 30mm armour plates bolted or welded to the 50mm basic armour. Again, the ventilator and fan were mounted in the centre of the rear roof plate in the same way as before. Most early vehicles were also equipped with smoke grenade dischargers, three on each side of the front superstructure. Very early vehicles still had the driver’s Fahrerfernrohr binocular vision device, identifiable by the presence of two holes above the driver’s visor.
All Ausf G’s had the main body of the superstructure widened to extend over the tracks and enclose the spaces previously occupied by the radio panniers. The roof was raised in the rear and fitted with a new armoured cupola mounting a ring of eight episcopes and a central hatch hinged at the rear. The front-folding roof shield for the loader’s auxiliary machine-gun was now a standard feature.
On later vehicles the 80mm front plate to the right of the gun was made from one piece of armour, and the ventilator and fan were moved to the vertical rear wall of the superstructure over the engine deck. During production of the Ausf G, Schürzen armour plates were introduced and most later vehicles had them fitted, as well as a layer of Zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste.
The Ausf G remained in production from early 1943 to the end of the war and saw a number of changes and modifications incorporated into late production vehicles. A cast armour shield was welded to the roof in front of the cupola to deflect bullets away from it. The Schürzen armour evolved through a number of different versions. In 1944 a new cast mantlet was introduced, though the block mantlet was retained in some late production vehicles. The new mantlet was known as Saukopfblende (sow’s head mount) because of its shape. The rubber-tyred return rollers were replaced with all-steel rollers to conserve rubber. The loader’s roof hatches were turned through 90 degrees so they opened to the sides, and a remote controlled mount for an armoured external machine gun was placed in the roof ahead of the loader’s position. A coaxial machine-gun was introduced on vehicles with the block mantlet and some very late vehicles had one fitted in the Saukopf mantlet. Zimmerit was discontinued by the early part of 1945.
From early 1944 a Nahverteidigungswaffe (close-defence weapon) was fitted for use against infantry. The Nahverteidigungswaffe was a 92mm swivelling grenade launcher mounted in the superstructure roof of turret-less vehicles or in the turret roof of tanks. It replaced external smoke grenade dischargers on vehicles so fitted, and also had the dual purpose of firing high explosive grenades against attacking infantry.
A number of Ausf G’s were used by covert German forces during the Battle of the Bulge. They were fitted with deeper bazooka plates and a false engine compartment cover made from sheet steel, and the muzzle brake was removed from the gun. They were then painted olive drab and given Allied recognition stars and the markings of the 81st Regiment, US 5th Armored Division. The disguise was not very effective and all vehicles were lost during the fighting with little result.

Model Id:
161
Manufacture:Altmärkische Kettenfabrik (Alkett) GmbH, Berlin-Spandau, Germany (Primary manufacturer)
Mühlenbau-Industrie AG (MIAG), Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany (Secondary manufacturer)


1) Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Britain

Number of Photos:
5
Sample Photo from Album Number 125

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Unique ID: 125
Serial Number:
Registration:
Name:
Other Identification: “F. 207” painted on left of glacis plate. German crosses previously seen painted on nose and hull rear,

This StuG was put on the Bovington tank museum books in 1951. It was marked ‘LOAN OUT’ in the museum record on 30 June 2005. It is presumed that it was transferred from Bovington to Duxford at about that time.

2) Museo di Guerra per la Pace Diego de Henriquez, Trieste, Italy

Number of Photos:
8
Sample Photo from Album Number 130

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Unique ID: 130
Serial Number:
Registration:
Name:
Other Identification: “16” painted on driver’s vision port.

Additional photographs available.

3) Ropkey Armor Museum, Crawfordsville, USA

Number of Photos:
0
Sample Photo from Album Number 137

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Unique ID: 137
Serial Number:
Registration:
Name:
Other Identification:

The current location and status of this vehicle are unknown.

4) Canadian War Museum, LeBreton Flats, Canada

Number of Photos:
3
Sample Photo from Album Number 138

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Unique ID: 138
Serial Number:
Registration:
Name:
Other Identification:

This StuG is displayed in a wrecked condition. It was transferred from Vimy House when the current museum was opened. It is a former range target (source: CHAFVR). It has been claimed that it was captured by Canadian forces on the Gothic Line in Italy (source: DeanoWorldTravels) but this probably just indicates the way it has been displayed.

5) Muzeum Wojska Polskiego, Powiśle, Poland

Number of Photos:
0
Sample Photo from Album Number 139

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Unique ID: 139
Serial Number:
Registration:
Name:
Other Identification:

This is a wreck and consists of just the superstructure of a Sturmgeschutz III. It retains the roof, gun and mantlet, but is missing the complete lower hull and chassis.

6) Piazzale Garibaldi, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

Number of Photos:
21
Sample Photo from Album Number 1528

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Unique ID: 1528
Serial Number:
Registration:
Name:
Other Identification: Missing fourth roadwheel on left side. Shell case fixed on superstructure front. Painted overall with camouflage scheme of green stripes over desert sand.

New entry.