Sturmgeschütz assault gun at MFM 2017

Event team / Vehicle News

Posted on April 12, 2017 at 11:41

Sturmgeschütz assault gun confirmed for Military and Flying Machines 2017.

The Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) assault gun was designed in 1936 with manufacturing commencing in 1940. Its role was to provide close support for infantry with an intent to destroy lightly-armoured targets and fortifications. Its low profile and excellent short-range firepower meant that it served well in its intended role in the early parts of World War II proving highly successful in the Polish and French Campaigns.

One prominent commander of the StuG III was Michael Wittman, who would eventually become the most well-known tank ace in German service. As World War II progressed, the StuG was up armoured and up gunned to address more heavily armoured and armed allied tanks. The StuG III design was also made into different variants with different armaments, such as a 105 mm howitzer, a flamethrower on the StuG III (Flamm), and even a 150 mm infantry gun. The StuG III was placed in the artillery branch of the Wehrmacht Heer and organised into battalions of three batteries of six vehicles each.

The StuG III became one of the most widespread examples of German armoured vehicles from World War II and proved itself well in battle. The vehicle’s major drawback was its lack of a machine gun and the low muzzle velocity of its projectiles. As a result, the self-propelled gun was defenceless in close combat and against well-armoured tanks. Therefore, the StuG III was only rarely deployed without supporting forces.

The StuG III design would see service for the entire of the second world war, due to its adaptability to the changing course of the war, going from an offensive support weapon to a defensive tank destroyer. The StuG III holds the distinctive title of knocking out the most Allied tanks in German service with about 20,000 tanks destroyed. It was a widely-exported design to Germanys allies, such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Finland.

The StuG III would continue serving in various countries past World War II in conflicts in the 1960s, such as the Six Days War in Syria’s service that were donated by the Soviet Union. Today, some are still serving as static pillboxes on the Golan Heights.