Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. F

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

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General info

The StuG III Ausf. F in the garage.

The Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. F (StuG III F) is a Rank II German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 3.7. It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. An improvement over the StuG III A with the installation of the longer 75 mm StuK 40 L/43 gun.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

This tank destroyer has a very high first-shot kill ability, due to the superb penetration, damage and accuracy of its gun. Right off the bat the gun will easily penetrate medium tanks and the KV-1 at certain ranges, and the APCR ammo can consistently pen KV-1's at most ranges. Furthermore, its gun is very accurate and with proper range-finding and aim, hitting the bow-gunner's port on a T-34 is possible from 800 meters. However, its frontal armour is insufficient for any form of "slugging match" and its reload time is extensive, so it should be used at long-medium ranges and moved into cover once a shot is fired.

Gunwise, avoid using APCR shells in this tank, as their damage potential is much lower, and standard APCBC has a very good penetration already. HEAT shells should be avoided completely, beside a slightly lesser chance of ricocheting off highly sloped armour, everything else about them is a major drawback.

Vehicle characteristics

Tactics

StuGs, with their thin side and top armour, should be careful of their position. If operating solely, StuGs should either move to the flanks, in order to catch the enemy unaware, or operate behind the friendly lines. Staying in cover is preferable, although many rock formations will block the gun trajectory (whilst other tanks can simply shoot over them). Do always keep at least one flank covered, if the enemy is within range.

A particular useful indicator is the Marder III. They feature a similar gun, but are higher, and have a largely exposed crew. As a result of the latter, Marders are very fragile. If a Marder survives in a certain position, then the StuG is likely to do too.

Best, of course is to operate in cooperation with the team.

Operate in a squad with other StuGs, and at least one Pv.IV or Pz.III. They are higher, and might thus attract the enemy's attention, but draw fire away from the StuG for support while the StuG uses its gun to destroy the enemy before it destroys the allied medium tanks.

When fighting without support, relocate after each shot as the StuG III is sufficiently mobile to evade detection often; also, if the team does not have air superiority, seek wooded areas, as any plane armed with 20 mm cannons can destroy attempt to penetrate through the thin roof armour.

Specific enemies worth noting

When playing this tank, take note of the following tanks:

Usaflag.pngUSA Ussrflag.pngUSSR Germanflag.pngGermany

Counter-tactics

If possible, do not engage this vehicle head-on unless it is reloading, even if in possession of an otherwise well-armoured tank. It will be able to severely damage or destroy any tank with a single penetrating hit. Try to disable the tracks or transmission and flank it, or immobilise the vehicle by targeting the flat armour area around the driver view port (to the right of the gun barrel when aiming at it) - the armour there is weak and a single penetrating shell can kill both driver and gunner at the same time, both immobilising the vehicle, and disabling its ability to fire for a brief time.

The ammunition rack in this vehicle is located midway in the superstructure and right above the road wheels. From the front, it is on the left side of the gun barrel, loader is there as well. This is a smaller frontal area, however, since the gun is slightly offset to the right, and shooting here is usually significantly less effective than shooting the driver view port.

Do not engage the vehicle at long range, it's armour might bounce some shells, whilst its gun will very likely still be capable of penetrating most tanks. Even the angled armour, such as the front of the T-34, can easily be penetrated by the StuG's high velocity 75 mm cannon

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Powerful and accurate 75 mm cannon.
  • Good mobility to get around the battlefield and into position.
  • Large gun mantlet and sections of highly sloped armour often deflect poorly aimed shots.
  • Low silhouette makes the StuG easy to conceal in RB and SB.
  • The flat-shaped armour can ricochet some shots at long ranges, when angled.
  • Completely enclosed vehicle means crew is safe from shrapnel and machine guns.

Cons:

  • Front armour of 50 mm insufficiant for slugging matches.
  • Longer reload time than the StuG III A.
  • Bad gun depression of -6°.
  • Crew is cramped in interior, with three lined up in front of the driver's port.
  • Ammo rack prominently placed in line with the right front plate.
  • Weak roof armour of 11-17 mm, makes it vulnerable to air-strafing.
  • Lack of a turret means reacting to flanking enemies is harder.
  • Obstacles on the ground can easily block the low-profile StuG's gun view.
  • Matchmaking can put the StuG III F against challenging foes like the KV-1 heavy tanks.

Specifications

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Armament

1 x 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/43 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 44 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -6°
  • Gun Elevation: 17°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), 12.4°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/43 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 44 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -6°
  • Gun Elevation: 17°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), 10.5°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/43 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 44 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -6°
  • Gun Elevation: 17°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), 10.5°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)

Ammunition

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39 135 133 121 107 95 85 APCBC 740 6.8 1.3 15.0 28.9 +4° 48° 63° 71°
PzGr 40 175 173 151 127 108 91 APCR 919 4.2 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Hl.Gr 38B 80 80 80 80 80 80 HEAT 450 4.4 0.0 0.1 872.1 +0° 62° 69° 73°
Sprgr. 34 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 570 5.7 0.1 0.1 686 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
K.Gr.Rot Nb. Smoke 423 6.8 13 5 20 50

Ammo racks

Last updated: 1.79.1.10

Ammo racks of the StuG III F.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
44 22 (+22) 17 (+27) (+43) Front right empty: 22 (+22) No

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver

Total: 4 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 30 mm (86°), 50 mm (50°) Front glacis
50 mm (23°) Lower glacis
30 mm 30 mm (33°) Top
30 mm (11°) Bottom
17 mm
Superstructure 50 mm (9-10°), 30 mm (76°) 30 mm 30 mm (26-30°) 11 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • Front side is not all 80 mm thick, the rest are 30 mm, but are heavily sloped.
  • The hull sides are protected by an extra 5 mm thick plate to provide protection against HEAT and HE rounds.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 22.7 ton

Max Speed: 44 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 426 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 18.77 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 39°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 525 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 23.13 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 22.7 ton

Max Speed: 40 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.67 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.21 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 22.7 ton

Max Speed: 40 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 265 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.67 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 300 hp @ 3000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.21 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The role of a self-propelled gun came from combat experiences in World War I. During the German offensives on the Allied front, infantry lacked artillery support against fortifications in places out-ranged by their heavy artillery behind the lines. A need for a mobile artillery piece was necessary to keep up with the German infantry and fight enemy fortifications with a direct-fire assault role. The father of this concept was German General Erich von Manstein and was coined as the Sturmartillerie (assault artillery), and these units were to be embedded in infantry divisions.

On June 15, 1936, Daimler-Benz AG was ordered to develop a support vehicle mounting the 75 mm howitzer as its armament in a casemate structure with a traverse of 25 degrees. The vehicle was to provide full protection for its crew and be no taller than an average soldier. Daimler-Benz repurposed the chassis and running gear of their Panzer III design for the role. These new vehicles were named the Sturmgeschütz III (assault gun), or the shortened StuG III and the finished designs were sent to Alkett for prototype production and five were produced in 1937. These prototypes were made of mild steel and had the 75 mm StuK 37 L/24 cannon, an adaption of the original 75 mm KwK 37 cannon on the Panzer IV. This gun would be featured on the StuG III variants Ausf. A to Ausf. E. The StuG III entered production from January 1940 to the end of the war on April 1945 due to the many upgrades done on the vehicle to increase serviceability and its low cost. At about a total production of 11,300 StuG III and its variants, the StuG III design was the most produced armoured fighting vehicle in German service.

Design

The StuG III had a fully enclosed armoured shell, keeping the crew safe withing the vehicle. As a casemate structure, it has a limited traverse range for its front view, and the whole vehicle must be turned if a target is outside its traverse range. The StuG III featured about 50 mm of armour on the front, but about 30 mm of armour everywhere else, this was upgraded as the war progressed to 80 mm. The suspension system is identical to the Panzer III's, a torsion bar system. The StuG III had a crew of four, the commander, driver, loader, and gunner. Initial variants lack machine guns, so the StuG was required to work with support units to ensure it does not get overrun by infantry. It wasn't until December 1942 when a machine gun could be accommodated for the loader to use. Initial variants also did not have a commander's cupola so his view was quite restricted. However, models after September 1943 had them installed.

Combat usage

The StuG III was placed in the artillery branch of the Wehrmacht Heer as neither the infantry nor Panzer forces could accept the StuG vehicle. The StuGs were organized into battalions with 18 vehicle organized into three batteries of six vehicles each. The intent of the vehicle was to provide close support for infantry and so it was meant to destroy lightly-armoured targets and fortifications, not tanks. The vehicle served well in its intended role in the early parts of World War II in the Poland and France Campaigns, proving highly successful. One prominent commander of the StuG III is Michael Wittman, who would eventually become the most popular tank ace in German service. However, during the German campaigns in World War II, they encounter more heavily armoured and armed tanks in the Allied sides, such as the French heavy tank Char B1, but it was the Soviets T-34 and KV-1 tanks that made the Germans rearm their vehicles to be better-able to combat these tanks.

The initial Stug III design was upgunned to better combat these newer tanks. The original 75 mm StuK 37 was inadequate so like the Panzer IVs, it was given a 75 mm StuK 40 L/43 cannon. This variant was the Ausf. F and with its new cannon, could penetrate about 91 mm of armour inclined at 30 degrees at 500 meters distance, being able to engage the Soviet T-34 designs. This upgrade changed the StuG III role from its usual infantry support role into a tank destroyer, though it can serve both roles with acceptable performance. The design was changed with an exhaust fan on top of the vehicle to vent out propellant fume that could accumulate in the tank from firing the cannon. An additional 30 mm of armour was welded on the tank to up the front armour from 50 mm to 80 mm in thickness. This, plus with the StuG III's low profile makes its concealment very easy to ambush tanks with its powerful 75 mm cannon. Some later models from December 1942 onward has the StuG III Ausf. F mounted the longer 75 mm StuK 40 L/48 cannon more commonly seen on the Ausf. G variant. Another redesign in 1942 had the StuG III chassis built from the improved Panzer III Ausf. J and Ausf. L with better rear armour protection and hull design. This redesigned variant was called the Ausf. F/8. About 616 StuG III Ausf. F and F/8 were produced from March 1942 to December 1942.

This upgunned StuG III variant was better able to destroy Allied armours like the T-34s and the M4 Shermans. Another upgrade to the StuG III gave it the longer 75 mm StuK 40 L/48 cannon, and this variant was called the StuG III Ausf. G.The vehicles were deemed very successful and attributed to more tank kills than any other armoured fighting vehicle in German service. The success of the StuG III urged Germany to prioritize the production of casemate structure vehicles built from chassis of other vehicles for further development in tank destroyers such as the JagdPanther, Jagdpanzer 38(t), and the Ferdinand.

The StuG III design was also made into different variants with different armaments, such as a 105 mm howitzer on the StuH 42 , a flamethrower on the StuG III (Flamm), and even a 150 mm sIG 33 infantry gun on the Sturm-Infanteriegeschütz 33B.

Legacy

The StuG III design would see service in the entire 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 distinct title of knocking out the most Allied tanks in German service with about 20,000 tanks killed, much more than the better Panther and Tiger tanks. It was a widely-exported design to Germany's 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.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

References


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germ_stug_III_ausf_F.png

Icon-country-der.png StuG III Ausf. F
Nation Germany
Type Tank destroyer
Rank 2
Battle Rating
3.7
3.7
3.7

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
22,700 kg
50,045 lb
Number of Crew 4
Hull armour thickness
50/30/30/17 mm
1.97/1.18/1.18/0.67 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
426 hp
265 hp
265 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
525 hp
300 hp
300 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
18.77
19.07
11.67
11.86
11.67
11.86
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
23.13
23.50
13.21
13.43
13.21
13.43
Max speed
44 km/h
27.2 mph
40 km/h
25.0 mph
40 km/h
25.0 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 75 mm StuK 40 L/43 Cannon
Ammo stowage 44 rounds
Vertical guidance -6°/17°
Horizontal guidance -10°/10°
Economy
Required RP 14,000 RP
Vehicle cost 55,000 SL
Crew training cost 16,000 SL
Max repair cost*
1,020 SL
1,140 SL
1,500 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
4h 50m
7h 59m
9h
Free repair time (Upgraded)
1h 36m
2h 39m
3h
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP, and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.79.1.10.