StuG III A

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Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. A
germ_stug_iii_ausf_a.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
2.3/2.3/2.3BR
4 peopleCrew
67 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
50 / 30 / 30Hull
50 / 30 / 30Turret
Mobility
19.6 tWeight
572 hp300 hpEngine power
29 hp/t15 hp/tSurface density
46 km/h forward
10 km/h back
42 km/h forward
9 km/h back
Speed
Armament
75 mm StuK37 cannonMain weapon
44 roundsAmmunition
3.3 / 4.3 sReload
-10° / 20°Vertical guidance
-9° / 5°Horizontal guidance
Economy
5 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
6 300 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png600 / 786/510 / 668/420 / 550Repair
1 800 Sl icon.pngCrew training
6 300 Sl icon.pngExperts
80 Ge icon.pngAces
× (106) % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
× 0.5 Sl icon.png× 0.6 Sl icon.png× 0.3 Sl icon.png

Description

GarageImage StuGIIIA.jpg


The Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. A (StuG III A) is a rank I German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. The StuG III A is the beginning of the StuG III line and the first enclosed tank destroyer for the German tree. It presents the same 75 mm gun as on the early Panzer IVs.

This tank destroyer was originally built as an assault gun, designed to fling low-velocity high explosive shells in the assistance of attacking infantry. Against armoured vehicles, however, the StuG III A should be used for frontal assaults on objectives or ambushes, due to poor accuracy at range and the high shell arc. In both roles, its low profile and excellent short-range firepower provide a distinct advantage. You should get into cover when reloading. Due to the sloped armour on the top, shots will bounce more if you are on the same elevation as the tank you are fighting or if your gun is facing the tank at 0° elevation. If you are raising your gun to shoot at an enemy, they can pierce your armour easily below the gun.

The StuG III A will build up momentum slowly, allowing it to effectively charge capture points. The recommended method of attacking points in this machine is to keep a building between you and the enemy tanks in the objective while approaching at high speed. Once you have arrived, you should round the corner, quickly aim, shoot, and immediately reverse to take cover behind the corner you just rounded. Be careful not to expose too much of your tank during the reversing turn.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 26 mm (86°) Front glacis
50 mm (23°) Lower glacis
30 mm 30 mm 17 mm
Superstructure 50 mm (11°) Front plate 30 mm 30 mm 11 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick.
  • Tracks are 20 mm thick.

Mobility

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
19.6 N/A 47 (AB)
43 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 426 525
Realistic/Simulator 265 300
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 21.73 26.78
Realistic/Simulator 13.52 15.31

Armaments

Main armament

Main article: StuK 37 (75 mm)
75 mm StuK 37
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Stabilizer
44 -10°/+20° -9°/+5° N/A
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 7.04 9.75 11.84 13.09 13.93
Realistic 4.76 5.60 6.80 7.52 8.00
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
4.29 3.79 3.49 3.30
Ammunition
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
K.Gr.rot Pz. APCBC 52 50 45 39 34 30
Hl.Gr. 38B HEAT 80 80 80 80 80 80
Hl.Gr. 38C HEAT 100 100 100 100 100 100
Sprgr. 34 HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
0% 50% 100%
K.Gr.rot Pz. APCBC 385 6.8 1.3 15.0 80 +4° 48° 63° 71°
Hl.Gr. 38B HEAT 450 4.6 0.0 0.1 872.1 +0° 62° 69° 73°
Hl.Gr. 38C HEAT 450 4.8 0.0 0.1 875.5 +0° 62° 69° 73°
Sprgr. 34 HE 420 5.7 0.1 0.1 686 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks for the StuG III A.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
44 30 (+14) 15 (+29) (+43) No

Left side empty: 30 (+14)

Usage in the battles

The StuGs AP shell can deal with many opponents at its rank. It has devastating when used on the many light tanks at Rank 1, whilst your frontal armour can hold a lot of their shells. DO NOT USE HE. It lacks the penetration of the HEAT and AP, and the explosive force of higher rank howitzers, such as the Sturmhaubitze and KV-2 have. The Heat is an excellent tool for sniping whilst even more important, cracking British Heavies, with both the Valentines and the Matilda not having enough armour to hold a Heat. Aim for their turrets, and you can easily destroy them in one shot, both being too slow and cumbersome to make use of your low-velocity cannon. HEAT should be your main shells once you have it researched.

Due to the StuG III being made from the Panzer III chassis, this tank destroyer inherited its brilliant speed and mobility. This either makes it perfect at 'Shoot and Scoot' tactics (I.e. Destroying a tank then changing position) or flanking/head-on attacks, where your mobility can make you a hard target to hit. While the StuG series lacks a turret, it can turn on the spot very fast and has a decent gun arc, providing you have cover or able teammates which can negate the lack of a turret with the track traverse.

One of the huge disadvantages of the StuG III A is the lack of a turret that can traverse and unsloped side armour. The limited field of fire severely hampers the StuG's urban capabilities. The flank of the StuG is also unsloped and thin, making it extremely easy to penetrate if exposed. However, the StuG has a very low profile and good frontal sloping, affording it excellent protection when shooting from a gap in rocks or obstacles.

If you have a side shot on this vehicle, attempt to disable its tracks; this will make accurate aiming more difficult for the StuG driver as well as make the turning time of the tank destroyer increase, giving you more time to shoot the StuG without receiving shots in return. The StuG III A is weak in the sides, giving you prime shots at the particularly frail engine and ammo rack. The armour is unsloped on the sides and therefore offers little protection.

Overall, the StuG III A is an early devastating tank to face, with its pros outweigh its cons. The lack of turret is over looked when the combination of HEAT, fast mobility, quick reload, and decent armour come in to play.

Modules

Recommended research path:

  1. Parts, then whatever from rank I
  2. Usual "Fire Prevention Environment" (FPE = fire extinguisher) and Adjustment of Fire
  3. Both HEAT shells, to be able to deal with more heavily armoured threats, and Elevation Mechanism
  4. Upgrades that improve mobility - Engine, Transmission, Filters
  5. Remaining upgrades

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Possesses a powerful gun against its opponents
  • Low profile due to casemate structure
  • HEAT options are very effective in dealing with heavily armoured vehicles
  • Good handling and mobility, quick turning response
  • Fast loading speed
  • Good frontal armour of 50 mm
  • Difficult to penetrate from upper frontal armour due to the various sloping areas, where most inexperienced players will fire

Cons:

  • Stock APCBC ammo has low penetration, ~50 mm at close range
  • Limited fire arc due to the gun mount
  • High shell arc due to slow shell velocity
  • Flat weak spots in the front superstructure, that crew and ammunition are right behind
  • Sides are extremely vulnerable as they are unsloped and thin
  • 3 crew can be knocked out with a well-placed shot through the driver's port

History

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. However, only about 36 vehicles of the Ausf. A variant was produced from January to May in 1940 before it was upgraded.

Design

The StuG III had a fully enclosed armoured structure, keeping the crew safe within 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. 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 vehicles 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 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. Thus, the StuG III Ausf. A was upgraded with a 75 mm StuK 40 L/43 gun on the Ausf. F and the 75 mm StuK 40 L/48 gun on the Ausf. G, effectively turning these assault guns into a dual-purpose role as a tank destroyer as well. Also, go for hills for sniping when there is a lot of enemies (Ash's river south base capture when play on the left side)

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.

The StuG III 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 was donated by the Soviet Union. Today, some are still serving as static pillboxes on the Golan Heights.

In-game description

Designs and samples of a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun built from a Pz. III began to be produced by the company Daimler-Benz AG in 1938. But only after the Polish campaign, which exposed the acute shortage of mobile field artillery in parts of the Wehrmacht, was the first production batch of machines launched, designated Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. A (abbreviated StuG III Ausf. A) in February 1940. The basis for the new machines was the Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. F tank, which had a conning tower installed instead of the hull's superstructure and turret. The assault vehicle was armed with a short-barreled 75 mm StuK37 L/24 gun with 44 shells. The armor for the hull and the turret was increased by adding additional 20 mm armor plates. This resulted in a maximum armor thickness of 50 mm.

From January to May 1940, 30 StuG III Ausf. A vehicles were produced. The new assault guns joined the 640th, 659th, 660th, and 665th artillery assault divisions and participated in combat in France, where they had a very successful combat debut. The Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. A also took part in the attack on the USSR. The most popular tank ace of World War II, Michael Wittmann, began his combat career in this vehicle. The assault guns were supplied to Germany's allies: Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Hungary, and Spain. In the 1950, the assault guns served in Romania, Spain, Egypt, and Syria.

The StuG III became the most widespread specimen of German armored vehicles from World Wad 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 defenseless in close combat and against well-armored tanks. Therefore, the StuG III was only rarely deployed without supporting forces.

Media

An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

Read also

Official War Thunder forum article: [Vehicle Profile] Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. A

Sources

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


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