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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Brummbär; Brummbär Sturmpanzer IV 15cm; StuPz 43; Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär; Sturmhaubitze 43 L/12 auf Fgst PzKpfw IV (Sf); SdKfz 166 self propelled gun

Design

As early as June 9, 1941, in a memo, a need of a 150 mm gun to be carried for infantry support was indicated.

On October 20, 1942, Hitler saw Alkett's plans and wanted 40-60 to be built as soon as possible. On February 7, 1943, it was decided that the first 40 were to be completed by May 12, 1943, with another 20 to be finished after that. Prototypes first appeared in 1943.

Used FuG5 and FuG2 radios.

Main Armament

The Sturmhaubitze 43 howitzer was a specially developed to go in a ball mount. The 150 mm gun could fire a 83.8 lb HE shell 4,675 yards at a muzzle velocity of 787'/sec.

Superstructure

The commander sat towards the rear and used a roof mounted periscope to see. The driver sat on the left side and had a sliding shutter visor similar to the Tiger I's. Later models had a periscope for the driver.

From April 1944 on it had a ball mounted machine gun in the left had corner of the superstructure and a cupola for the commander. Late models installed a ball mounted machine gun in the hull and Schürzen (side skirts).

Due to the excess weight caused by the superstructure the front two wheels were replaced by steel rimmed wheels.

Chassis

The PzKpfw IV Ausf F, PzKpfw IV Ausf G, PzKpfw IV Ausf H, and PzKpfw IV Ausf J chassis were used.

The last vehicles were produced on the PzKpfw IV Ausf J chassis with a redesigned superstructure and had a MG installed in the top right of the superstructure.

Production

The chassis was produced by Nibelungen, superstructure by Bismarckhütte, and assembled by Deutsche Eisenwerke of Duisburg.

  • Brummbär: 298, 306, 313
    • Production: April 1943 - March 1945
      • April 1943: 20
      • May 1943: 32
    • Manufacturer: Deutsche Eisenwerke
      • Chassis: Krupp
      • Superstructure: Alkett
    • Conversion: from PzKpfw IV: 8

Usage

The were deployed in company sized units. Most were used in support of Panzergrenadier and infantry units. They were used in the front waves of infantry destroying strong points.

Kursk

First saw action at Kursk with the Sturmpanzerabteilung 216.

Zaparozhye

These also saw action near Zaparozhye up to October 1943.

Italy and France

Three more Sturmpanzer detachments were formed during the war (217, 218, and 219). These units saw action in Italy and France.

Specifications

  Brummbär
Crew Commander, driver, gunner, loaders(2)
5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 60,800 lb, 62,170 lb
28,200 kg, 28,651 kg
27.75 tons, 28.2 tons, 28.3 tons, 30.4 tons
Length w/gun 19', 19' 4", 19' 5", 19' 5.5"
5.89 m, 5.93 m
Length w/o gun 19' 4"
5.89 m
Height 8', 8' 2", 8' 3", 8' 3.2", 11' 4"
2.49 m, 2.52 m, 3.45 m
Width 9.4', 9' 5", 9' 5.4", 10' 2", 12' 3"
2, 2.88 m, 3.73 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.8"
40 cm
Ground contact length 138.5"
3.52 m
Ground pressure 13.9 psi
1 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 15 cm StuH 43 L/12
150 mm
150 mm sIG 33 L/12
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.92 mm MG
2: 7.92 mm MG34, (only 1 in early production)
MG - coaxial 7.92 mm MG34, internal
MG - hull 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 36, 38
Secondary  
MG 600
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 100
Front: 3.9"
Side: 2"
Hull Front, Upper 101@38°, 100@40°, 80@78°
Hull Front, Lower 95@15°, 80@12°, 50+50@75°
Hull Sides, Upper 50@18°, 50@15°, 20+20@90°
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°
Hull Rear 30@25°+0° & 20@10°, 20@80-82°
Hull Top 22@82°, 20@83° + 10@90°
Hull Bottom 10@90°
Superstructure Front 100, 100@50°
Superstructure Sides 20-60@65-88°
Superstructure Rear 30@64-90°
Superstructure Top 20@6°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL120TRM
Maybach HL120TRM112
Maybach
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 12, V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 265, 300
300@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Transmission (Type) ZF SSG 76
6 forward, 1 reverse
Synchromesh
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt
Running: 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline, Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 103 gallons, 125 gallons
470 liters
Road consumption 1 mpg
100 km/225 liters
Cross country consumption 0.6 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 8° each way
10° left, 10° right.
±20°
Max speed 24 mph, 24.85 mph, 24.9 mph, 25 mph
40 kph
Cross country speed 10 mph, 15 mph
24 kph
Road radius 124 miles, 130 miles, 130.5 miles, 131 miles
210 km
Cross country radius 78 miles, 81 miles
130 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -8° to + 30°
-5° to +30°
Fording depth 3' 3"
0.9 m
Trench crossing 7.6', 9'
2.2 m
Vertical obstacle 23.6", 2' 6"
60 cm
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope
Suspension (Type) Sprung in pairs on 1/4 elliptic springs
Wheels each side 8, 8x2
Return rollers each side 4, 4x2
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 15.75"
40 cm
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 4.75"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.1'
2.46 m

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site