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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Gepanzerter Selbstfahrlafette für Sturmgeschütz 7.5 cm Kanone Ausf A; Sturmgeschütz III Ausf A, SdKfz 142 self propelled gun

Design

5 prototypes built in 1937.1

Was the first of the series to be produced and was based on the PzKpfw III Ausf E.3

Has the same suspension, drive train, components, and basic hull shape as the PzKpfw III Ausf F. There were no escape hatches on the hull sides. The 75 mm gun was offset to the right and the driver was provided with a pivoting visor, a twin periscope in the superstructure front, and a vision port in the left superstructure. The gunner had an artillery type periscope and had a vision port in the left superstructure. The commander had a scissors periscope which could be raised by opening the front half of his roof hatch.

Usage

A few were employed at Gazala and Tobruk in North Africa.

Specifications

  StuG III Ausf A
Crew 41,2,3
Radio FuG151, FuG161
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19.5 tons3, 19.6 tons1, 21.3 tons2
Length 17' 9"2
5.38 m1, 5.41 m2
Height 6' 5"2
1.95 m1,2
Width 9' 7"2
2.92 m1,2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament (mm)  
Main 75 mm StuK L/241,2
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 441, 842
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 50@10°1, 50@80°2
Hull Front, Lower 50@21°1, 50@69°2
Hull Sides, Upper 30@0°1 + 9@30°1, 30@90°2
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°1, 30@90°2
Hull Rear 8@60-80°2, 30@30°1 + 10°1
Hull Top 11@78-90°1 @ 17@85°1
Hull Bottom 16@90°1
Superstructure Front 50@75°2
Superstructure Sides 30@90°2
Superstructure Rear 30@60°2
Superstructure Top 8@0-12°2
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TR1,2
Maybach HL 120 TRM2
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 3002, 3202
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh
10 forward, 4 reverse.1
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 70 gallons2
320 liters2
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 12° left1, 12° right1
12.5° left2, 12.5° right2
Speed - Road 28 mph2
40 kph1, 45 kph2
Speed - Cross Country 12 mph2
19 kph2
Range - Road 100 miles2
160 km1, 161 km2
Range - Cross Country 60 miles2, 97 km2
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +20°1
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  3. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site