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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Gepanzerter Selbstfahrlafette für Sturmgeschütz 7.5 cm Kanone Ausf F/8; Sturmgeschütz III Ausf F/8; StuG 40 Ausf F/8; Sturmgeschütz 40 Ausführung F/8; 7.5 cm Sturmgeschuetz 40 Ausf F/8

Design

A new hull design was used that was similar to the PzKpfw III Ausf J and PzKpfw Ausf L hull. The side plates were extended past the front plat and holes drilled for towing brackets. The rear deck was extended and ventilation for the engine was improved. In 1942 Alkett ceased production on the PzKpfw IIIs and concentrated on the StuGs. As a result some of these were built on PzKpfw III hulls. These can be identified by the single piece forward opening hatch over the final drive.

Had the 7.5cm Sturmkanone (StuK) 40 L/48 gun installed.

Identifying

Had armor bolted onto the nose and driver's plates. A few had a round muzzle brake. There was no commander's cupola.

Production

4 were converted to StuH42 and 12 were used for the StuIG33B.

Usage

Some were the basis for new Sturmgeschütz units in the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Das Reich, Tötenkopf, and Grossdeutschland Divisions. But most were used as replacements.

Specifications

  StuG III Ausf F/8,
StuG 40 Ausf F/8
Crew 4
Radio FuG15, FuG16
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 23.2 tons
23,900 kg
Length 6.77 m
Height 2.15 m
Width 2.92 m, 2.95 m
Ostkette: 3.33 m
Schürzen: 3.41 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.39 m
Ground contact length 2.86 m
Ground pressure 1.04 (kg/cm2)
Armament (mm)  
Main 75 mm StuK 40 L/48
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG34
1: MG 34
MG - hull 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 44, 54
Secondary  
MG 600
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Side, Rear: 30
Hull Front, Upper 50 or 50+30@10°
Mantlet: 50@0°
50+30
Hull Front, Lower 50 or 50+30@21°
Hull Sides, Upper 30@10°
Mantlet: 30@17°
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°
Hull Rear 30@30° & 30@30° + 10°
Hull Top 11@78° to 90° & 17@85°
Mantlet: 30@90°
Hull Bottom 16@90°
Superstructure Front  
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TRM
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 300@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 6 forward, 1 reverse
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 310 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 10° left, 10° right, hand.
Speed - Road 40 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 140 km, 155 km
Range - Cross Country 95 km
Turning radius 5.85 m
Elevation limits -6° to +20°
Fording depth 0.8 m
Trench crossing 2.3 m
Vertical obstacle 0.6 m
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion Bar
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length 93 links
Width 0.4 m
Width of link  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 2.51 m

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. Sturmgeschütz 40 (L/43 & L/48) The Long Gun Versions, Horst Scheibert, 1991
  3. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site