History: The Sturmpanzer was developed by Alkett, who designed the superstructure, and Krupp, who altered the design of their Pz Kpfw IV chassis. On 20 October 1942, after seeing Alkett's plans, Hitler demanded that forty to sixty Brummbar be built as soon as possible. On 7 February 1943, it was decided that the forty must be completed by 12 May 1943, with a following production run of twenty. After this initial run from April to May 1943, the production of a long-term series went ahead in November 1943 and continued until the end of the war.
Specific features: The Brummbar had a box-like superstructure, housing the 15cm StuH43, mounted on a normal Pz Kpfw IV chassis. The first series was mounted on fifty-two new Pz Kpfw IV Ausf G chassis plus eight rebuilt Ausf E and F chassis. Instead of the 80mm armour on the hull front, the first sixty had a 50mm armour plate bolted to the basic 50mm hull front. This first series had a sliding-shutter visor for the driver, similar to that mounted on the Tiger I. In the later series, the driver was provided with a periscope and an StuH431 was fitted. The final series, produced from June 1944, had a redesigned superstructure with a ball-mounted machine-gun in the top right-hand ture with a ball-mounted machine-gun in the top right-hand corner of the front plate, and a cupola for the commander.
Combat service: Sturmpanzerabteilung 216 was issued with the first Brummbar, and was rushed off to the Eastern front for the summer offensive at Kursk. This unit was also active in defensive battles near Zaparozhye up to October 1943. Three additional Sturmpanzer detachments (217, 218 and 219) were formed during the war, and fought on the major eastern and western fronts, and also in Italy.