Friday, July 17, 2015
Sturmgeschütz IV (7.5cm StuK40 L/48) (SdKfz 167) was an armored vehicle (assault gun, AFV or armoured fighting vehicle) in combat use during the Second World War (World War II or WWII) in the European theater. The Sturmgeschütz IV was a fully tracked all-terrain vehicle designed for military operations. Sturmgeschütz IV, abbreviated as the StuG. IV, was produced and deployed by the German Army (Heers) of Nazi Germany (the Third Reich). The technical drawing (plan, layout or profile) shows the general appearance characteristics of the specified model (version) of the Sturmgeschütz IV tank for purposes of identification and reference.
From December 1943 to May 1945, Krupp built 1,108 StuG IVs and converted an additional 31 from battle-damaged Panzer IV hulls. While the number is smaller than the 10,000+ StuG III, the StuG IV supplemented and fought along with StuG III during 1944-45, when they were most needed.
The Pz.Kpfw.IV was also converted to an assault gun (Sd.Kfz.167) after a bombing raid severely damaged the ALKETT plant producing the StuG III. The turret and superstructure from the Pz.Kpfw.IV was replaced by a modified StuG III Ausf.G superstructure. Since the Pz.Kpfw.IV hull was longer than that of the Pz.Kpfw.III, it was necessary to create a new driver's position by extending the left side of the superstructure front forward. This new driver's position was topped by a pair of periscopes and an access hatch. The cast gun mantlet was introduced in February 1944. Later production vehicles were also fitted with the naehverteidigunswaffe close-in defense weapon, and starting in December 1944 some StuG IV were only fitted with three track return rollers per side. Other modifications to the Pz.Kpfw.IV and StuG III Ausf.G were also grafted onto StuG IV, like the Pz.Kpfw.IV's flash suppressing mufflers and the remote-control external machine gun mount.