StuG III Ausf F

The Sturmgeschütz III Ausf F saw a major change to the design of the StuG III with the adoption of the long barrelled 7.5cm Stu.K.40 L/43. Work on producing a longer gun for the StuG had begun before the outbreak of the Second World War, but none of the earlier efforts had produced any result before the invasion of Russia. Once the fighting began in the Soviet Union the Germans soon came up against the T-34/76 and the KV-1, and their existing tanks quickly proved to be inadequate. As a result the production of a new longer gun for the StuG became a matter of great urgency.

The result was the StuG III Ausf F, armed with the 7.5cm StuK40 L/43. The new gun was nearly a meter and a half longer than the StuK37 L/24 used on the StuG III Ausf D, giving it a higher muzzle velocity, and thus a better armour piercing capability.

StuG III Ausf F L-43 - side plan
StuG III Ausf F L-43 - side plan

The StuG III Ausf F was otherwise virtually identical to the Ausf D, using the same hull and superstructure. The longer gun needed a bigger gap in the front of the superstructure, and a box-shaped armoured housing for the larger recoil and recuperator cylinders. The Ausf F also saw the installation of a protruding armoured housing for the roof mounted exhaust fan.

During the production run of the Ausf F extra 30mm armour plates were welded onto the front of the hull and superstructure, starting with the last eleven machines produced in June 1942, and continuing on for the last 182 machines. Two headlights on the upper hull front were also removed.

The production run also saw the introduction of a longer 7.5cm StuK 40 L/48, although different sources disagree on the number of machines involved (either starting with the 121st machine, or only on the last thirty-one).

The StuG III Ausf F had a rather different combat role to earlier models of the machine. The short-gunned version of the StuG III had been seen as a close support weapon to provide armoured artillery support for the infantry. The long-gunned StuG III Ausf F was designed to kill heavily armoured Russian tanks at long range, but despite this it was issued to the same Sturmgeschütz detachments that were already operating at the front. The appearance of the long gunned StuG III Ausf F (along with the long gunned Panzer IV) restored the armoured balance on the Eastern Front.

Names
7.5cm Sturmgeschütz 40 Ausf F
Sd Kfz 142/1
StuG Ausf F, 6 and 7 Serie

Stats
Number produced:  359
Produced: March-September 1942
Length: 6.31m (with L/43 gun)
Hull Width: 2.92m
Height: 2.15m
Crew: 4
Weight: 21.6 tons  
Engine: 320hp Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr
Max Range:  140km/
Main Armament: One 7.5cm StuK40 L/43 or L/48to
Machine Guns: One 7.92mm MG34

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Superstructure

50mm or
50mm+30mm

30mm

30mm

11mm below
17mm above

Hull

50mm or
50mm+30mm

30mm

50mm

16mm

Gun mantlet

50mm

30mm

 

30mm

German Weapons of World War II, Stephen Hart . Covers a wide range of the weapons used by the Third Reich during the Second World War, from the pistol up to the battleship Tirpitz, and including a wide range of tanks, armoured vehicles, aircraft, artillery etc. All supported by a mix of full colour illustrations and contemporary photographs, giving an idea of vast range of weapons produced by the Germans during the war (Read Full Review)
cover cover cover

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 July 2008), StuG III Ausf F , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_StuG_III_Ausf_F.html

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