StuG III Ausf G

The Sturmgeschütz III Ausf G was the final version of the StuG III and was produced in vast numbers, with a total of 7,720 produced from new between December 1942 and the end of the Second World War. 

The main distinguishing feature of the Ausf G was the adoption of a new superstructure with slanted sides made up of 30mm armour with 50mm plates at the front. This is one of the easiest ways to identify the Ausf G, for the side of the superstructure overlaps the top of the tracks, while on the Ausf F and Ausf F.8 the edge of the superstructure lines up with the inner edge of the tracks.

The Ausf G also saw the introduction of a commander’s cupola, with seven periscopes and an SE14Z scissors periscope that could be raised through a hinged port in the forward edge of the hatch lid. At the same time the roof hatch for the gunner was removed, and replaced with a periscope sight.

StuG III in Greece
StuG III Ausf G
in the Ukraine, 1944

During the two and half years that the StuG III Ausf G was in production a great many changes were introduced (and is some cases later removed). The first came right at the start of the production run, when the angle of the side plates was increased and a hinged armoured gun shield was placed in front of the loader’s hatch in an attempt to remedy the lack of a properly integrated machine gun on the StuG.

In February 1943 a pair of three smoke candle dischargers were fitted to the front left and right of the superstructure, only to be removed in May after it was discovered that they could be set off by income small arms fire. In April 1943 armoured skirts were added to the sides to protect against anti-tank rifles and hollow charges. In May 1943 the 50mm front armour with 30mm extra bolted on was replaced with a single 80mm thick armour plate, and at the same time a new muzzle brake with deflector flanges was installed. The cupola turned out to be dangerously under-armoured, and so late in 1943 an armour deflector was added.

StuG III Ausf G, June 1943 - side plan
StuG III Ausf G, June 1943 - side plan

StuG III ausf G in street fighting
StuG III ausf G in street fighting

The biggest visual change came late in 1943, when the original rectangular mantlet was replaced by a rounded cast gun mantle, known as the Topfblende (“pot mantle”) or Saukopf (“sow’s head”).

1944 saw two attempts to improve the short range defensive capability of the StuG III. In March a mounting for a remote controlled machine gun was added to the roof. This consisted of a MG.34 machine gun aimed by the loader using a sighting periscope. Unfortunately this machine gun was not belt fed, and so the loader still had to expose himself to enemy fire to reload the gun. May 1944 saw the installation of a Nahverteidigungswaffe close range defence weapon in the roof, capable of firing small grenades or smoke.

When first introduced the StuG III Ausf G was issued to the Sturmgeschütz detachments, independent artillery units available to the high command, but over the next two years their use spread until they could be found in every type of division, including the Panzer Divisions.

Names
7.5cm Sturmgeschütz 40 Ausf G
Sd Kfz 142/1
StuG III Ausf G

Stats
Number produced:  7,720
Produced: December 1942-March 1945
Length: 6.77m
Hull Width: 2.95m
Height: 2.16m
Crew: 4
Weight: 23.9 tons  
Engine: 320hp Maybach HL120TRM
Max Speed: 40km/hr
Max Range:  155km/ 95 miles
Main Armament: One 7.5cm StuK40 L/48
Machine Guns: One to three 7.92mm MG34 or MG42

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Superstructure

80mm*

30mm

30mm

17mm

Hull

80mm*

30mm

50mm

16mm

Gun mantlet

50mm or
50mm+30mm or
80mm

30mm

 

30mm

* Sometimes as one 80mm plate and sometimes as a 50mm base with 30mm extra armour

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 G , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_StuG_III_Ausf_G.html

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