Sturmpanzer IV/ Brummbär

The Brummbär (“Grizzly Bear”) or Sturmpanzer IV was a heavy armoured assault vehicle based on the Panzer IV and armed with a short 15cm howitzer. The Brummbär was developed in 1942, after it became clear that the 75mm howitzer used in earlier armoured assault vehicles was not powerful enough to deal with the more solidly built city buildings. Work was divided between Krupp, who worked on modifying the chassis and Alkett who were responsible for the superstructure. On 20 October 1942 Hitler saw Alkett’s plans, and demanded that between 40 and 60 be built. On 7 February 1943 a deadline of 12 March 1943 was imposed for the production of the first forty, with twenty more to follow after that. This first run was followed by open ended production, which continued until the end of the war.

The 15cm Sturmhaubitze L/20 had been developed from the sIG33. That gun had been mounted on a Panzer I (15cm sIG33 auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B) and Panzer II (15cm sIG33 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf)) in limited numbers.

The Brummbär had a box-like superstructure which was carried on a normal Panzer IV chassis (the first series used 52 new Ausf Gs, and eight old Ausf Es and Ausf Fs). The howitzer was ball mounted, pivoting around a point level with the front of the superstructure.

In early versions of the Brummbär the driver had direct vision via a Brummbär visor with a vertical sliding shutter, as used on the Tiger. In mid-production Brummbärs this was replaced by a built-up cab with no visor and a fixed periscope for vision.

Late production Brummbärs (from June 1944) had a redesigned superstructure with a commander’s cupola and a ball-mounted machine gun high up on the left side of the front of the superstructure.

The Brummbär entered service with Sturmpanzerabteilung 216, just in time to take part in the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. After the failure of that offensive the unit took part in the defensive battles around Zaparozhye. The Brummbär also equipped Sturmpanzerabteilung 217, 218 and 219, each with 45 Brummbärs, while some went to the Heavy Infantry Gun Companies of the Panzergrenadier Regiments, fighting on all of the major fronts.

Name
Sturmpanzer IV
Brummbär (Grizzly Bear)
StuG IV mit 15cm StuH43
Sd Kfz 166
StuPz 43
Sturmhaubitze 43 L/12 auf Fgst PzKpfw IV (Sf)

Stats
Number produced:  298 plus 8 converted (or 313 in some sources)
Produced:  April 1943-March 1945
Hull Length: 5.93m
Hull Width: 2.88m
Height: 2.52m
Crew: 5
Weight: 28.2 tons   
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM & TRM112
Max Speed: 40km/hr
Max Range:  210km
Armament: One 15cm StuH43 L/12 and two 7.92mm MG13s

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Superstructure

100mm/ 4in

50mm/ 2in

30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in
+10mm/ 0.4in

Hull

80mm/ 3.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

10mm/ 0.4in

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 July 2008), Sturmpanzer IV/ Brummbär, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_sturmpanzer_IV_brummbar.html

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