From: Cologne, Germany
.....Just 3 M8s can occasionally hold up entire battalions, even battalions supported by StuGs (I know StuGs aren't designed as tank-killers, but they should still be able to waste an armoured car) for hours, and hours.
Even though the chassis wasn't designed for a tank-hunting role, the decision to equip the StuGs with the 75mm Sturmkanone 40 L/43 (the first long barrel) in early 1942 was triggered by the plan to use the StuG primarily as a tank hunter, already. This gun's muzzle velocity reached ~740 meters/second, it could pierce through 85mm of armor at 1000 meters - when using the regular AP round, the Panzergranate 39, and through 91mm at 500 meters. The tungsten round, the Panzergranate 40 could penetrate 87 mm of armor at 1000 meters.
The second long barrel, installed in all StuG III from June 1942 until the end of the war, was the 75mm Sturmkanone 40 L/48, which had a slightly higher performance, v0=790 meters/sec, 85mm @ 1000 meters and 96mm at 500 meters.
The production costs were 20% below the costs of a Panzer III, the "missing" turret allowed for a higher production output, plus the gun's performance was satisfactory, so the long-barreled StuG proved to be a good value for money.
In turn, the StuG IV (first version:Jadgpanzer IV/48) was based on the chassis of the Panzer IV, and it was equipped with the very capable PaK (AT gun) 39 L/48, a gun which was also installed on the Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer. There is a report of a Hetzer having killed a Russian JS-122 (JS-2 122mm) at 800 meters.
Whatsoever, the shift to the 75mm guns in the StuG III required the development of a new dedicated assault gun: The Sturmhaubitze 42 (production start in early 1943) was basically a modified StuG III that was equipped with a 10.5mm field howitzer (Feldhaubitze 18), filling the gap the StuG III had left, when its role was changed from infantry support to tank-hunting.
While the StuG IV had a weaker armor (as it proved to be top-heavy with the thin rear armor <- 20mm only, so the front armor had to be reduced to 60mm) and while it was basically a modified/turret-less Panzer IV with a downgrade to the front and rear armors, the Jadgpanzer 38 was a dedicated tank-hunter (per design), equipped with the same AT gun.
For comparison (to the StuG III), the stats of a Jadgpanzer 38:
Muzzle velocity: 750 meters/second with a regular AP round (PzGr. 39), 930 meters/second with the Panzergranate 40 (produced with and without tungsten core), because the lighter PzGr.40 round and the barrel proved to be a perfect combination.
That said, even in late 1944, the StuG III was still able to fight Allied tanks, say Shermans, despite the then average (if compared to say Germany's MBT or the latest anti-tank guns of late 1944) performance.
M8 greyhounds could be easily ripped apart by the auto-cannons of German recon vehicles, like the 20mm gun of the Puma, so a StuG shouldn't have a problem in the game, no matter what StuG version is involved. Maybe some parameters in the estabs are borked.
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 6/18/2010 7:41:57 PM >
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
8th of August, 2006