An interesting report on StuG battalions use of StuG ammunitions....From 12/1 to 5/31.... Late 43 to almost June 1944
It covered 6 months and 315280 rounds. It is for 23 Brigades (Eastern Front). 51,595 (16.4%) were fired at 'Panzer' targets. A knee-jerk reaction might be that they were all Pngr 39. Actually, 70.5% of these
were Pngr 39, 21.2% were HL, and 8.3% were HE! HE set on delay could pierce light armor and even the lower side armor on a T34. The point being that having 'macro data' needs attention to details.
Another knee-jerk reaction, since 'only' 16.4% of the 315,280 rounds were fired at 'Panzer' targets, and 'only' 91.7% were actually 'armor-piercing' types, then loadout of the 54 rounds carried of the StuGs should be 15 AP-type rounds (9 Pngr 39 and 4 HL). This is, considering the Eastern Front in 1944, ridiculous to me.
The report does not state the number of enemy AFV destroyed? As compared to the number of Pak, artillery, enemy dead estimate.... I suspect that this data is intentionally presented this way because it is written by....
Generalstab des Heeres
Nr. 5998/44 geh.
and this is his issue...
An investigation carried out on the targets attacked by the Assault Artillery as well as the total ammunition fired confirms the position defended by the Artillery General that the Assault Artillery in most cases do not fire at battle tanks. In the case of battle tanks, the assault guns face them first. Because the Artillery of Assault operates in the center of the combat always must have battle tanks. Even so, most of its objectives are found by the Assault Artillery among the infantry. In recent months the combat of anti-tank weapons and grenade launchers has increased in number and hardness. Unless it is a much higher enemy battle car, Assault cannon combat against a combat car takes place at short and medium distances and is considered by experienced crews as easier than combat against groups of anti-tank guns and grenade launchers. Over long distances (more than 2000 meters) the Russian tanks and heavy assault guns are superior (in caliber and firepower).
...But, that is another 'political' discussion.....back to the point. Anyone really feel that the StuGs who had these engagements....
Targets attacked by the Assault Artillery
(23 Brigades in the Eastern Front between 1.12.1943 and 31.5.1944)
Tanks 6,574 = 11.9%
(infantry, grenade launcher, anti-tank guns, vehicles, etc.) 48,235 = 88.1%
.... And did not fire AP or HL (for that anorak matter) at targets other
than 'panzer'? Anyone think any StuG commander would not load out with at least 50% of Pngr 39 and HL?