Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

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Yoozername
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Yoozername » 17 Apr 2021 17:56

Sid Guttridge wrote:
17 Apr 2021 08:20
Hi Sean Oliver,

An interesting approach.

Clearly vehicle availability has a bearing on how successful a vehicle could be. It can have no influence on operations if it can't take part in them.

The extra technical complexity of the turret was very likely to add to maintenance and serviceability problems.

I am less convinced by differential maintenance capacities of the artillery versus panzer arm. I would imagine that Stug. units, being largely tied to static or slow moving infantry divisions, saw much less wear and tear on their chassis, engines and suspensions than tank units, which were probably required to be more mobile.

Anyway, I shall be very interested to know what you turn up.

I also think Michael Kenny's suggestion that a comparison of tank units equipped with Stugs. and artillery arm units equipped with Stugs. might prove productive in disentangling arm of service maintenance and serviceability differences, if any.

Cheers,

Sid

It is Sturmartillerie. Not Artillery.

Vehicles AND crews take part in battles. Along with Fuel, ammunition, food, water, parts, repair personnel, etc. etc.

The turret, and turret ring, are a manufacturing bottle-neck. I have posted video of cutting the turret ring gear.

Sturmartillerie units were not tied to units. They were usually a Corp asset and moved around as a mobile reserve. Some infantry units had StuG Companies as a Divisional asset. Are you confusing them?

Yoozername
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Yoozername » 17 Apr 2021 18:03

This long term report, and the tactical issues regarding working with Tanks, shows that StuGs are not tanks. And the foot soldiers appreciated it.
Excerpts from a report by the Stu.Gesch.Abt.232

During the period of the last operations the following experiences have been made:


Tactical experiences

Except for a few occasions, the commander has not had the possibility to lead his Battalion in combat jointly from his vehicle. Unfortunately it has also been a great exception that a Battery has operated jointly under the direction of its boss. The ideal type of operations is naturally one in which the Battalion or at least one Battery operates jointly on the ground. Due to the subordination of the Battalion to the 7. Panzer-Division and the fact that the Division has reserved decision-making capacity over the operations of each of the vehicles at all times, on many occasions it has happened that a single vehicle has operated in isolation, an unsustainable situation and that of repeatedly but unsuccessfully it has been challenged. Yet this demonstrates the combat value attached to our assault guns, even when they have operated in isolation. The loss of this lonely vehicle, partly due to trifles, is normal. Assault gun operations have almost always been ordered directly from the Division and without the Battalion's knowledge. For this reason, in many occasions the Battalion has completely unknown where and in which unit its vehicles were located.


The Battalion differentiates between the different types of operations:
operations with grenadiers on foot, operations with grenadiers in half-track vehicles and operations with combat tanks.


Assault gun operations with grenadiers on foot .

After a short period of time, the coordination between the two has been perfect. This type of operation has been very successful for assault guns at the cost of very low casualties among the grenadiers. Also the losses between the assault guns have been very low, not suffering any total loss so far. The only total losses the Battalion has suffered have been when they have operated within an armored group.

This is valid to a greater extent only for grenadiers who have fought on foot with assault cannons, since the leaders of these grenadiers compared to those already known to them as Battery or Platoon leaders have always shown a great understanding of the way they operate. operate our Weapon.


Assault gun operations with half-track vehicles

It has been a disadvantage for us. The grenadiers have almost never abandoned their vehicles; the speed of half-track vehicles, also in combat, has always been much higher than that of assault guns, which is why 1) we have suffered vehicle breakdowns and 2) our vehicles have not had the necessary protection and have They have often been knocked out of action from their flanks as they cannot, like half-tracks, overcome nests of resistance at full speed.

Cooperation with tanks

These operations have the following disadvantages:

It can be said that there is a general opinion that our assault guns are operationally positioned at the same level as battle tanks. Assault gun operations have hitherto generally been carried out on the basis of this thinking. Slowly it seems that we are managing to convince the relevant bodies that assault guns, both in their driving style and in their way of operating, differ from battle tanks.

A major disadvantage is the fact that communication with the tanks can only be carried out through a single assault cannon in the Battalion, as our assault cannons use a different frequency than the tanks. Because the Division has employed isolated assault guns, these vehicles were also generally isolated from the communication of the armored unit.

During the attack we were unable to maintain the speed of the tanks due to the greater frontal load of our assault guns. Due to their good frontal armor, our assault guns have sometimes been used as a shield far ahead of tanks, which greatly increases the risk of being attacked from the flanks. The battle tanks usually fire during the march so our assault guns have also suffered the threat of being hit by our battle tanks. When crossing enemy lines of infantry without the support of the grenadiers, our assault guns have been overtaken by the tanks, which has always posed a great threat (casualties among the vehicle leaders). As the enemy is flanked, the battle tanks advance at high speed and direct their cannon towards the enemy. Assault guns have to advance unprotected from their flanks, which has led to impact losses on their sides.

When colliding with strong nests of enemy resistance, the tanks usually withdraw without communicating it to the assault guns, leaving these isolated and exposed to the fire of all kinds of anti-tank weapons. Total losses have been suffered for this reason.

During the attack on urban areas, the assault guns have almost always been sent in the front line, followed by tanks that have fired in all directions. Once the assault cannons have broken the main resistance, the tanks have overtaken our cannons at full speed, so they have not again had the necessary protection of their flanks, so necessary in urban combat (casualties among the vehicle bosses by snipers and grenades).

These experiences show that the operations of assault guns with tanks as well as in many cases with half-track vehicles have not been successful, since:

There has never been an understanding of how assault guns operate.

Assault guns have been used as battle tanks.

Many have occurred due to breakdowns caused by the high speed of the battle tanks.

Very high losses have been suffered caused by resistance nests and firing from the flanks. The tanks have not offered the necessary flank protection and in fact at no time have they thought it necessary to assume that responsibility.

Tank operations have resulted in high casualties and total losses in exchange for a minimum and in many cases no success.
Finally, it should be mentioned that all the total losses have only occurred in operations with armored groups. In cooperation with the grenadiers, they have always alerted the assault guns to sources of resistance (antitank rifles, antitank guns, antiaircraft guns, battle tanks, etc.), thus being able to put them out of action. 90% of the enemy battle tanks and anti-tank guns destroyed by the Battalion occurred in the framework of operations alongside the grenadiers.

The full recognition and praise of the assault gun crews by the grenadier chiefs is a testament to the great support they have been offered as well as the exemplary behavior they have shown on the battlefield.

As a result of these experiences, any platoon or vehicle leader tries to avoid cooperation with the tanks and instead tries by all means to enter into combat alongside the grenadiers.

Night operations and during darkness must be considered, in the best of cases, as a moral strengthening of the troop. Only on rare occasions have practical effects and successes been achieved in relation to enemy combat. Yet assault guns have been employed almost always at night for protection purposes, rather than keeping them ready behind the front line as a reserve force.

Night reconnaissance operations have been carried out frequently, operations in which we have rejoiced every time the assault gun has returned unscathed. The many night marches, marches that due to the situation at the front have actually been necessary on occasions, the technical condition of the assault guns has suffered a lot, especially the engines, because due to the poor visibility, the drivers have had to drive in a very abrupt way; Due to the bad conditions of the terrain the assault guns have been continuously immobilized. In one case, during a night march, an assault gun was totally lost when it fell down a slope.


Battalion successes between 7.1. and 12.3.1943

154 tanks
24 heavy anti-tank guns
109 light anti-tank guns
27 grenade launchers
130 machine guns
82 trucks
16 vehicles with trailers
61 anti-tank rifles
11 armored reconnaissance vehicles
29 guns
2 bunkers
17 anti-aircraft
guns
2
salvage guns 2 artillery observation vehicles 1 tugboat

Battalion losses

a) Personal
Dead Wounded Sick
Officers 3 4 two
Non-commissioned officers 6 16 4
Troop 14 2. 3 twenty

b) Materials
12 assault guns
3 trucks
1 Volkswagen
8 motorcycles with sidecar
1 motorcycle without sidecar

Michael Kenny
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Michael Kenny » 17 Apr 2021 18:17

Yoozername wrote:
17 Apr 2021 17:46


The s.Pz.Abt.505 at the start of 'Zitadelle' had 31 Tigers and four days after the start of the operation it received 14 new Tigers.

Total losses: 5 Tiger.

1 Tiger has been sent to the homeland to be repaired there, 15 Tigers have been evacuated to backward areas of the area of ​​operations to undergo a long period of repair.

Currently 4 Tigers are operational, 20 Tigers are in a short repair period.
.
From an initial 45 only 4 are runners.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Apr 2021 19:03

Hi Yoozername,

So the Sturmartillerie did not fall under the artillery branch of the Ersatzheer?

You post, "Vehicles AND crews take part in battles. Along with Fuel, ammunition, food, water, parts, repair personnel, etc. etc." Yup. Your point in stating the obvious is what? That I or others might not be aware of that?

You post, "Sturmartillerie units were not tied to units. They were usually a Corp asset and moved around as a mobile reserve. Some infantry units had StuG Companies as a Divisional asset. Are you confusing them?" I am conflating them. I am unclear. Are you saying, as per your first sentence, that Sturmartillerie units were not tied to units, or are you, as your second sentence implies, saying that they sometimes were tied to divisions, which was my understanding?

Cheers,

Sid
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 17 Apr 2021 19:13, edited 3 times in total.

Yoozername
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Yoozername » 17 Apr 2021 19:08

Sid Guttridge wrote:
17 Apr 2021 19:03
Hi Yoozername,

So the Sturmartillerie did not fall under the artillery branch of the Ersatzheer?

Cheers,

Sid
They are part of the artillery. A branch of the Artillery. Specifically, They are Sturmartillerie. No Wespe or Hummels included. That would be the Panzer Artillery.

Yoozername
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Yoozername » 17 Apr 2021 19:14

Michael Kenny wrote:
17 Apr 2021 18:17

From an initial 45 only 4 are runners.
Operational. Meaning crewed up and ready to be "runners". More than likely, operating to guard the non-runners.

But the main point is that the report states...
Of the temporary casualties of assault guns, only 20% are in a long period of repair, which is why all assault gun battalions can still be considered operational.
Also, the lack of crews for the panzers is as bad as the lack of panzers.

Sean Oliver
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Sean Oliver » 18 Apr 2021 01:23

Editing weirdness...how do I delete this? :?
Last edited by Sean Oliver on 18 Apr 2021 01:36, edited 1 time in total.

Sean Oliver
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Sean Oliver » 18 Apr 2021 01:33

Michael Kenny wrote:
17 Apr 2021 02:40
Sean Oliver wrote:
17 Apr 2021 02:21
I'm surprised you didn't understand me. I'll try again.
What exactly do you mean by 'poor'? How did you arrive at this description?
By comparing it to its allied counterpart.
In the same way some would compare a Panther tank to a Sherman.
Note that keeping the numbers up is a combination of many factors and that there should always be a system in place that ensures front-line availability is reasonably high. In my opinion a 50% rate that exist for more than a few days is sub-par performance.
It's certainly valid to compare the different combatants but dismissing the work of the crews and maintenance units as 'poor' without any understanding or explanation of the 'logistic system' which was beyond their control and under which they were forced to operate is unfair and unjustified. They were probably trying as best they could under difficult conditions beyond the usual problems which occur in warfare.
One of the main reasons why the Wehrmacht had so many failures with intel, logistics, economics, and overall strategy at the higher echelons of command was because before 1939 most of the senior military officials did not truly expect - nor did they plan and organize their armies for - the vast, aggressive campaigns across Europe they found themselves in.

Sean Oliver
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Sean Oliver » 18 Apr 2021 09:21

Sid Guttridge wrote:
17 Apr 2021 08:20
Hi Sean Oliver,

An interesting approach.

Clearly vehicle availability has a bearing on how successful a vehicle could be. It can have no influence on operations if it can't take part in them.

The extra technical complexity of the turret was very likely to add to maintenance and serviceability problems.

I am less convinced by differential maintenance capacities of the artillery versus panzer arm. I would imagine that Stug. units, being largely tied to static or slow moving infantry divisions, saw much less wear and tear on their chassis, engines and suspensions than tank units, which were probably required to be more mobile.

Anyway, I shall be very interested to know what you turn up.

I also think Michael Kenny's suggestion that a comparison of tank units equipped with Stugs. and artillery arm units equipped with Stugs. might prove productive in disentangling arm of service maintenance and serviceability differences, if any.

Cheers,

Sid
I guess I wasn't clear - I wasn't thinking the Artillery performed better maintenance than the Panzerwaffe. Instead I was thinking that since Stugs were typically assigned to Army/Corps as GHQ units, this might've allowed them better access to those echelons' service troops. It was pure speculation on my part.
I think you're probably right about Stug unit tactics simply requiring less vehicle mobility than panzer tactics, which would lessen some of the the wear and tear on Stugs.
And yes, I did glance at the numbers belonging to those Pz.Rgts with Stugs and PzIVs combined, and these Stugs did not seem to enjoy the better rates of the indy Stug battalions.

There are so many docs and reports from WW2 online these days, an explanation will surely appear!

Yoozername
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Re: Was the Stug.III the most successful German armoured vehicle of WWII?

Post by Yoozername » 18 Apr 2021 18:10

This data is from Panzerworld. The report ends detail in August, so these months precede it. Also, March 1944 was a big 'scrap-out' month basically leaving Stock that had some potential.

The numbers should be analyzed with the fleet size in mind. That is, the number of AFV at the front which produces these Homeland Repairs. Technically, these are written off the books from the units involved. I would think that the Panzer IV and StuG fleet size, given the production output for these two AFV, might be very close.

I have outlined in Green the StuG. The Panzer IV are in Red. The other columns are Panzer I through 6 and I have cut away the Foreign tanks. See website for full report.

Comparing the StuG vs. Panzer IV data, it is apparent that there are many more Panzer IVs in stock than StuGs. Repairs vs. Stock size tells another story. The ability to repair StuG in the field is certainly a factor IMO. People can draw their own conclusions.
PanzRepo.jpg
Edit: according to this site, , German tanks at the Eastern Front (May 44) were ~1500, StuGs were also ~1500. So, the Panzers really look worse compared to the StuGs.

https://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.com ... front.html
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