Tamiya TAM26522 German Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. G Assault Gun - 5. Pz.Abt., 25.Panzer-Grenadier Division, Eastern Front, 1943 (1:48 Scale)
"We must do everything we can to promote anti-tank defense, and work just as hard to guarantee successful counter-attacks through the instrument of powerful tank forces of our own."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
Five prototype assault guns were built in 1937, mounting the same short-barreled 75mm L/24 howitzer fitted to the PzKpfw IV in a limited traverse mounting on the modified chassis of the PzKpfw III Ausf. B. Constructed of soft steel, these vehicles of the "O" series were unsuitable for combat but helped towards the development of the initial production version, the StuG III Ausf. A. The nomenclature adopted was a blend of the parent tank and the gun which was mounted (e.g. StuG III mit 7.5cm Kanone, implying a modified PzKpfw III chassis with a 75mm gun). The chassis nose plates, gun mantlet and frontal armor of the superstructure were 50mm thick, which was sufficient protection against the antitank guns of that time. The gunner's sight required a small opening in the front plate, and the fan-shaped cutout in front of the opening had bullet deflectors to deflect bullets and fragments. Production started in 1940 and 30 vehicles were made before the campaign in the west in 1940. They performed successfully in Holland and France, destroying pill-boxes, machinegun nests and antitank guns.
The most numerous version of the StuG III, over 7800 type G guns were produced between December 1942 and April 1945. The early G-type had a welded-type gun mantlet, while an 80mm thick cast Saukopf gun mantlet was added in February 1944. The superstructure was redesigned and an MG42 machine gun with shield, commander's vision cupola and smoke dischargers were also added. Armed with a more powerful, long barreled 75mm L/48 gun, the Ausf.G was assigned the role of a tank destroyer rather than that of an assault gun. This model depicts a StuG III that served with Panzer Abteilung 5, 25.Panzer-Grenadier Division, which was almost destroyed in an encirclement near Minsk but was later reformed to continue the defense of the Western Front. Sold Out!
Length: 4 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: March 2007
Historical Account: "The Rhineland" - The drive to the Siegfried Line was one of the final Allied phases in World War II of the Western European Campaign. This phase spans from the end of the Operation Overlord (August 25th, 1944) up to the start of the Ardennes Offensive (December 16th, 1944), and roughly corresponds to the first part of the official US European Theater of Operations Rhineland Campaign.
Following the Allied success in both Northwest Europe and Southern France, the Allied forces from both were united under the Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower and his headquarters SHAEF.
The layout of this front was to have the 21st situated to the north of the Ardennes, the 12th to the south, and the 6th (formerly Dragoon Force) protecting the 12th's southern flank.
While Generals Montgomery, Bradley and Patton all favoured relatively direct thrusts into Germany (with Montgomery and Bradley each offering to be the spearhead of such an assault), Eisenhower disagreed. Instead he favoured a "broad-front" strategy which would allow the Allies to regroup and shift their forces as needed, and to protect vital supply operations in the rear.
The rapid advance through France had caused a considerable logistical strain, made worse by the lack of any major port asides from the relatively distant Cherbourg in western France. As the campaign progressed, all the belligerents, Allied as well as German, felt the effects of the lack of suitable replacements for front-line troops.
Furthermore, there were two major defensive obstacles facing the Allies. The first was the natural barriers made by the rivers of Western France. The second was the Siegfried Line itself, which fell under the command, along with all Wehrmacht forces in the west, of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt.