Forces of Valor 81106 German Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. G Assault Gun with Skirts in Diorama - StuG Brigade 341, Battle at Anzio, Italy, 1944 (1:32 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The German Sturmgeschutz was one of the most successful armored fighting vehicles of the Second World War. It arose from an original concept of the pre-war panzer divisions, whereby a special vehicle for infantry support work was planned. During the war years, the Sturmgeschutz was rapidly developed and upgunned, and was used both in its original role as an assault gun and also as a tank destroyer.
This 1:32 scale vignette -- Battle at Anzio, Italy, 1944 -- features a German StuG assault gun painted in a fabulous summer camouflage scheme and equipped with schurzen side armor skirts parked alongside a ruined piazza.
Dimensions of Diorama:
Length: 12.5 inches
Width: 8 inches
Height: 7.5 inches
Release Date: December 2003
Historical Account: "Sturmgeschutz Vor" - The Sturmgeschutz (assault gun) units of the Wehrmacht were, contrary to popular opinion, manned by men of, and controlled by, the artillery branch, not the panzerwaffe. This is not to say that StuGs weren't used by the panzerwaffe, as they were in Panzer-Sturmgeschutz units, usually assigned to the panzergrenadier divisions, falling under the control of the artillery. This had a number of effects on their structure and employment.
Initially StuG batteries had only six vehicles, roughly comparable in manpower to an artillery battery. By comparison, panzer companies had up to 22 tanks. At war's end the battery size had increased to 14 StuGs and the panzer company had decreased to around the same number, depending on the unit.
Much like an artillery battalion, a
Sturmgeschutz Abteilung (assault gun battalion) had 3 batteries. Late in the war, a fourth (Begleit or escort) battery of infantry was added to some units. This was intended to consist of a company-sized element of panzergrenadiers on halftracks, but shortages prevented the halftracks from being assigned and many units were lucky to get trucks. Some units had to ride on the StuGs themselves.
There seems to be a rough correlation between the redesignation of some Sturmgeschutz units as
Sturmartillerie (assault artillery) and the addition of a Begleit Batterie. Parallel to this was the redesignation of most all the Abteilungen to brigades in early 1944. This reflected the expansion of the Batterie to 10, and later 14 vehicles. Including headquarters vehicles, a late-war brigade would consist of 31 or 45 StuGs.