Dragon DRA60358 German Sd. Kfz. 142 Sturmhaubitze '42 Ausf. G Assault Gun - "Black 132", Ardennes, 1944 (1:72 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!"
Though it had initially been conceived as an infantry support vehicle, the StuG III evolved into a hugely successful tank destroyer when armed with a 7.5cm StuK antitank gun. However, Sturmgeschutz units were quick to recognize the need of a heavier weapon. Thus, an order was placed in 1941 for the leFH18 gun to be mounted on the StuG chassis, with delivery of the first production vehicle occurring in March 1943. This new vehicle was known as the StuH42 (Sturmhaubitze). The key difference was the new gun, altered gun mount and rearranged internal layout for the larger 105mm rounds.
Dragon Armor has issued a fine 1/72 scale model of such armored vehicle from an identified unit seeing combat in Adrennes 1944. This model portrays a StuH.42 in a 3-tone camouflage painting scheme and with marking on the superstructure sides. Dry-brushing has been applied to the many edges of the multi-faceted armor upper hull. Weathering has also been carefully applied to such components as the road wheels and tracks have been effectively highlighted. StuH.42 offered heavier firepower to StuG detachments, while this Dragon Armor StuH.42 offers collectors the ideal vehicle to reinforce their collections of WWII German armored vehicles. Sold Out!
Length: 3-1/2 inches
Width 1-1/2 inches
Release Date: June 2008
Original Issue Price: $23.99
Historical Account: "Sturngeschutz 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.