On 15 June 1936, the order was given to develop an armoured vehicle for infantry support, mounting a gun of at least 7.5cm calibre. The gun was required to have a minimum of 25 degree traverse, and to be mounted in the hull, eliminating the requirement for a turret, which could result in a vehicle not exceeding the height of an average man. The experiment (o-series) series consisted of five Pz Kpfw III Ausf F chassis (Chassis Nos 90216-90220)., upon which were mounted the soft steel superstructure containing the fixed 7.5cm StuK. After the successful testing of these prototypes, the 1 serie Ausf A went into production in January 1940.
The Sturmgeschütz Ausf.A was the first production version of the StuG III assault gun, designed to provide the German infantry with a fully armoured mobile artillery gun. Develop of the StuG began in 15 June 1936, when Daimler-Benz was given a contract to develop an armoured vehicle capable of carrying a 7.5cm calibre short barrelled gun, capable of being elevated to 25 degrees above horizontal, fully armoured (although the original design called for an open roof), in a vehicle no higher than a standing man.
The StuG Ausf A had the same suspension, drive-train components and basic hull shape as the 5 ZW (Pz Kpfw III Ausf F), but the similarity stopped there, The StuG front and rear armour was thicker. There were no escape hatches on the hull sides, and the brake access hatches on the glacis were hinged at the sides instead of fore and aft, The 7.5 cm StuK37 was mounted offset to the right in the squat superstructure. Vision for the driver was provided by a pivoting visor and a tin periscope device in the superstructure front, and a vision port in the left superstructure. The gunner’s artillery-type periscope sight was provided with a direct vision port in the left upper superstructure, and the commander had a scissors access hatch. Additional armour protection was provided for the crew by attaching 9mm plates at an angle to superstructure sides.
Power was provided by the Maybach HL 120 TRM 12-cylinder petrol engine, at the rear of the StuG, with the drive wheels at the front.
The first StuG was issued in February 1940, and twenty four were in service by the end of May. They were used to equip Sturmartillerie Batteries 640, 659, 660 and 665, and took part in the fighting in France in May and June 1940.
This was from DML’s Imperial Series ’39-’45 Kit # (9031) StuG III Ausf A. This is the kit with the Michael Wittmann figure included although I didn’t use that option. It was involved in the initial invasion of The Soviet Union in 1941,which was ” Operation Barbarossa”. Wittmann was part of the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.
The LSSAH was attached to the LIV.Armee-Korps and held in reserve during the opening stages of the attack. In August 1941 it was transferred to III.Panzer-Korps, part of Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist’s Panzergruppe 1. During this time the LSSAH was involved in the Battle of Uman and the subsequent capture of Kiev.
I cannot recall when this kit came out. It might of been in the late ninties or early 2000’s. But whatever was the date ,it was a gem of a little kit. I didn’t like the quality of the plastic, it was easy to distort when sanding if you were not careful. Also there was a lot of cleanup as I remember. Even though the details were not that bad,and the tracks being that of the individual variety, it took time to clean up, unlike todays “indy” tracks.
This kit was built “SOTB”,with some scratchbuilt jerry can racks that I constructed out of Plastruct strips. The boxes I believe were from Italeri. The tow chains came from Verlinden. I used Testors Enamel Model Master Paints. Winsor and Newton Oils for the wash. For the pigments I used pastel chalks and earth from Hudson and Allen. The markings were Archer Fine Transfers. Looking at the markings, I noticed that these are not of the (LSSAH) ,but rather that of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. Oh Well.