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Its a Stug - but what is actually used for?

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Continuing the theme of the thread "What is that vehicle in the background" can anyone shed any light on this.....

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=127090&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=127091&stc=1

 

The original photo is the lower of the two (with a Panther in the foreground).

 

I believe it was taken during Operation Market Garden in the area of Veghel on what was to be termed "Hells Highway" and appears in the 2 volume book produced on Market Garden by the "After the Battle" team (although I havent confirmed that myself - images were located on line and didn't have the original source indicated but I have come across a reference to it on another forum)

 

Apologies the images are not of the size/quality of those in the previous thread from the IWM archive website.

 

Its obviously a Stug III chassis but what is it exactly?

 

I have come across various references to Stug's being taken on by the British Army in NW Europe but no associated photos.

 

One reference mentions an Artillery OP vehicle - is this what is in the photo? I havent located any other images of this vehicle but there are other examples of Stug's being used less their main armament.

 

Stugs were supposedly used as armoured recovery vehicles and a number were re-purposed in Denmark for mine clearance on the west coast after the war (and operated by their former owners doing the mine clearance for the Danish/British authorities).

 

So can anyone shed some light on this?

munition stug - close up.jpg

Veghel mystery stug.jpg

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I've checked with the person I know who is most likely to know. He says the two holes are too close together to be a rangefinder so not an AOP. Another suggestion in the past was that it might be a flamethrower with two tubes, but why have two when one with the same size fuel tank would be just as good. Best guess seems to be an ammunition carrier.

Edited by Vintage Wargaming

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My guess its a forward OP to direct artillery. Looks like its got radio masts and some optics. Armoured to follow the Panther force.

 

Stug's had low profiles so ideal. No gun, so lots of space for radios.

 

Another option is as a winch vehicle, the two holes for double cabling.

 

Oddly might not even have a top, if so its possibly for armoured tractor use. For pulling trucks through mud as likely as anything. The army got bogged down often enough.

 

Sadly, just an educated guess. Look forward to any "right" answer.

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Is that the MG shield I see on the roof, folded down?

 

I know that the linear rangefinder would not have fitted between the holes - I considered that. But I don't know the dimensions of the other 'scissor' type.

 

If not for one of these, or winch cables, then what else?

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IR night vision was in its infancy and the spot lights were big.

Still think its a forward armoured Artillery OP to keep up with the Panthers.

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All, thanks for the various suggestions.....

 

Here's the product of searches based on the proposed applications:

 

Munition carrier:

 

There was a version of the regular MkIII hull adapted to the role

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=127125&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=127126&stc=1

 

Stug units were equiped with a version of the 250 halftrack for ammunition re-supply

 

Recovery vehicle:

 

A Stug wasn't that large a vehicle and so in its normal configuration it was a tight fit for the 3 man crew so trying to fit a winch into the hull I think is a tall order (also another reason its probably not a munitons carrier - even if you removed the gun and gunner how much useable space is created?)

 

Below is a Bergepanther and the capstan winch installed in that takes up the space under the box superstructure where the turret/turret basket was installed in the regular versions. I dont think a Stug could be configured in the same manner. I also have a copy of the Panzer Tracts volume on the Bergepanzerwagens and there is no Stug equivalent vehicle

attachment.php?attachmentid=127127&stc=1

 

I have to think this must be the mystery Artillery OP vehicle but what optical instrument was fitted to justify the two ports in the plated over the superstructure I'm at a loss.

 

The scissor periscope was the standard equipment on Stug. Turned up the following:

 

http://www.panzeraufgd.co.uk/optics.html

 

An early IR application could be plausible. IR night fighting equipment was fitted to the later marks of Panther.

munitionspanzer iii.jpg

Rearming Stug.jpg

Chertsey BergePanther.jpg

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It's so hard to tell if the holes are real or perhaps painted on or attachments for something that's been removed. The bit of white in one 'hole' looks as if you can see right through the vehicle but how could that be so if there is a rear plate?

 

having searched for this type of vehicle online the same photo comes up and on one site it says Beobachtungspanzerwagen auf StuG III Fahrgestell (Observation Tank on Stug III G chassis) and on another it says Munitionspanzer auf Fahrgestell Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G

 

So take your pick!

Edited by LarryH57

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If anyone knows David Fletcher's email address now that he is no longer the liberian at Bovvy, ask him.

 

Regards

Doug

 

It's so hard to tell if the holes are real or perhaps painted on or attachments for something that's been removed. The bit of white in one 'hole' looks as if you can see right through the vehicle but how could that be so if there is a rear plate?

 

having searched for this type of vehicle online the same photo comes up and on one site it says Beobachtungspanzerwagen auf StuG III Fahrgestell (Observation Tank on Stug III G chassis) and on another it says Munitionspanzer auf Fahrgestell Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G

 

So take your pick!

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Taking a completely uneducated look at the photo from someone who knows nothing about tanks(!)... The two white dots could be a reflection of a lens or prism slightly set back from the aperture. Then if you stare at it for long enough the apertures could actually be convex, either covers or again, some sort of lens. Also, to the lower right of the turret there appears to be a large plate with 6 big rivets in it which looks like it would interfere with turret rotation. Sorry, that's the best I can offer.

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Also, to the lower right of the turret there appears to be a large plate with 6 big rivets in it which looks like it would interfere with turret rotation.

 

Of course being a Stug it had no turret, so rotation would not be an issue.

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Taking a completely uneducated look at the photo from someone who knows nothing about tanks(!)... The two white dots could be a reflection of a lens or prism slightly set back from the aperture. Then if you stare at it for long enough the apertures could actually be convex, either covers or again, some sort of lens. Also, to the lower right of the turret there appears to be a large plate with 6 big rivets in it which looks like it would interfere with turret rotation. Sorry, that's the best I can offer.

 

Yes - I would agree with you. It would suggest there is an optical instrument set back from the apertures in the plate and youre seeing the reflection of the optics. That was one reason I didn't think it could be the munitons vehicle

 

The riveted plate is supplementary armour retrofitted to the hull. You can see the same detail around the drivers vision slit on the opposite side and the hull plates on the front. Having a quick look at the previous thread entry and the related images the plate of the gun port was fixed I dont think there would be a clash issue.

 

Below is an image of the same vehicle but at 1/72 scale

 

02.jpg

 

 

http://henk.fox3000.com/pz3/beob/01.jpg

 

As observed in a earlier entry the protective shield for the MG is either folded down or missing.

 

The vehicle in the original photo doesnt have the support frame for the "Schutzen" or anti AT weapon skirts that would have covered the running gear whic is included on the model.

 

I would be intigued to know if the same vehicle or one like it was adopted by a Royal Artillery field regiment during/after Market Garden. By this stage Shermans were being used in this role.

 

There are quite well known examples of German armour being adopted; The 6th Guards Armoured operated a Panther D "Cuckoo" which was captured during the Reichswald battles.

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During the war my Opa was a FOO, in the west first, then , 41 to 45 with Army Group North, and Center, and south depending on requirements of the service . His was a battery of heavy guns , some 21cm, some 24cm morsers. (he fought the land side action at Sevastopol with these)

 

Early on, they had just the typical FOO detachment, dismounted, but as the war progressed, they started to use a variety of improvised Armoured Vehicles as FOO and C and R , as allied Air Power was becoming a problem as well as Artillery. This was more an issue in the East, as the Russians would expend great amounts of artillery to excavate a FOO det. They used mostly Stug III, modified, with extra rear MG 42's mounted due to Partisan attacks ( he was badly shot up in one of those ambushes in 43, but, survived to return to the fight. They also used Panzer III, with no turret and Halftracks when they could get them. They preferred tank chassis due the proliferation of the 14.5 rifles in the field that could take a half track, but not a tank hull. All these mods were unit level, so it would be difficult to find examples of these that looked the same

 

he used the smaller type of range finder rather that the large horizontal tube type for ease of use . The bigger one was left at the gun line . By later in the war, Russian tank breakthroughs were becoming common, and therefore they needed these in several locations to engage enemy armor ( funny that, I'm sure the use of the term "enemy armor' seems odd to most of you..) they were placing AT between the 21's , although they did use the 21's in a DF role if needed...made a mess of a T-34....

 

at the end, they were moving the chassis and barrel wagons for their 21cm guns .... with horses, and once again, he was dismounted as a FOO party fighting rear guard action. it was in one of these , he stayed behind with a 21cm , some support AT and covered his Batteries Retreat and surrender to the US Army in Austria. Opa was a "guest" of the Russians for some years afterwards.

 

I'll go through some of the pictures and see what's there . My dad (former HJ) also recalls seeing variants of German armor that had been field modified for all kinds of activities as the war came to a close, but he didn't have much time for pictures ....he was a bit busy.

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The scissor periscope was the standard equipment on Stug. Turned up the following:

http://www.panzeraufgd.co.uk/optics.html

.

the consensus seems to be artillery spotter or range finder , sure looks like The Scherenfernrohr S.F.14.Z.Gi. would fit there

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=128283&stc=1

why they would put it there as opposed to it's original location at the drivers hatch? no idea

sf14's.jpg

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