Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sturminfanteriegeschütz 33B

The StulG33B was the third attempt at mounting the 15cm slG33 on a Pz Kpfw chassis. Unlike those mounted on the Pz Kpfw I and II chassis, the slG33B was to have a fully-enclosed fighting compartment. In July 1941, Alkett was ordered to furnish twelve chassis which were to be completed by the middle of September. This initial version was completed in December 1941 and January 1942. On 20 September 1942, twelve assault-vehicles mounting a heavy weapon capable of demolishing houses with two or three rounds, were ordered to be completed within 14 days. The original twelve slG33B were rebuilt, and an additional twelve new slG33B were built in October 1942.

The slG338 had the same hull as the StuG, Ausf E and F/8. The superstructure was completely redesigned. The front, sides and rear were extended, and a roof added to form a completely enclosed fighting compartment. The slG33 was mounted in a sliding gun mantlet, offset to the right of the vehicle's centre-line. Secondary armament was provided by an MG34 in a hull mount in the right superstructure front.

All 24 StuIG 33 were rebuilt from normal Stug´s in October and November 1942. 12 were given to the Stug Abteilung 177, who were sent to Stalingrad. The other 12 were sent to the StuIG Batteri of the Lehr Btl. XVII, which were sometimes assumed to the 22. Panzer Division. On 11th April 1943, the 7 left StuIG´s were put to the 23. Panzer Division. The last StuIG were lost in October 1943.
In the beginning, the vehicles were painted in dark grey. Some photos of captured vehicles from Stalingrad show white winter camo. In summer 1943 a three tone camo was applied.

There were 12 pieces of StuIG 33 (Sturminfanteriegeschütz 33 - Assault Infantry Cannon 33) sent to Stalingrad - and all of them lost there. The battle of Stalingrad was finished on 2nd February 1943 - still a couple of days before yellow colour was introduced as an official basic paint, i.e. all of them were grey.

Second batch of 12 pieces came into operation during 1943, they were yellow with dark green snake-like areas.

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