Friday, July 17, 2015

Sturmhaubitze 42, Sd.Kfz 142/2 Late-Production

In October of 1942 Sturmhaubitze 42 was produced by Alkett, its design was based on Stug III Ausf F and F/8's chassis and it was armed with 105mm StuH 42 L/28 (L/30) howitzer. From 1943 onwards StuH 42 was built on Ausf G's chassis. Vehicles of this type were modified in the same way as Ausf Gs were. Early vehicles were fitted with muzzle brakes but since September of 1944, it was decided that it wasn't needed.

In August of 1940, Sturmartillerie units were reorganized into Abteilungen (battalions) with 18 assault guns in three batteries (with 6 assault guns each). In early 1941, the battalions were renamed - Sturmgeschuetz Abteilungen and batteries to Sturmgeschuetz Batteries. In March/April of 1941, all Sturmgeschuetz Batteries had the number of assault guns increased to seven. In 1942, with the introduction of long-barrelled Stug III (75mm L/43 and L/48), Sturmgeschuetz Abteilungen were reformed and number of assault guns was increased to 28 per battalion. Each battalion still had three batteries but number of assault guns in platoons was increased to three. In November of 1942, Sturmgeschuetz Abteilungen were reformed again and number of assault guns was increased to 31 per battalion with three additional assault guns for battery commanders. This type of organization often referred to as Sturmgeschuetz Brigade remained in use until the end of the war. In June of 1944, new organization scheme was introduced - Sturmartillerie Brigade with 45 assault guns, including 33 Stug III/IV (75mm L/48) assault guns and 12 Sturmhaubitze 42 (105mm L/28) assault howitzers. Brigade had three batteries with 2 Stug IIIs for each battery command, while each battery had two platoons of four Stug IIIs and one of four StuH 42s. This organization scheme was used alongside the Sturmgeschuetz Brigade scheme to the end of the war. In practice, these ideals were hardly ever achieved and then only highly favoured formations received the full complement.

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