Self propelled howitzer on Stug III chassis
German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery
By the end of 1941, Alkett company started the development of a new assault gun, based on Stug III but armed with more powerful weapon capable of destroying stronger enemy positions. The designers desided to use a 105 mm StuH 42 howitzer. It was a modified version of light field howitzer leFH 18. This weapon was simply installed in Stug III instead of its original gun and new vehicle was called after the used weapon – StuH 42.
First testing prototypes of Stuh 42 were ready by the end of 1942, built on basis of Stug III Ausf. F and F/8. Mass production started in March 1943 and serial machines were based on Stug III of Ausf. G version. The vehicle had a mass of 23,3 tons and was operated by a crew of four. Maybach HL 120 TRM engine provided maximum power of 300 HP. StuH 42 could achieve top speed of 38 km/h.
The effective range of the gun was about 12 km. First serial vehicles used guns fitted with muzzle breaks but this feature was omitted since September 1944. Production ended only in April 1945 with the overall score of more than 1200 copies.