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Germany's Brummbär; Brummbär Sturmpanzer IV 15cm; StuPz 43; Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär; Sturmhaubitze 43 L/12 auf Fgst PzKpfw IV (Sf); SdKfz 166 self propelled gun

Photos

Design

As early as June 9, 1941, in a memo, a need of a 150 mm gun to be carried for infantry support was indicated.4

On October 20, 1942, Hitler saw Alkett's plans and wanted 40-60 to be built as soon as possible.4 On February 7, 1943, it was decided that the first 40 were to be completed by May 12, 1943, with another 20 to be finished after that. Prototypes first appeared in 1943.

Used FuG5 and FuG2 radios.2

Main Armament

The Sturmhaubitze 43 howitzer was a specially developed to go in a ball mount. The 150 mm gun could fire a 83.8 lb HE shell 4,675 yards at a muzzle velocity of 787'/sec.6

Superstructure

The commander sat towards the rear and used a roof mounted periscope to see. The driver sat on the left side and had a sliding shutter visor similar to the Tiger I's.4,8 Later models had a periscope for the driver.4,8

From April 1944 on it had a ball mounted machine gun in the left had corner of the superstructure and a cupola for the commander. Late models installed a ball mounted machine gun in the hull and Schürzen (side skirts).4,8

Due to the excess weight caused by the superstructure the front two wheels were replaced by steel rimmed wheels.4

Chassis

The PzKpfw IV Ausf F4, PzKpfw IV Ausf G, PzKpfw IV Ausf H, and PzKpfw IV Ausf J chassis were used.,8

The last vehicles were produced on the PzKpfw IV Ausf J chassis with a redesigned superstructure and had a MG installed in the top right of the superstructure.5

Production

The chassis was produced by Nibelungen, superstructure by Bismarckhütte, and assembled by Deutsche Eisenwerke of Duisburg.

  • Brummbär: 2981,2, 3065, 3138
    • Production: April 1943 - March 19451,2,5
      • April 1943: 204
      • May 1943: 324
    • Manufacturer: Deutsche Eisenwerke2
      • Chassis: Krupp6
      • Superstructure: Alkett6
    • Conversion: from PzKpfw IV: 82

Usage

The were deployed in company sized units.5 Most were used in support of Panzergrenadier and infantry units. They were used in the front waves of infantry destroying strong points.

Kursk

First saw action at Kursk5 with the Sturmpanzerabteilung 216.4

Zaparozhye

These also saw action near Zaparozhye up to October 1943.

Italy and France

Three more Sturmpanzer detachments were formed during the war (217, 218, and 219).4 These units saw action in Italy and France.4

Specifications

  Brummbär
Crew Commander, driver, gunner, loaders(2)
51,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 60,800 lb, 62,170 lb3
28,200 kg1,3, 28,651 kg4
27.75 tons1,7, 28.2 tons2,4,8, 28.3 tons5, 30.4 tons6
Length w/gun 19'6, 19' 4"5,7, 19' 5"4, 19' 5.5"1,3
5.89 m5, 5.93 m1,2,3,4
Length w/o gun 19' 4"5
5.89 m5
Height 8'6, 8' 2"7, 8' 3"4, 8' 3.2"1,3, 11' 4"5
2.49 m, 2.52 m1,2,3,4, 3.45 m5
Width 9.4'6, 9' 5"4, 9' 5.4"1,3, 10' 2"7, 12' 3"5
2, 2.88 m1,3,4, 3.73 m5
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.8"6
40 cm
Ground contact length 138.5"6
3.52 m
Ground pressure 13.9 psi6
1 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 15 cm StuH 43 L/122,4,5,6,7,8
150 mm1
150 mm sIG 33 L/123
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.92 mm MG1
2: 7.92 mm MG342,4, (only 1 in early production)2
MG - coaxial 7.92 mm MG34, internal
MG - hull 7.92 mm MG345
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 365, 382,6
Secondary  
MG 6002,5
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 1001,3,4,7
Front: 3.9"6
Side: 2"6
Hull Front, Upper 101@38°, 100@40°2, 80@78°5
Hull Front, Lower 95@15°, 80@12°2, 50+50@75°5
Hull Sides, Upper 50@18°, 50@15°2, 20+20@90°5
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°2
Hull Rear 30@25°+0° & 20@10°2, 20@80-82°5
Hull Top 22@82°, 20@83° + 10@90°2
Hull Bottom 10@90°2
Superstructure Front 1008, 100@50°5
Superstructure Sides 20-60@65-88°5
Superstructure Rear 30@64-90°5
Superstructure Top 20@6°5
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL120TRM1,2,4,5,6
Maybach HL120TRM1122
Maybach3,7
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water6
Cylinders 124, V-123,5,6
Capacity  
Net HP 2653, 3004,5
300@3,000 rpm6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:16
Transmission (Type) ZF SSG 76
6 forward, 1 reverse2,6
Synchromesh6
Steering Clutch brake6
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia6
Electrical system Starting: 24-volt6
Running: 12-volt6
Ignition Magneto6
Fuel (Type) Gasoline3,6, Gasoline4
Octane  
Quantity 103 gallons5, 125 gallons6
470 liters5
Road consumption 1 mpg6
100 km/225 liters
Cross country consumption 0.6 mpg6
Performance  
Traverse 8° each way
10° left, 10° right.2
±20°6
Max speed 24 mph4,7, 24.85 mph3, 24.9 mph1, 25 mph5,6
40 kph1,2,3,4,5
Cross country speed 10 mph6, 15 mph5
24 kph5
Road radius 124 miles6,7, 130 miles3,4, 130.5 miles1, 131 miles5
210 km1,2,3,4,5
Cross country radius 78 miles6, 81 miles5
130 km5
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -8° to + 30°6
-5° to +30°2
Fording depth 3' 3"3,6
0.9 m3
Trench crossing 7.6'6, 9'
2.2 m
Vertical obstacle 23.6"6, 2' 6"
60 cm
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope6
Suspension (Type) Sprung in pairs on 1/4 elliptic springs6
Wheels each side 86, 8x2
Return rollers each side 46, 4x2
Tracks (Type) Dry pin6
Length  
Width 15.75"6
40 cm
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 4.75"6
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.1'6
2.46 m

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site