Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Sturmpanzer IV, Sturmpanzer 43, or Sd.Kfz. 166 was an assault howitzer based on the Panzer IV chassis. It was known by its nickname Brummbär by Allied intelligence, a name which was not used by the Germans. Brummbär is a children's word for bear in German.
The Sturmpanzer IV, equipped with a 150mm/L12 howitzer, weighted 28.2 tons, and was powered by a 300hp Maybach engine. 298 were produced during the war between April 1943 and March 1945. They saw action in the Eastern Front, most notably the great tank battle of Kursk, the Western Front, and Italy during their time in service.
After some teething trouble with early production models, the Sturmpanzer IV proved itself to be an excellent fire support vehicle. Brummbär units were often used as 'fire brigades', being used where the fighting was the heaviest to contain enemy attacks.
The Sturmpanzer IV was a development of the Panzer IV tank and designed to provide direct infantry fire support, especially in urban areas. Earlier vehicles like the StuG III were not fully adequate for this role and therefore it was decided in early 1942 to develop a new vehicle.
|General Characteristics (Ausf. A)|
|Width:||2.88 m (excluding bolt-on side armour)|
|Weight:||Over 28 tons|
|Speed:|| 40 km/h (road)|
24 km/h (off-road)
|Range:|| 210 km (road) |
130 km (off-road)
|Primary armament:||150 mm StuH 43 L/12|
1 or 2 7.92 mm MG 34
|Power plant:||300 hp Maybach|
|Crew:|| 5 (commander, gunner, driver,|
radio operator and loader)
The result was the Sturmpanzer IV, which used a Panzer IV chasiss with a new, fixed superstructure housing the 150 mm Sturmhaubitze (StuH) 43 L/12 gun.
The original design of the Sturmpanzer IV suffered from a series of flaws, which were gradually solved during the production process. The most important flaw was the high weight and recoil of the StuH 43 gun, which overloaded the Panzer IV chassis and made the entire vehicle top heavy. Furthermore, early vehicles suffered from transmission failures and were underpowered.
Another significant flaw was the absence of a machine gun mounted in the front hull, which made it easy for enemy infantry to engage the vehicle at close range. Early vehicles therefore carried an MP 40 machine gun inside the vehicle, which could be fired through firing ports in the side of the superstructure.
In October 1943 it was decided that the Sturmpanzer IV's superstructure as well as the StuH 43 gun needed to be redesigned to fix these flaws. A new and lighter version of the StuH 43 gun was produced, the StuH 43/1 L/12. This gun was used from the second production series onwards.
A new superstructure was added in mid-1944 which featured a redesigned gun collar, as well as a general reduction in height of the superstructure. This redesign also introduced a ball mount in the front superstructure for the MG34.
Production began in May 1943 and continued until March 1945. A total of 298 Sturmpanzer IV were built, in four series. At first, new Panzer IV chassis were used, but from the second production series onwards, rebuilt Panzer IV Ausf. F, Ausf. G and Ausf. H were used.
- Information about the Sturmpanzer at Panzerworld
- Achtung Panzer!
- Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär
- OnWar: Brummbär statistics
- WWII Vehicles: Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär
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