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"Is the Stug a tank destroyer" Topic

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15 Mar 2022 10:01 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to WWII Discussion board

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Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2022 9:25 a.m. PST

Since the poll concerning favorite tank destroyer has led to a spirited discussion about whether the Stug is a tank destroyer or not, TMP link , I propose a new poll to decide once and for all, for now, Is the Stug a Tank Destroyer.

1. Yes
2. No
3. Maybe
4. No, but it was used like one so it counts as one so my answer is really – yes
5. What's a Stug – I play ancients

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2022 9:31 a.m. PST

1 (it didn't start as one, but became a very good one)

Choctaw15 Mar 2022 9:42 a.m. PST

As an assault gun it made a pretty decent tank destroyer.


Glengarry515 Mar 2022 10:08 a.m. PST

I would think it is and it isn't, depending on the gun it was armed with? It's like asking if the 88 was an anti-tank or anti-aircraft gun?

d88mm194015 Mar 2022 10:41 a.m. PST

Or if the Italian L3/35 was a tank!
2. The Stug was an assault gun AFV that could kill tanks.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2022 10:45 a.m. PST

One of the poll options has to be 'this is ridiculous'

Starfury Rider15 Mar 2022 10:59 a.m. PST

It can be whatever it wants to be.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2022 11:04 a.m. PST

No and yes.

Starfury Rider15 Mar 2022 11:42 a.m. PST

On days when it wasn't being an assault gun for the artillery, or a false Panzer in a Panzer or Panzer Grenadier Division, and there weren't enough Panzerjagers, it could be one.

There is a short identification pamphlet over on, which lists all weapons of the Panzerjager as of July 1944, and it is included in it.


John Leahy Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2022 11:53 a.m. PST

The STUG destroyed more enemy tanks in the war than any other vehicle.



Martin Rapier15 Mar 2022 12:49 p.m. PST

It depends what you mean by 'tank destroyer' – that certainly wasn't what the Germans called it, it was a Sturmgeschutz, not a Jagdpanzer or a Panzerjaeger.

It was however employed as a self propelled AT gun, when it wasn't being used as an assault gun or ersatz tank.

Whether any of those uses corresponds to what the US called a 'tank destroyer' is anyones guess.

mkenny15 Mar 2022 1:19 p.m. PST

The STUG destroyed more enemy tanks in the war than any other vehicle.

This is one of the most oft-repeated claims for 1939-45 but given that 'Stug' totals did not reach (rough) parity with tank numbers until late 1943 then one has to question the claim.

14Bore15 Mar 2022 1:24 p.m. PST

It self identified as a tank destroyer

McWong7315 Mar 2022 2:43 p.m. PST

Damn, woke stugs!

Legionarius15 Mar 2022 3:25 p.m. PST

It was all it could (or had) to be.

Thresher0115 Mar 2022 4:00 p.m. PST

2. No.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2022 4:10 p.m. PST

We did this once before. Short answer –

If it has an AT gun i.e. higher velocity cannon – it's a TD.

If it has a lower velocity infantry support type main cannon it's an Assault Gun.

In many cases they were used in either role as it may have been all they had there at the time.

donlowry15 Mar 2022 5:39 p.m. PST

If it destroyed a tank, it was a tank-destroyer.

JD Lee Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2022 8:40 p.m. PST

Tank Destroyer!

nsolomon9915 Mar 2022 8:53 p.m. PST

Depends on which model, the armament and the tactical doctrine. These all changed over the course of the war.

It started as an infantry armoured mobile artillery piece for cracking bunkers and fortified defensive lines and positions. And then evolved into a Tank Destroyer, because the nature of the infantry's support needs changed, in my view.

Korvessa15 Mar 2022 10:08 p.m. PST

Legion 4 +1

advocate16 Mar 2022 1:09 a.m. PST

Nsolomon99, so does that make the early STUG the equivalent of the British 'infantry tank'? And that faster than the British they realised the need to upgrade its abilities?

Decebalus16 Mar 2022 2:41 a.m. PST

Agree with Legion 4

skipper John16 Mar 2022 6:20 a.m. PST

Its sure… "got the look!"

Disco Joe16 Mar 2022 9:54 a.m. PST

The early variant with the short 75 were not. The later variant with the long 75 were.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2022 4:16 p.m. PST

The early variant with the short 75 were not. The later variant with the long 75 were.
Yes, there were a number of versions in battle from the start of the war to the end. The first StuGs had the short barrel 75mm, which was primarily for Infantry support. IIRC the same short 75mm was on the early versions of the Pz.IV. As the war went on, longer barreled higher velocity 75mm were being mounted. To … wait for it … Kill Tanks !

There was even a later war version with a 105mm howitzer … link

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2022 6:19 a.m. PST

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2022 10:00 a.m. PST

Was he a StuG commander ? 😎

Captain Pete17 Mar 2022 5:19 p.m. PST

I go with option 4 here. Although not a designed from the ground up as a tank destroyer, it was often used in that role and proved pretty effective.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2022 5:24 p.m. PST

In many cases in some situations, you use what you got !

Wolfhag18 Mar 2022 4:56 a.m. PST

It could be said it's an Assault Gun used in the Tank Destroyer role. The FlaK 88 was an anti-aircraft gun used in the ant-tank role. The P-47 was a fighter used in the ground support role, etc.


Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2022 5:51 p.m. PST

Yep ! Use what ya got !

VonBlucher18 Mar 2022 6:45 p.m. PST

Some Panzer Divisions had both an assault Gun Battalions & Tank Destroyer Battalions of which StugG's were only in the Assault Gun Battalions. Near the end of the war Stug's also replaced tanks in the tank Battalions. It was a multipurpose armor vehicle. Unless you want to say it's a tank also because they were used in that way.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2022 11:37 a.m. PST

Yes that is true. Again it comes down to what you have and what the target is.

Thresher0119 Mar 2022 8:46 p.m. PST

"If it quacks like a duck…", it is a Jagdpanzer IV, AKA "Guderian's Duck".

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2022 2:22 p.m. PST

Stug deploya'
Tank destroya'!

It popped in my head from the beginning. I held it in as long as I could…

Blutarski22 Mar 2022 4:37 p.m. PST

FWIW, by the time of Barbarossa, a reasonably effective HEAT round had been developed for the 7.5cm L/24 (pen ~75mm).


Gauntlet24 Mar 2022 5:35 a.m. PST

Blutarski, was that HEAT round generally available for use?

Wolfhag24 Mar 2022 7:01 a.m. PST

This is some info on the 75L24 HEAT availability:

HL 2/ 1940
HL/A 5/1941
HL/B 5/1942
HL/C 10/1942

More info on the gun: link


Blutarski24 Mar 2022 1:17 p.m. PST

Hi Gauntlet,
Following is taken from the book "Panzer IV" by Thomas Anderson (good book, btw) -

To improved the anti-tank capabilities of the 7.5cm KwK L/24 gun, shaped-charge (Munroe effect) technology was re-visited. Hohlladung (hollow charge) ammunition had been introduced before the war and was used in France to destroy the bunker of the Maginot line (Blutarski comment – I think this refers to pioneer demolition charges rather than tank-fired ammunition).

The same technology was used to design a standard type of ammunition. On 22 December 1941, Hitler issued an order from his office announging that new technology, 7.5cm GtPatr 38, was approved and production was to begin immediately. To identify is as a hollow-charge type an (Hl) suffix was used.

At first performance was found to be very bad, and almost equal to a standard armour-piercing round. Then a change to the shape of the hollow charge led to an improvement in performance. The new version was identified as the HlB and it seems logical that the first production version was re-designated Hl/A. Documents from early 1942 list two types as being produced: Hl/A which could penetrate 70mm thick armour; whereas Hl/B could penetrate 75mm.

The same document also notes that the 7.5cm KGr rot (Pz) was taken out of production, but somewhat confusingly, a document dated December 1944 show that it was still available.

It has proved to be impossible to uncover any after-action reports detailing the performance of hollow-charge ammunition fired from the 7.5cm KwK L/24 gun mounted in PzKpfw IV. But a report sent by Sturmgeschutz-Batterie 667 does provide some interesting detail, since the PzKpfw IV Ausf A to Ausf F and the StuG Ausf A to Ausf F mounted the same 7.5cm gun, but known as the Sturmkanone in the StuG.

An after-action report of StugBttr 667 dated January 1942 stated:

During the defensive battles at Pogostje between 18 January and 20 January two Sturmgeschutze of our battery have destroyed the following tanks using the newly issued hollow-charge ammunition:

Four KV-1 tanks
Five T-34 tanks
One medium tank (not specified)

We experienced the following:

1 – Since the 7.5cm GrPatr 38 has no tracer, we used PzGr rot to bracket a target. After the first hit we then fired GrPatr 38 (Hl).

2 – We experienced only a very few ricochets, even on sloping armour; it simply sticks to the surface and then penetrates. The process resembles a mechanic using a welding torch. The tank would then catch fire and become enveloped by thick smoke.

3 – Precise examination of a hit was not possible since all the burnt-out tanks remained in enemy territory.

4 – We fired at ranges from 100m to 600m with equally good results.

5 – The fuze is very susceptible, even a thin brnahc would cause a detonation. None of our shells failed (important for secrecy).

6 – The GrPatr 38 (Hl) has similar ballistic characteristics to the GrPatr 34 (high explosive), but has a longer range than the Panzergranate (PzGr rot Pz). After bracketing a target with Panzergranate at a range of 600m to 1,000m it is essential to re-adjust the gunsight by 100m before switching to GrPatr 38 (Hl).

The report praises the performance of the new ammunition, which would continue to be used, with much auccess, by German tank and anti-tank force. The 7.5cm GrPatr 38 (Hl) could defeat all modern Soviet tanks at ranges of 1,000m.

But a PzKpfw IV could be destroyed at an even longer range by the Russian 76.2mm L/41.5 tank gun.

Hope this is helpful.


Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2022 5:19 p.m. PST

Covers the topic very well …

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