Stu-40 - Sturmi the Finnish mainstay

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • 1943 modifications
  • July 1944 modifications
  • Post-war modifications
  • No
0 voters

Surely you know of the mighty StuG III? It’s the German made amazing and powerful assault gun and tank-destroyer. Total of 59 of these vehicles were sold to Finland, where they served all the way to 1966 and few as static defenses into the 1980s. Below I will tell their modification history, but leaving out some very minor details, like moving the showel etc. as those can be found from the sources and there are lots of photos of these. Many of them have survived to this day and some have been modified back to represent their earlier modifications.

late 1944 museum

Crew - 4
Top speed - 40km/h
Gun - 7.5 cm KwK 40
Armor
-Front - 80mm (+??)*
-Side - 30mm (+15mm)*
-Rear - 50mm
*Finnish upgrades

Brief History
In the Winter-War the Finnish Army had captured numerous T-26, BT-5 and BT-7 tanks. The latter proved unsuitable for Finnish needs, but the T-26s were widely used together with the similar Vickers E tanks when Finnish forces liberated Karelia in 1941. During the offence Finnish captured just a few T-34 and KV-1 tanks, leaving their armored forces grow more and more obsolecent as the Finnish front stalled into a completely static state.

For a long time the Germans were reluctant to sell armor and other heavy equipment into Finland and for the Finns there just weren’t other options where to buy from. Finally in 1943 they managed to purcase 30 brand new StuG 40 Ausf.G assault guns. There were minor differences between these vehicles as it was a mixed batch of Alkett and MIAG build vehicles and a single unit build on a Panzer III Ausf.M chassis by M.A.N. All of these vehicles had the old blocky gun mantlet.

1943 modifications
It is said the Finnish soldiers got to relax during this time, but the assault gun forces were always training. During this time few modifications were done to these vehicles, like moving the wheel racks, mounting a new large storage box to the back and making a new shield for the DT machine gun on top. It is said these new machine gun shields were build from scrapped BT-7 armor plates. Few photos also show the DT machine gun could be mounted without the shield. The original schürzen side plates were also removed, likely due to their clumsiness in the forested terrain.

July 1944 modifications
In June 1944 the Finnish StuGs went into hard battles against the large scale Soviet offense. During these battles they destroyed numberous T-34-76, T-34-85, ISU-152 and even IS-2 tanks. However in these first fights they also suffered some losses, which most likely lead into the protection upgrades:

-reinforced concrete to the front
-large driver’s visor
-extra plate welded in front of loader’s station
-spare tracks to the lower front plate
-logs onto superstructure sides
-15mm plate bolted between tracks with 30mm gap to the hull
-deflecting plates in front of commader’s cupola
-storage box and spare wheels moved

Not all of these upgrades were mounted right at the same time, but exact dates and what upgrade went into which units is not that accurately recorted. At any rate it appears all of the frontline serving StuGs received these during July and August. There are photos of German StuGs with a concrete add-on armor as well, but as far as I know, those were never standardised. I would guess the 15mm add-on armor was also cut from BT-5 and BT-7 tanks.

During these battles a batch of 29 StuGs arrived into Finland. Many of these had the cast “saukopf” "pig’s head gun mantlet. I would recommend to add this as a distinct feature to the late 1944 and post-war modified StuGs. It appears Alkett had switched production completely to the cast manlet and the 24 Alkett produced StuGs of this batch all had it, while the 5 MIAG units still had the old bolted mantlet.

Post-war modifications
When the hostilities with Soviets ended, the StuGs were also send into the Lapland War to push Germans out of Finland, but they saw little to no combat as the terrain was extremely ill suited for tanks. So far I haven’t found exact date when the StuGs were modified again, though somewhere before 4.6.1951, when they took part in a parade in Helsinki.

-concrete removed
-logs removed
-track links from lower hull moved
-small track link parts added between tracks on a new rack
-new storage boxes and bins to sides and front corner

Help needed!!
We still don’t know the thickness of these add-on armors:
-driver’s visor
-loader’s front plate
-commader’s deflector plate
-concrete

Sources
The Finnish armoured vehicles 1918 - 1997, Esa Muikku & Jukka Purhonen, 1998

Laguksen rynnäkkötykit, Erkki Käkelä, 1996

Suomalaisten rynnäkkötykkien kohtalot, Erkki Käkelä & Andreas Lärka, 2006

http://www.andreaslarka.net/sturmi.html

11 Likes

Very nice, well done.

2 Likes

I was wondering when this would show up here, glad to see that someone finally made the suggestion post for the Sturmi. Personally I find it very strange that this hasn’t already been added to the Finnish subtree yet, since the Sturmi is one of the more well-known vehicles used by the Finnish army (maybe due to Gaijins increasing focus on more modern vehicles, but I digress).

I’d like to see both the 1944 and post-war modifications added to the game as they would bring an interesting twist on the StuG Ausf.G’s. But if I had to pick one over the other it has to go to the 1944 mod, you just can’t beat those sleek sidelogs. The 1943 mod is definitely the least interesting of the bunch, since it would basically just be a copypaste StuG Ausf.G. That said getting any variant of the Sturmi would be a huge win in my book.

7 Likes

That’s very much what I thought as well. StuG seemed like the first thing to add into Finnish tree as it was the most numerous vehicle that could properly fight against Soviet tanks and remained as such for long.

Spoiler

Fun fact: Finnish developed an APDS shell for PaK 40 in early 1960s, though it didn’t get into production.

If I could choose by myself, I would add 1944 modification in tech tree and post-war modification as premium.

8 Likes

Did Finland ever use any StuH 42?

No they did not, though some were operated by German forces who were deployed on Southern Finnish front in summer 1944.

Yeah having the 1944 mod in the techtree and the post-war mod as a premium would be a solid compromise. Although now that Gaijin has started to folder more vehicles I see a possibility where the post-war mod is foldered with the 1944, this might just be whisful thinking though…

In general I would like to see more of the ww2 equipment that Finland used (and sometimes modified) in War Thunder, especially the KV-1’s and the ISU-152’s. It’s kind of weird that none of the KV’-1s have been added yet, as they would finally give the Swedish techtree some heavy tanks to complete tasks with…

2 Likes

Any information on the APDS round? :>

1 Like

From FINNISH ARMY 1918 - 1945: ANTITANK GUNS PART 2 just this:

“One might wonder how successful 75 K/40 could have been as antitank-weapon for example in 1960’s. The Cold War era tank development kept tank development going hard and new generation of better armoured tanks would have been a hard nut to crack with world War 2 ammunition used in 75 K/40. Finnish military was aware of this and circa 1960 - 1961 it was testing new APDS-type ammunition capable for 220-mm armour penetration from shooting distance of 1,000 meters with 90-degree angle of impact. However apparently this new ammunition type did not see mass production.”

No idea about the source as he lists so many. It could be from Finnish archives.

1 Like

Help still needed!!
If we hope to have the 1944 or post war modified StuGs, we need to find someone to measure thickness of these add-on armor pieces:
-driver’s visor
-loader’s front plate
-commader’s deflector plate
-concrete
-logs

Many of these StuGs still exists in Finland and few in foreign museums. You can check their location from list or one by one from photos.

531-44 in Bovington Tank Museum has most of the 1944 modifications.

I voted for post war, but I would be happy with any of them. +1

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What is the loader’s front plate? Also, for the commander’s plate, I don’t know if this helps but here is this image from my topic:

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Thank you! The cupola shield looks very much the same.

I’m not quite certain what the loader’s add-on armor is made of. Somewhere Larka mentioned a welded steel plate and in other part 50mm of concrete. It could be both.

Spoiler

2007_53101812

It seems to reach all the way to the hatch on the hull.

Spoiler

53102612

I did vote the 1944 modification, but i think the best way to implement this, would be to have it as the 1943 modification as standard and then it is possible to install the 1944 modification as an uparmor package, like the modules for the Pz IV H that adds tracklinks to their hull and turret.

No. It is too important of a vehicle to be treated in that fashion, plus none of the numerously identical T-34s function like this in-game. For example, you can’t get a T-3485 by installing a 1944 modification on a T-34 (1940) and neither should it be with the Stug III G

The more Sturmis the merrier I’d say, but I think seeing at least two variants in-game would be ideal. Here’s a rather good picture from 1951 showing both an earlier and a later G model in post-war configuration, and how they’ve been modified in different ways when it comes to storage, headlights, etc

1 Like

Just a bunch of nice StuG photos.




1340746415_finstug3.jpg.e6a2da3850906754476c07072efeeb03

Pair of these drivable StuGs still appear in parades and few movies as well. These photos are from 2006-2016.




1 Like

Perhaps the 1943 modification could go into the tech-tree and the 1944 one could be added as a premium.

To me the concrete armor, logs and extra plates look like premium material.

3 Likes

Help is still needed to measure the add-on armor pieces.

1 Like