Sturmgetchutz III Ausf.B - Italeri's No. 283 (produced by DML, released in 1995)

Since its introduction into the service, "artillery" was, and still is, a pure support weapon. Guns and rocket systems of different calibre and range conduct the battle from the depth of the own hinterland in close operation with the line-troops (tanks and infantry). As early as 1935 the later general fieldmarshall von Manstein demanded an expansion of these historical functions: the artillery should be enabled to support the infantry attack actively and immediately at the front line by means of mobile, armored components. Von Manstein called this component "Sturmartillerie", for assault artillery. The German ordnance office sanctioned these ideas on condition that both the tactical principles and the technical practicability would be solved as quick as possible. The vehicle was to be equipped with the 7.5cm StuK 37; a gun which met all expectations regarding range and impact in the aim. The gun should be mounted in a flat casemate on the chassis of the proven Pzkw III. Accordingly, the vehicle received the designation Sturmgeschutz III (assault gun III). The tactical mission provided, that assault guns would accompany the attacking infantry in platoon- strength. Enemy machine gun and infantry gun positions and tanks should be put out of action directly. The firm of Daimler Benz received an order to produce a first production lot. Till May 1940 thirty vehicles were made, this first series was desinated Ausf. A. With a maximum armor of 50mm the Stug III was better protected than the Pzkw III.