The Stug IV was, essentially, a slightly modified Stug III superstructure (such as extended driver’s compartment) mounted on standard Panzer IV chassis. Using the Panzer IV Ausf. H chassis, the StuG IV had the same Maybach HL 120TRM engine capable of propelling the vehicle at speeds of up to 38 kilometers per hour on roadways. The StuG IV also had the same 6 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission.
For armament, the StuG was fitted with a single 75 mm StuK 40 L/48 cannon cast in a "saukopf" mantlet, capable of penetrating 90 mm of armor plate at 500 meters. For defense against infantry, the StuG had a hull-mounted 7.92 mm MG 34 as well as defensive smoke launchers.
The StuG IV was introduced in December of 1943. From December of 1943 to March of 1945, 1,139 such "hybrids" were produced by Krupp-Gruson at Magdeburg (chassis number 89324 to 89382 and 100001 to unknown). The majority were issued in companies to infantry divisions with few exceptions. Some sources apply designation Sd.Kfz.163 to Stug IV.
Tests were also carried with Stug IV with rigid mounted 75 mm L/70 gun, but those were never fully concluded. In the end, the StuG IV served as an effective interim design until the Jagdpanzer IV could be produced in enough numbers. In fact, the primary reason for the StuG IV's existence was the fact that in November 1943, Alkett, the main manufacturer of the StuG III, was damaged in an Allied bombing raid, severely hampering production. To keep up demand, Hitler suggested in a December conference to put the StuG superstructure on top of a Panzer IV chassis.
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- ↑ http://www.achtungpanzer.com/sturmgeschutz-iii-sturmgeschutz-iv.htm
- ↑ http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/vehicle/self-propelled/stug-iv-self-propelled-gun.asp