Wednesday 14 June 2017

PzIII Shortage

"June 20th, 1942
To the Deputy People's Commissar of Defense and GABTU Chief, Lieutenant-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Fedorenko
Moscow, 2nd NKO building

An experimental SPG on the chassis of a captured German StuG SPG, equipped with a 122 mm divisional howitzer mod. 1938 "M-30" was built according to orders from the Artillery Committee by factory #592.

The first results of factory gunnery and mobility trials show that it is feasible to use captured StuG SPGs to build self propelled howitzers, which are necessary for fighting dugouts.

In response to the Artillery Committee's request regarding the location and availability of captured StuGs, the Chief of the Captured Materiel Directorate replied that the Fronts do not have any, which is unlikely to be true, as repair base #82 alone has 10 vehicles that could be repaired in the first half of July of this year.

Factory #592 was ordered by the People's Commissar of Armament, comrade Ustinov, to organize mass production of these SPGs. Due to the importance of urgent 122 mm self propelled howitzer production, I ask for you to order repair base #82 to repair and send its StuGs to factory #592 no later than July 15th of this year, and order the GABTU Repair and Maintenance Directorate to investigate the location of StuGs at GABTU repair bases, their repair, and subsequent shipment to factory #592 (Mytishi).

GAU Chief, Colonel-General Yakovlev
GAU Military Commissar, Divisional Commissar Novikov"


  1. So, the Soviets wanted to use StuG-IIIs, they liked it, but need more of them... Why not start building them yourselfs? reverse engineer them and produce them! Did it 2 years later with the B-29 so a tank would not be an issue...

    1. Well in this case it looks like they wanted to use them as improvised 122mm mounts, rather than as-is. Since they were already designing their own SPGs off their tank hulls, it wouldn't make sense to start producing a special chassis for a system that overlaps with what they already had, especially since they'd be stuck with either the gasoline engine/front transmission StuGs come with or have to redesign and trial it with a diesel and its associated drivetrain/linkages.

    2. Hardly improvised, the SG-122 was a thoroughly designed vehicle. But yes, the whole point was that the production of the chassis wouldn't task domestic industry, since you could just take it from the Germans. The SU-76I was the same idea.