here's the back story, I hope you like it. More pics from the StuG H tomorrow:
After the disastrous end of the 6th Army in Stalingrad ´42 / ´43, the OKW put out the order to develop a vehicle with a gun big enough to deal with heavy soviet tanks from a distance of 2000 meters and also have a heavy destructive force at close range i.e. inside cities.
The answer they came up with was a Panzerkampfwagen III with a lengthened hull, a large casematt
fitted to the rear of the vehicle, with 2 to 4 Mg34’s and a 128mm main armament. As the 128mm field gun was also being developed, cal L54.8, it was decided to use this gun but in a shortened form.
The choice was made and the StuG III Ausf. H 128mm Sturmkanone cal L36.6 went into service. In March 1943 the Wehrmacht received the first 50 vehicles, these were sent straight to the Russian front with only one objective, Stalingrad and the capture of the Volga.
Once they arrived at their destination, they caused havoc. The Soviet KV’s and T34’s were being destroyed at distances of 2500 meters and with experienced gunners even 3000 meters. The way
to Stalingrad was cleared, and then the 24th Panzer division entered the city and cleaned up the mess
left over from the 42/43 disaster. Two weeks later Hitler had control of the Volga including all raw metal and crude oil transports along it. With this “Hitler’s Macht” grew and the fortress of Europe/Eurasia became almost impenetrable.
The Soviet Union was for the time being crippled, there was no chance of help from west Europe as this had already fallen. Britain we’re their own, as the U-Boot strength had grown with the resources from the Soviets and Euro-Asia. This made any shipping convoys from the US impossible.
The only way to get at Nazi Germany now would be an American / Chinese coalition attack from the east. But this would mean clearing the Japanese threat out of the Pacific, neutralizing the Japanese mainland and then entering the game after crossing roughly 8000 miles of mountains, swamps, deserts. But this is another story.