The Sturmgeschutz II Ausf. G (StuG III) was a German self-propelled assault gun for infantry support. It had a long-barreled 75mm cannon that was used as a tank destroyer. This particular StuG II was manufactured in May, 1943 and was a command tank. It saw combat with the Finnish Army in 1944 where they destroyed 87 enemy tanks and lost only 8 StuGs, of which some were destroyed by their own crews to avoid capture.
It was the second most produced armored vehicle in Germany in WWII behind the Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track. Skirts were added primarily on the Ausf. G to prevent damage from Soviet anti-tank rifles.
With its easy-to-camouflage low profile and excellent long-rang sights, a StuG III could inflict tank damage at a great distance without maneuvering, and then retire safely. But, during the harsh Russian winters, problems started appearing with the starters, broken torsion bars, and broken or torn tracks due to snow mixed with mud and gravel that froze in the tracks each night. To keep their StuGs running, each evening and morning, exhausted crews used crowbars to break up the frozen dirt that clogged everything.
During the war StuGs were sold to Germany’s allies, including Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Italy and Norway. From 1943-1945, StuGs had more confirmed kills than the German Panther and Tiger tanks combined.