This late production German Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär 43 Sd.Kfz.166 infantry support self propelled gun can be found at the French Tank Museum in Saumur in the Loire Valley. The Museum is called Musée des Blindés ou Association des Amis du Musée des Blindés, 1043, route de Fontevraud, 49400 Saumur, France www.museedesblindes.fr . The word Blindés means armoured.
Sturmpanzer 43 Sd.Kfz.166 Brummbär infantry support self propelled gun with anti magnetic mine Zimmerit-Schutzbelag coating
Sturmpanzer translated into English means Storm Tank and Brummbär means sorehead as in a bear with a sorehead who has a bad temper and is easily irritated. So this tank is a bad tempered storm tank. These Germans had some good apt names.
In 1933 the schweres Infanteriegeschütz sIG 33 150mm L/11 heavy infantry gun equipped the heavy artillery units of German infantry regiments. It remained in service until 1945. It had a maximum range of 4,700m, which was short compared with the 105mm field gun that had a range of 10,500m.
Its task was to lay down heavy fire on enemy infantry as the German offensive started. The shells fired were much bigger than those of the 105mm artillery gun. Its HE round weighed 38kg (84lbs) and had a rate of fire of only 2 to 3 rounds a minute compared with the rapid fire of 12 rounds a minute, obtained by the gun crews of the 105mm artillery pieces. Its destructive power was larger. The demolition Stielgranate 42 shell weighed 90 kilogams (200lbs)
It was not intended for anti-tank use. It was designed for clearing minefields by blast effect, clearing barbed wire obstacles, demolishing enemy strong points like bunkers or machine gun posts in buildings and for killing infantry caught out in the open.
Sturmpanzer Brummbär infantry support self propelled gun rear crew escape hatch
The sIG 33 150mm gun was first put on a Panzer I Ausf. B tank chassis. Only 38 were built. They were in service for the battle of France in 1940. It was officially called the 15 cm sIG 33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B or Sturmpanzer I self propelled artillery gun. It had a very high profile, which made it an easy target. It was used on the Russian front and in the Balkans, but was withdrawn from service in 1943. The same gun was mounted on a Czechoslovakian Panzer 38(t) tank chassis and was called the Bison. There were 282 of these self-propelled artillery guns made.
The Sturmpanzer Brummbär (Sorehead Storm Tank) first saw action with the Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 216 obtained at the battle of Kursk on the Russian front, during the German operation Citadel offensive in 1943. German Army fielded 60 Sturmpanzer Brummbär armoured infantry support guns.
Sturmpanzer Brummbär IV with armoured drivers position and ball mounted machine gun next to the sIG 33 150mm howitzer.
The sIG 33 150mm gun was all mounted in a very heavy armoured box, with 100mm of sloping armour to the front and 50mm on the side. This was fitted on top of a Panzer IV Ausf. G Tank chassis. The first version lacked a forward mounted machine gun and the drivers vision slipped was mounted low down on the front superstructure face.
The mid production versions of the Sturmpanzer Brummbär added a periscope for the driver, more armour protection for the driver and ventilation fans. In 1944, a front facing MG 34 machine gun was fitted in a ball mount high on the left side of the front armour along with a tank commander's cupola and anti-aircraft machine gun. This is the version you can see at the French tank museum.
Sturmpanzer 43 Sd.Kfz.166 Brummbär infantry support self propelled gun was fitted onto a Panzer Mark IV chassis
Where can I find other preserved Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär?
- Deutsches Panzermuseum Munster Germany
- Tank Museum in Kubinka Russia
- The Fort Sill Field Artillery Museum, Oklahoma, USA
- Source - Pierre-Oliver Buan - http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Panzers.html