Technician 3d Grade Doug Smyth, a medic supporting 2d Battalion, 398th Infantry, poses on a road wheel of a knocked out Sturmgeschütz IV ("Shtoorm-geshetz Four") assault gun. May, 1945, near Schorndorf, Germany, near Stuttgart. Photo by Lieutenant Sam Cahoon, Medical Detachment, 398th Infantry Regiment.

The same destroyed vehicle from the other side. The Sturmgeschütz IV assault gun was a danger to American forces even at the end of the war. The low silhouette made it difficult to detect and the long 75mm gun outranged the 75mm gun on Shermans, although the Shermans which carried the improved 76mm gun had a slight advantage in range and penetration power. Like all German assault guns, the vehicle's main disadvantage was that the main gun was mounted directly in the hull; without a rotating turret, the whole vehicle had to be aimed for gross deflection changes, and if an adversary could knock off a track (with a shell or a mine), the crew could not bring the main gun to bear until they repaired the track -- a daunting task under fire!

The missing roof on the crew compartment may indicate that the vehiclefell prey to marauding US Army Air Force fighter bombers such as P-51 Mustangs or P-47 Thunderbolts, which by this stage of the war had practically free range over the battlefield.

Photo by Lieutenant Sam Cahoon, Medical Detachment, 398th Infantry Regiment.

Back