This is a photo taken by Finns. They used their Stugs into 1960s.
"In 1943, Finland bought 30 Stug III Ausf Gs (early model) and in the summer of 1944, another 29 Stug III Ausf Gs (middle/late model). Finish Stugs received the tactical marking Ps (Panssarivaunu Ė armored vehicle) 531 followed by the number of the vehicle (e.g. Ps.531-19).The crews for the first 30 Stug III Ausf Gs were trained in Germany.
Finns modified their Stugs during the battles of 1944.Modifications included the addition of three wooden logs to both sides of the superstructure,armor around the gun mantlet was reinforced with concrete, tracks were mounted onthe lower front hull and both sides of the hull along with stowage bins. The original German MG-34 machine gun was replacedwith Soviet 7.62mm DT machine gun, which was in Finnish opinion more reliable.
Crew training was very demanding and for example gunners had to write their nameson a sheet of paper hanging on a tree with a pencil attached to the gun barrel using the gun aiming wheels. Stugs equipped the Assault Gun Battalion of the Finish Armored Division.Total amount of enemy tanks destroyed by Finnish Stugs was 87 tanks, while ownlosses were 8 assault-guns. Highest score for single Stug was 11 kills by Ps.531-10 commanded by Senior SergeantBorje Brotell and gunner Corporal Olli Soimala.Borje Brotellís Stug III Ps.531-10 is today restored and located in the home of Finnish Armour, the Armoured brigadeís garrison at Parola,near barracks of 1st Armor Company.
In post-war years, Finns modified their vehicles even further by mounting a plate cover over the driverís visor, new headlight near the driverís position, as well as large stowage box on the right hand side and handles. Some vehicles were mounted with additional armor plates on the hull sides behind the road wheels. Modified Stugs remained in active service with Finnish Army until 1966. After that they were used for target practice or were dug into the ground around some important airfields to serve as protection against "unwanted landings". Today a few of them are restored and preserved in museums in Finland, England and Germany."
Looking for following WWII German items:
- anything dealing with Allenstein (Olsztyn) and Wehrkreis I in East Prussia,
- entrenching tool carrier (straight and folding),
- forestry and hunting items,
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They still have this cut away Stug at the Parola Tank Museum in Finland
My Grandfather told me that he always had the drivers hatch closed but not locked, because when the Stug was hit, sometimes it was not possible to open the hatch
to escape quickly. He has seen so many drivers got killed by fire and the rest of the crew could escape.
When i see this pic i know now what he was talking about