The Finest Half Hour: Road to Moscow


Episode 15 of our World War II podcast series, "The Finest Half Hour," is now live! The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. Nazis are on the doorstep of Moscow. A few short miles and the Soviet capital will fall. This cannot happen. Moscow must be held at all cost. Stalin makes a fateful decision. He will stay. He will not abandon the capital. Will the Wehrmacht break through or will it be too much for them to fight the winter and the Red Army at the same time?

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To help tell the story, we’ve partnered up with The Tank Museum, Bovington to showcase the StuG III. The Sturmgeschutz (StuG) III was based upon the chassis of the Panzer III. It was simple and cheap to build, had a low profile and could mount a larger gun than a turret design. Although it would be primarily employed in an anti-tank role, the original purpose of the StuG III was to provide fire support for infantry. Early versions were thus fitted with the short barreled 75 mm StuK37 gun. Later variants were fitted with a 75 mm StuK L/48, which could penetrate 85 mm of armor at 1,000 meters range, which effectively meant every Allied tank except the Churchill.

The Tank Museum’s Sturmgeschütz 40 III Ausführung G Tank Destroyer has the long barrel 75 mm Stu.K. 40 L/48 main gun. It was used by the Finnish Army to fight the Russians in Finland. It is unusual compared to other StuG IIIs in that the Finnish Army added concrete to the upper hull for additional protection. The crew gave it the nickname "Maija."

German troops outside Warsaw
German StuG III Ausf. G Sturmgeschutz Tank Destroyer Sd.Kfz.142 at the Tank Museum, Bovington, England. "Ps" stands for the finnish word "panssari," which means "armor." 531 is the type code for the StuG III variants; the last digits are a Finnish Army vehicle identification serial number.
(Photo: The Tank Museum, Bovington)
A StuG III in action.
(Photo: The Tank Museum, Bovington)

The Finest Half Hour is a podcast series that dives into the history and stories of World War II. It is brought to you by Wargaming and narrated by British Army veteran, and armored warfare instructor, Richard Cutland.

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Close the hatch, brace yourself, and prepare for the Finest Half Hour!

Richard "The Challenger" Cutland

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