Assault gun

An assault gun is a form of self-propelled artillery which uses an infantry support gun mounted on a motorized chassis an armored fighting vehicle. Assault guns are designed to provide direct fire support for infantry attacks against other infantry or fortified positions; the term is a literal translation of the German word Sturmgeschütz, applied to the first purpose-built assault gun, the StuG III, in 1940. The concept of assault guns was similar to that of the infantry tank, as both were combat vehicles intended to accompany infantry formations into battle. However, during World War II assault guns were more mobile than tanks and could be utilized as both direct and indirect fire artillery. Although they could approximate the firepower of a tank, assault guns fired high explosive shells at low velocities, which were well suited for their role of knocking out hard points such as fortified positions and buildings, they were not intended to be dedicated tank destroyers. As the conflict progressed, the increasing proliferation of tanks on the battlefield forced many assault gun units to engage armor in defense of the infantry, led to armies becoming more dependent on multipurpose designs which combined the traditionally separate roles of an assault gun and a tank destroyer.

German and Soviet assault guns introduced during World War II carried their main armament in a enclosed casemate rather than a gun turret. Although this limited the field of fire and traverse of the armament, it had the advantage of a reduced silhouette and simplified the manufacturing process; the United States never developed a purpose-built assault gun during the war, although it did modify preexisting armored fighting vehicles for that role, including the M4 Sherman and M5 Stuart tanks and the M3 Half-track. The assault gun concept was abandoned during the postwar era in favor of tanks or multipurpose tank destroyers attached to infantry formations which were capable of providing direct fire support as needed. In the United States and most Western countries, the assault gun ceased to be recognized as a unique niche, with individual examples being classified either as a self-propelled howitzer or a tank; the Soviet Union continued funding development of new assault guns as late as 1967, although few of its postwar designs were adopted in large numbers.

In Soviet and other Eastern European armies, the traditional assault gun was superseded by tank destroyers such as the SU-100 capable of supporting either infantry or armor. Assault guns were used during World War II by the forces of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Early in the war, the Germans began to create makeshift assault guns by mounting their infantry support weapons on the bed of a truck or on obsolete tanks with the turret removed. In the war, both the Germans and the Soviets introduced armoured purpose-built assault guns into their arsenals. Early on, the Soviets built the KV-2, a variant of the KV-1 heavy tank with a short-barrelled 152 mm howitzer mounted in an oversized turret; this was not a success in battle, was replaced with a successful series of turretless assault guns: the SU-76, SU-122, the heavy SU-152, which were followed by the ISU-122 and ISU-152 on the new IS heavy tank chassis. The primary German assault gun was the Sturmgeschütz III. At about the same time as the howitzer-like KwK 37 gun was dropped from the Panzer IV's use, its Sturmkanone equivalent in the StuG III up to that time, was replaced with a longer-barreled, high-velocity dual-purpose 75mm gun, derived from the successful PaK 40 anti-tank towed artillery piece.

The Germans built a number of other armoured turretless assault guns, including the StuG IV, StuIG 33B, Brummbär and Sturmtiger. The latter two were heavy vehicles, were built only in small quantities. Battalions of assault guns StuG IIIs replaced the intended panzer battalion in the German panzergrenadier divisions due to the chronic shortage of tanks, were sometimes used as makeshifts in the panzer divisions. Independent battalions were deployed as "stiffeners" for infantry divisions, the StuG III's anti-tank capabilities bolstered dwindling tank numbers on the Eastern and Western fronts. US and UK forces deployed vehicles designed for a close support role, but these were conventional tanks whose only significant modification was the replacement of the main gun with a howitzer. Two versions of the American Sherman tank were armed with the M4 105 mm howitzer, the M4 and the M4A3; the M8 Scott, based on the chassis of the M5 Stuart light tank, was an assault cannon and carried a 75 mm short howitzer.

The Churchill and Cromwell tanks were all produced in versions armed with 95 mm howitzers: the Churchill Mark V and Mark VIII, the Centaur Mark IV and the Cromwell Mark VI. Earlier British tanks, such as the Crusader cruiser tank and the Matilda II Infantry tank were produced in versions armed with the 3-inch howitzer. American tank destroyer units were used in the assault gun role for infantry support; the AVRE version of the Churchill Tank was armed with a Spigot mortar that fired a 40 lb HE-filled projectile 150 yards. Its task was to attack fortified positions such as bunkers at close range. In the post-WWII era, vehicles fitting into an "assault gun" category were developed as a light-weight, air-deployable, direct fire weapon for use with airborne troops; those weapons were either


Kurikka is a town and municipality of Finland. It is part of the Southern Ostrobothnia region; the population of Kurikka is 20,922 and the municipality covers an area of 905.66 km2 of which 7.79 km2 is inland water. The population density is 23.1/km2. The municipality is unilingually Finnish. Kurikka is recognized not only as a dynamic town of trade and business activities but as an important hub of agriculture. Tens of small to medium-sized furniture manufacturers create design furniture to the Northern European market. Kurikka is at the same time comfortably small and big enough, with excellent services nearby, a nice nature surrounding the whole town. Residents of Kurikka can live in a modern fashion in the town centre or in a peaceful countryside setting; the spirit of the town includes a lot of entrepreneurship and activity, features typical of South Ostrobothnia – and more and more international elements. Kurikka has a advanced public school system including elementary, high school and secondary grade education, high-quality healthcare system provided by the municipality.

The town of Kurikka is financially stable. Kurikka is one of the biggest shareholders in the Finnish energy giant Fortum as well as in Neste Oil, one of Northern Europe's biggest oil companies; the political scene of the town is dominated by the Finnish Centre because of the agricultural roots and past of the town. The municipality of Jurva was consolidated to Kurikka on 1 January 2009 and municipality of Jalasjärvi on 1 January 2016. Juha Mieto, former cross country skier Jorma Ollila and Royal Dutch Shell chairman of the board Kurikka is twinned with: Ockelbo Municipality, Sweden Melhus, Norway Holmegaard, Denmark Media related to Kurikka at Wikimedia Commons Town of Kurikka – Official website

1721 in art

Events from the year 1721 in art. The Ascension Convent in Moscow is renovated by order of Tsar Peter I of Russia. Antoine WatteauPilgrimage to Cythera January 17 – Charles Germain de Saint Aubin and embroidery designer to King Louis XV August 10 – Dirk van der Burg, Dutch artist, landscape painter and watercolourist date unknown Francesco Albotto, Italian painter Jean Charles Baquoy, French engraver Charles Joseph Flipart, French painter and engraver Charles Grignion the Elder, British engraver and draughtsman Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni, Italian portrait painter April 20 – Louis Laguerre, French decorative painter working in England July 18 – Antoine Watteau, painter August 3 – Grinling Gibbons, English master wood carver September 3 - Benoît Audran the Elder, French engraver December 19 – Bonaventura Lamberti, Italian painter active in Rome date unknown Giovanni Lorenzo Bertolotti, Italian painter active in Genoa Francesco Antonio Caneti, Italian miniature painter Andrea dell'Asta, Italian painter John Faber Senior, Dutch portrait engraver active in London Luigi Garzi, Italian painter Giuseppe Ghezzi, Italian painter, active in Rome Nicola Malinconico, Neapolitan painter Jose Risueño, Spanish painter who helped decorate the cupola of the church in the Carthusian monastery