Dear friends! Recently, we introduced a new line of open-cabin German SPGs to the game. Most players liked this new addition: the powerful rank 3 vehicles – the Dicker Max and Nashorn – may be lightly armoured, but on the other hand they can shred any opponent that gets in their sights with a single shot. However, the line is unfinished, so we’re here to present to you an essential new hero of the upcoming update. Meet the Sturer Emil!
Work on the Sturer Emil began in as early as 1939, when the German army had need of an effective weapon against the reinforced Maginot Line. But by 1942, the situation had changed fundamentally: France had already fallen, and Germany was waging an entirely different war against the USSR. At the start of the Great Patriotic War, when the Germans first clashed with the newest Soviet KV and T-34 tanks, the question of creating an effective weapon against them became critical: no German tank cannon at that time could effectively penetrate their armour. Only high-calibre anti-aircraft weapons showed good efficiency in penetrating Soviet heavy armour, such as the 12.8 cm FlaK 40.
A self-propelled gun based on the experimental VK3001(H) tank and armed with a 128 mm anti-aircraft cannon adapted for SPG usage had every chance to be the silver bullet against Soviet tanks that the Germans needed. For that reason, the Sturer Emil, once an assault tank, was reclassified as an anti-tank SPG.
As expected, the weapon installed on the SPG demonstrated incredible efficacy against thick armour in tests. However, the ‘Stubborn Emil’ never reached mass production: the Germans bet on the Tiger tank instead (also armed with an adapted anti-aircraft cannon, but this time with a calibre of 88 mm). This meant that the two already built Sturer Emil SPGs that were sent to the front in 1942 were the first and last of their kind.
The role of the new SPG in tank and mixed battles in War Thunder isn’t hard to imagine: they’re intended to support attacking allied forces from a safe distance. The ‘Stubborn Emil’ lacks heavy armour, and its driving performance leaves something to be desired. On the other hand, its 128 mm cannon has no equal in battle against any opponent. The PzGr shells for the 12.8 cm K.40 L/71 are similar to those used on the Jagdtiger, and incidentally, they are some of the most powerful shells in the game for post-penetration effect due to the huge amount of explosives inside them. Finally, the weapon has excellent elevation angles: the SPG can fire its deadly 128 mm shells at a -15° angle, and is every bit the equal to its counterpart, the Dicker Max, in this respect. That said, be careful not to waste your small ammunition complement of just 15 shells – returning to base or moving to a point to reload on this vehicle is a long and potentially dangerous process.