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Date: September 1941
Place: Bryansk, Bryansk Oblast, Soviet Union
Red Army soldiers ride Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf.J in a liberated village. The tank belonged to the 18. Panzer-Division of the Wehrmacht and was captured by Soviet soldiers in Bryansk Front in September 1941. From 1941 to 1943, Russians captured large numbers of PzKpfw III, Sturmgeschutz III (known to them as ArtSturm) and PzKpfw IV. Some were pressed into temporary service, used as Trojan Horses or as bait until they broke down or ran out of ammunition. Most were captured after they were out of fuel and ammunition, so supplies at the front were low. Some were converted to assault guns designated SU-76i and SG-122A (SU(Samokhodnaja Ustanovka, "self-propelled gun"; i for inostranny, "foreign"; and Samochodnaya Gaubitza, "assault gun"). Some 201 SU-76is were produced from March to November of 1943 at Factory #37 in Sverdlovsk. SU-76i had its debut in July of 1943 at Kursk and served in both tank and light mechanized gun regiments of the Red Army. Germans encountered first examples of SU-76i (from 177th Tank Regiment of the 64th Mechanised Brigade) in October of 1943. Some were recaptured by the Germans as Stug 76mm and pressed into service against their former users. The Department of Weaponry of the Red Army, ordered in late 1944: "It is suggested to the Red Army to use such German tanks as StuG III and Pz IV due to their relability and availability of spare parts. The new German Panther and Tiger can be used until they broken down without trying to repair them. They have bad engines, transmission and suspension."