An assault gun (from Sturmgeschütz, storm gun, meaning "assault gun") is a type of self-propelled artillery which uses an infantry support gun mounted on a motorized chassis, normally an armored fighting vehicle, which are designed to provide direct fire support for infantry attacks, especially against other infantry or fortified positions. Assault guns were pioneered by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany during the 1930s, initially being self-propelled guns with direct fire in mind (such as the Soviet SU-5-1), with Germany introducing the first purpose-built (and purpose-named) assault gun, the Sturmgeschütz III, in 1940.Historically, the concept of assault guns was very 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.
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