Manufactured on the Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) chassis from 1943 through 1944, with several interruptions in production and a total of 282 vehicles completed.
An SPG with high damage potential, intended to hit a target hard. Many tank Companies will often seek this SPG to complement their firepower due its impressive damage output.
The Grille has weak armor, is rather sluggish, and the stock gun only has a short range, but once upgraded to the 15 cm sFH 13 L/17 gun, it gains a lot of firepower with the benefit of having an increased HE damage that can destroy or easily cripple any tank that it fires at.
Many players tend to keep the Grille in their garage even after upgrading to the Hummel, since it's often required in medium tank companies.
The Grille leads to the Hummel.
Pros and Cons
- Good alpha damage
- Reasonable accuracy
- Good splash damage and splash radius for a T5 SPG
- High shell trajectory
- Good camouflage value
- Short range (800m)
- Very slow shell speed
- Low rate of fire
- Small gun traverse arc which can be frustrating if your from the Pz.Sfl. IVb but it wont be a problem if your from the Sturmpanzer II
- Very short range (350m) and low damage with the first gun
The Grille starts off as a low damage SPG with high RoF. Getting the larger gun, however, changes its play style completely. Compared to other lower tier SPG's, the Grille is where you start to see a massive increase in alpha damage. Direct hits are lethal to light tanks, TD's, mediums, and other SPG's if you can only land them. Heavy tanks will also suffer greatly from a direct impact, often losing a large percentage of their health as well as a module or two. Of course if you miss you won't do any damage better than 80 HP. The Grille does not reflect on the German SPG philosophy in terms of accuracy, but its still more accurate than other nations SPG´s.
The Grille's high damage can make it an effective TD or scout destroyer, though it lacks the turning radius for close-quarters combat. Also, when taking shots from enemy tanks, the first module in the line of fire is the engine, and getting forced to stop due to engine damage is not uncommon, which combined with pathetic gun traversal arc means swift death.
If you transfer from Pz.Sfl. IVb Grille can be extremely frustrating before you learn to entirely change your play style. While Pz.Sfl. IVb is excellent against light tanks and lightweight TDs with its fast reload, fast aim, large traverse, short travel time, and relatively low damage, Grille is its exact opposite.
- First, change your targets: hitting a distant, fast-moving light tank becomes nearly impossible, while sluggish heavies that would shrug your rounds off so far receive devastating damage.
- You must learn to lock tracks and be patient while waiting for your target to stop, reappear or return into aim zone while another juicy morsel loiters just in the corner of your screen: aim times are long, and by the time you have your other target locked in, they will be on the move.
- Learn to prioritize on distant targets: small traverse angle means very narrow cone covered nearby; the field covered by your fire near the opposite end of the map is much larger;
- let your allies handle dogfight with immediate threats that keep moving around, while you pick out all the distant campers. You can do more harm than good with your sluggish slugs in a rapid melee.
- Do not hesitate to request help from allies if you notice enemy scout approaching; your defensive capabilities against fast-moving enemies are pathetic. You're better off either picking out distant enemies or sitting still and quiet under camouflage net while allies kill the approaching scout.
- One of the steepest trajectories in the German artillery allows you reach enemies hidden behind obstacles they believe completely safe. Recheck old "hopeless" spots, some of them are within your reach now!
- Good crew becomes essential because the difference in aim and reload times between good and poor crew make or break the usability of this SPG. Modules like Shell Rammer and GND are immensely useful too and with massive damage dealt to heavies resulting in much better financial income your budget should afford them rather quickly.
- If you came from Pz.Sfl. IVb, install FuG 7 radio. If you came from Bison, research it, as the Fug 37's low range all too often leaves you unable to see targets to shoot at.
- Grinding with stock gun is a slow, painful chore as you need to drive to vulnerable locations near enemy lines to get enemy in range. Purchase Enhanced Springs and get 15 cm sFH 13 L/17 ASAP.
- Now research the engine for a bit more mobility.
- Research the FuG 12 radio if you haven't already done so on any other German tank.
- Research suspension on your leisure. Once you have it, you can remove/destroy Enhanced Springs to make room for some more useful equipment, like the camo net.
From February to April of 1943, BMM produced 91 15cm Schweres Infanteriegeschuetz 33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf H self-propelled heavy infantry guns on PzKpfw 38(t) chassis'. Vehicles were issued to heavy infantry gun units of the Panzergrenadier and Panzer Divisions. Six vehicles were in each gun detachment.282 15cm Schweres Infanteriegeschuetz 33/1 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf K/M self-propelled heavy infantry guns on PzKpfw 38(t) chassis' were produced by BMM from April-June of 1943, and from October 1943 to September of 1944. They issued just as Ausf H vehicles to heavy infantry gun units of Panzergrenadier and Panzer Divisions. From January to May of 1944, 102 ammunition carriers based on the Ausf K/M were produced by BMM. They were simply unarmed self-propelled heavy infantry guns with ammunition racks instead of the main gun. They could be easily converted into self-propelled heavy infantry guns, if needed, and were issued to Grille units. Ammunition carriers were designated as Munitionspanzer 38(t) (Sf) Ausf K/Ms (Sd. Kfz. 138).