Present from Kiev
The first use of this vehicle, envisioned by Field Marshall Manstein, was in France, in May-June of 1940. It would be incorrect so say that Soviet intelligence learned nothing about the StuG. However, it did not earn much attention, and its description was brief.
"As a rule, assault gun squadrons accompany infantry in attacks of fortified positions and strongholds in the direction of the main attack, first in motorized divisions, then later in tank and infantry divisions. The squadrons are armed with 75 mm tank guns installed on the chassis of the PzIII medium tank with a special turret and armour. The main task for these vehicles is the destruction of the enemy with direct fire."
The Soviet military had no idea about the importance and effectiveness of these low, mobile, and well armed fighting machines. Meanwhile, in June of 1941, more than 10 StuG battalions (Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung, or StuG.Abt.) assembled on the Soviet border. Among them was 197th StuG. Abt. under the command of Major Helmuth Christ.