Tag Archive for 'panzer'

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Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t): Light Tank (Czech)

Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t): Light Tank (Czech)

This is the Czech tank L.T.H. The chassis of this vehicle is frequently converted by the Germans for use as a self-propelled mount for artillery pieces, such as the 7.5 cm. Pak 40 and 7.62 cm. Pak 36 (r) anti-tank guns, and the 15 cm. s.I.G. 33. The primary characteristics of the Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t) are its four large Christie-type bogie wheels of equal size; two top rollers forward; flat-topped turret with prominent cupola, and a square gun mantlet covering the whole front of the turret.

The turret is round with a square front. It has a traverse of 360° and an internal diameter of about 48 inches. Its floor does not revolve. The traversing gear, which is fast and light in action, is operated by a wheel on the left-hand side of the gunner. The bulge at the rear of the turret is fitted for ammunition storage.

All main construction is riveted with the exception of the top of the superstructure, which is bolted. The turret front has a basic armor of 25 mm with an additional 25 mm plate. The front vertical plate is similarly armored; the side superstructure armor is 30 mm in thickneses.

The suspension consists of four 30-inch diameter rubber-tired wheels on two bogies with half elliptic springs, a high front sprocket 22 1/4 inches in diameter and a rear idler. There are two return rollers mounted well forward. The track is of the outside center guide type, with single pin secured by circular clip.

The tank is powered by a Praga T.N.H.P.S. O.H.V. 6-cylinder, water-cooled, gasoline engine, rated 125 h.p. at 2200 r.p.m. The ignition is Bosch magneto.

The armament consists of a 3.7 cm. gun and one light machine gun coaxial in the turret, and one light machine gun in the front superstructure.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         10 tons
Length 15 ft., 3 ins.
Width 7 ft.
Height 7 ft., 2 ins.
Ground clearance 15 ins.
Tread centers 5 ft., 9 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 8 ft., 6 3/4 ins.
Width of track 11 ins.
Pitch of track 4 1/2 ins.
Track links 89
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 140 miles
     Cross-country 100 miles
Speed
     Roads 26 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 18 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 25 + 25 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament One 3.7 cm. gun
Two light M. G.’s
Ammunition (rds.)
Engine 125 h.p. Praga O.H.V.
Transmission 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic clutch brake
Crew 4

German: p. 18

Pz. Jäg. Lr. S. für 7.5 cm Pak 40/1 (Sd. Kfz. 135): S.P. Antitank Gun (on French Chassis)

Marder I: Pz. Jäg. Lr. S. für 7.5 cm Pak 40/1 (Sd. Kfz. 135): S.P. Antitank Gun (on French Chassis)

The French Lorraine tank chassis, in addition to being utilized as a self-propelled mount for the German 15 cm heavy field howitzer and the 15 cm heavy infantry gun, is also used for the high-velocity antitank gun, 7.5 cm Pak 40.

The Lorraine suspension arrangement consists of six small bogie wheels on each side, sprung in three pairs on three semi-elliptical springs. The driving sprocket is at the front, the track-adjusting idler at the rear, and four return rollers, located at the ends of the suspension springs, return the track, which is of the dry-pin type with outside center guides.

The power plant of this vehicle is the six-cylinder, in-line, water-cooled Delahaye engine rated at 70 hp. The ignition system is Bosch. Its main and reserve gasoline tanks hold 20 gallons and 5 1/2 gallons respectively.

The semi-automatic gun of monobloc construction is mounted within a high, open top, box-like shield, constructed of sloping 10 mm plate, well back on the chassis. The original gunshield overlaps the superstructure shield at the front. The gun is 134 inches in length and its muzzle with brake extends beyond the front of the chassis. The piece has the following muzzle velocities: H.E., 1800 f/s; A.P.C., 2525 f/s. Its appropriate elevation is -5° to +22°; traverse 65°. At 1000 yards, firing A.P.C. shell, it will defeat 3.6 inches of homogeneous armor at 30° obliquity, and 4.3 inches at normal.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         8 tons (approx.)
Length 17 ft. (approx.)
Width 6 ft., 2 ins.
Height 7 ft. (approx.)
Ground clearance 12 ins.
Tread centers 4 ft., 4 5/8 ins.
Ground contact 9 ft.
Width of track 10 ins.
Track links 107 (approx.)
Pitch of track 3 3/16 ins.
Fording depth
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads
     Cross-country
Speed
     Roads 21 m.p.h.
     Cross-country
Armor
     Front plate 12 mm
     Sides 9 mm
Armament 7.5 cm Pak 40
Ammunition
Wt. of Projectiles
     A.P.C. 15.0 lb.
     H.E. 12.6 lb.
Engine Delahaye, 70 hp.
Transmission 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential
Crew 5

German: p. 15

Pz. Kpfw. II Aus. F (Sd. Kfz. 121): Light Tanks

Pz. Kpfw. II Ausf. F (Sd. Kfz. 121): Light Tanks

Produced in 1941. This is the latest type of Pz. Kpfw. II tank identified in action. The major modifications appearing in this model are (1) increased thickness of the basic frontal armor, (2) new design of hull nose, (3) use of uninterrupted length of plate for front vertical superstructure plate, (4) use of dummy visor mounted alongside the driver’s visor.

The single skin nose of the Model F hull is constructed, of flat plates 35 mm thick with a Brinell hardness of 426 and is nearer vertical than the superimposed nose plate in the earlier reinforced models. This modification to the nose of the hull has shortened its length by approximately five inches.

The turret front and mantlet remain unaltered except for the omission of the additional plates and a corresponding thickening of the basic armor to 30 mm.

Model F is equipped with a new driver’s visor of the double shutter type. A dummy visor, a one-piece aluminum casting, is mounted alongside the driver’s visor on the right, presumably to draw fire from the latter.

The suspension arrangement of five bogie wheels and four return rollers is the same as that utilized in the previous models A, B and C.

The power plant consists of the HL 62 TR Maybach, a 6-cylinder, water-cooled gasoline engine rating 140 B.H.P. at 2600 r.p.m.

The transmission is of normal synchromesh, manual control type, providing six forward speeds and one reverse, and the steering system utilizes the epicyclic clutch and brake principle.

Armament comprises one 2.0 cm KwK 30 gun with coaxial 7.92 M.G. 34 in turret.

Models G and J have been mentioned in an official German document but there are no details available.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         10.5 tons
Length 14 ft., 9 ins.
Width 7 ft., 4 ins.
Height 6 ft., 6 ins.
Ground clearance 13 ins.
Tread centers 6 ft., 2 ins.
Ground contact 7 ft., 10 ins.
Width of track 11 1/8 ins.
Pitch of track 3 5/8 ins.
Track links 106
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 125 miles
     Cross-country 85 miles
Speed
     Roads 30 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 35 mm
     Sides 20 mm
Armament One 2.0 cm KwK 30
One 7.92 mm M.G. 34
Ammunition (rds.) 2 cm gun 180
M.G. 2550
Engine 140 B.H.P. Maybach HL 62 TRM
Transmission 6 forward speeds, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic clutch brake
Crew 3

German: p. 10

Sturmgeschütz lg. 7.5 cm Stu. K. (Sd. Kfz. 142): S.P. Assault Gun

Sturmgeschütz lg. 7.5 cm Stu. K. (Sd. Kfz. 142): S.P. Assault Gun

This version of the Sturmgeschütz is similar to its predecessor, the Stu. G. 7.5 cm K., except for its armament. The 7.5 cm Kw.K. short gun which appeared in the original Sturmgeschutz was replaced by the 7.5 cm Stu. G. lg. K., 87 inches long as shown above. The arrangement of the recoil mechanism also differs, the long version having what appears to be the original mounting provided for the Kw.K. 40 and is evidently a forerunner in its design and development. Photographs show the 7.5 cm Stu. G. lg. K. to be equipped at times with a muzzle brake. The front superstructure has been modified to accommodate the improved armament.

This vehicle is made up of the Pz. Kpfw. III tank chassis and an early development of the 7.5 cm Pak 40, and includes the hull and superstructure improvements made at this time on the original Sturmgeschütz. A roof was added, a commander’s cupola, smoke pot projectors and heavier front plate. The piece represents the trend in design from the short barrel 7.5 cm Kw.K. to the Stu. K. 40.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         21 tons
Length         17 ft., 9 ins.
Width 9 ft., 7 ins.
Height 6 ft., 5 ins.
Ground clearance 15 ins.
Tread centers 8 ft., 2 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 9 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Width of track 15 ins.
Pitch of track 4 3/4 ins.
Track links 90
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 100 miles
     Cross-country 60 miles
Speed
     Roads 25 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 50 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 7.5 cm lg. Kw.K.
Ammunition 84 rds.
Engine Maybach HL 120 TRM, 320 hp.
Transmission 6 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic clutch brake
Crew 4

German: p. 27

Sturmgeschütz 7.5 cm K. (Sd. Kfz. 142): S.P. Assault Gun

StuG III: Sturmgeschütz 7.5 cm K. (Sd. Kfz. 142): S.P. Assault Gun

The Sturmgeschütz is an assault weapon. Unlike the two other classes of self-propelled guns, antitank and artillery, which consist merely of guns placed in the hull of a tank with shields erected around the front and sides thereof, the assault gun is built into the hull and is consequently nearer the ground and has a much more solid superstructure built round the gun. The original Sturmgeschütz consisted of the turretless chassis of a Pz. Kpfw. III tank, upon which was mounted the Stu. G. 7.5 cm K., a short-barreled (69.5 inch) piece found in the first models of the Pz. Kpfw. IV. Since the power plant and other mechanical components of the chassis of the Sturmgeschütz are identical to those of the Pz. Kpfw. III tank, and their weights are approximately the same, the performance data of the two are comparable.

The turret of the original tank has been removed and replaced by a squat superstructure, reducing the height of the vehicle from 8 feet, 3 inches as a tank to 6 feet, 5 inches as an assault weapon. The gun compartment is roofed over, but there is no rotating turret. The fighting compartment is armored as follows: front 53 mm, sides 43 mm, top 11 mm.

The gun, which is mounted low in the hull and fires forward, is identical to the 7.5 cm Kpfw. K. short tank gun, originally the main armament of the Pz. Kpfw. IV tank. It is primarily a close support weapon, the ammunition scale comprising only 25% A.P. against 10% smoke and 65% H.E.; its armor-piercing performance is relatively poor. Its muzzle velocity and maximum range firing H.E. shell is 1,378 f.s. and 6,758 yards, respectively. The penetration of A.P.C.B.C. shell against homogeneous armor is reported as follows: 500 yards, 1.81 inches at 30° obliquity, 2.16 inches normal—1000 yards, 1.61 inches at 30°, 1.97 inches normal—1,200 yards, 1.57 inches at 30°, 1.89 inches normal.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         21 tons
Length 17 ft., 9 ins.
Width 9 ft., 7 ins.
Height 6 ft., 5 ins.
Ground clearance 14 ins.
Tread centers 8 ft., 2 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 9 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Width of track 15 ins.
Pitch of track 4 3/4 ins.
Track links 90
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 100 miles
     Cross-country 60 miles
Speed
     Roads 28 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 50 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 7.5 cm Kw. K.
Ammunition 84 rds.
Engine Maybach V-12, HL 120 TRM, 320 hp.
Transmission 6 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic, clutch brake
Crew 4

German: p. 26

Pz. Kpfw. IV Aus. A, B, C, D, E (Sd. Kfz. 161): Medium Tanks

Panzer IV: Pz. Kpfw. IV Ausf. A, B, C, D, E (Sd. Kfz. 161): Medium Tanks

Weighing up to 24 tons in battle array, it is the standard German medium tank. Ten models, A, B, C, D, E, F, F2, G, H, K, are known to have been produced. All models utilize the same suspension arrangement of eight evenly spaced bogie wheels, 18 1/2 inches in diameter, sprung in pairs on each side, with four return rollers. All models mount the 7.5 cm Kw. K. except Models F2 and G, which mount the 7.5 cm Kw. K. 40. The chassis of this tank is used as a self-propelled mount for heavier guns, such as the “Hornet,” the “Bee,” and the “Grizzly Bear.”

Model A—An early experimental type. It weighed 20 tons, unladen, and had a 5-speed transmission (S.F.G. 75) and an H.L. 108 T.R. Maybach engine.

Model B—The first model to bear the standard Pz. Kw. IV type number Sd. Kfz. 161. This model had a new type of 6-speed transmission (S.S.G. 76) and an improved H.L. 120 T.R.M. Maybach engine

Model C—Distinguishable from Model B by its “wish-bone” aerial deflector. It was the first model to have an armored sleeve protecting the turret machine gun, and the front plate of its superstructure extends straight across the tank in one piece.

Model D—The fixed outer gun mantlet is dispensed with and the moving portion is fitted with a thick front shield, the edges of which overlap and protect the mantlet joints. The driver’s compartment extends farther forward than the machine gunner’s compartment. The basic armor in this model is 30 mm in thickness in front and 20 mm on the sides. Its unladen weight is 20 1/2 tons.

Model E—Distinguishable from the Model D by its new type of front driving sprocket, and by the new design of shutter (single hinge) on the driver’s visor. The nose plate armor is increased from 30 mm to 50 mm. Weight is 21.5 tons, unladen.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         21.5 tons
Length 19 ft., 4 ins.
Width 9 ft., 7 ins.
Height 8 ft., 6 ins.
Ground clearance 15 1/4 ins.
Tread centers 7 ft., 11 ins.
Ground contact 11 ft., 6 ins.
Width of track 14 1/4 ins.
Pitch of track 4 1/4 ins.
Track links 99
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action:
     Roads 130 miles
     Cross-country 80 miles
Speed:
     Road 28 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor:
     Front plate 50 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 7.5 cm Kw. K.
2 MG 34’s
Ammunition 7.5 cm gun—105 rds.
MG’s—2,700 rds.
Engine Maybach HL 120 TRM, V-12, 320 hp.
Transmission Synchromesh—6 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic, clutch brake
Crew 5

German: p. 31

Pz. Jäg. 38 für 7.62 cm Pak 36 (r) (Sd. Kfz. 139): S.P. Antitank Gun (on Czech Chassis)

Pz. Jäg. 38 für 7.62 cm Pak 36 (r) (Sd. Kfz. 139): S.P. Antitank Gun (on Czech Chassis): Marder III Panzerjäger

This vehicle is an ex-Czech light tank chassis mounting a Russian 7.62 cm Pak 36 (r). The mechanical layout and components are identical with those of the Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t) tank and its road performance will therefore be similar.

The conversion to a self-propelled mounting has been achieved by the removal of the turret and the superstructure top plate of the original tank. The turntable for the gun is mounted on the superstructure at four points on transverse and lateral beams. A three-sided shield of 10 mm plate is secured by bolting and welding to the original front gun shield, and by tubular supports to the mounting. This shield traverses with the gun. A sliding mantlet is provided in the shield to permit elevation and depression of the gun. A lower, fixed three-sided shield is bolted to the superstructure. This is of 15 mm plate. The sloping side covers have been replaced by flat hatches hinged to the sides.

The gun is of monobloc construction with detachable breech ring. It has an over-all length, including the double baffle muzzle brake and breech lock, of 163 1/2 ins. The elevating gear is driven from a handwheel, on a traverse axis, on the left of the gun. The traversing gear is hand operated from the right. The gun has the following muzzle velocities: HE shell, 1805 f.s; A.P.C. shell, 2430 f.s. The penetration performance firing A.P.C. shell against homogeneous armor is as follows: 500 yards 3.7 ins. at 30° obliquity, 1000 yards 3.2 ins. at 30°, 4.1 ins. normal—2000 yards 2.5 ins at 30°, 3.1 ins. normal—2500 yards 2.2 ins. at 30°, 2.8 ins. normal.

Additional armament on this vehicle consists of a 7.92 M.G. 37 (t) on a ball mounting in front superstructure; Discharger for 5 smoke generators, fired by cable from fighting compartment; 9 mm machine carbine.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         11 tons
Length 15 ft., 3 ins.
Width 7 ft.
Height 8 ft., 1 1/2 ins.
Ground clearance 15 ins.
Tread centers 5 ft., 9 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 8 ft., 63 ins.
Width of track 11 ins.
Pitch of track 41 ins.
Track links 89
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 140 miles
     Cross-country 100 miles
Speed
     Roads 25 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 25 + 25 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 7.62 cm Pak 36 (r)
7.92 mm M.G. 37 (t)
Ammunition (rds.) 7.62 cm gun 28
M.G. 1500
Wt. of Projectiles
     A.P.C. 16.7 lb.
     H.E. 12.6 lb.
Engine Praga 6-cyl., gasoline, 125 h.p.
Transmission 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic clutch brake
Crew 4

German: p. 21

Pz. Kpfw. III Aus. L, M, N, O (Sd. Kfz. 141): Medium Tanks

Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. L, M, N, O (Sd. Kfz. 141): Medium Tanks: Panzer III

Model L—In this model the loader’s visor in the right of the gun mantlet has been omitted as well as the vision openings on each side of the turret in front of the access doors. Spaced armor is always fitted on the front of the superstructure and fittings for spaced armor are provided on the gun mantlet, but the curved spaced plate is not always fitted in the latter position. The long 5.0 cm Kw.K. 39 is balanced by a torsion bar. The torsion bar compensator is mounted on the roof of the turret and connected to the gun by means of a link. On the cupola of this model a metal framework is attached, probably to serve as a rest for the gun. In other respects Model L is identical to Model J. German markings on this tank indicate that it was prepared for tropical or desert use. Preparation consisted of slight changes in the air-cooling system and addition of deflectors on the rear of the tank to prevent the exhaust gases and cooling air from striking the ground.

Model M—This model is similar to Model L with the exception that it has no loading doors fitted on the side of the hull.

Models N, O—Reports indicate the existence of these models but no details are available.

A few Model L tanks and many Model M and N tanks now mount the 7.5 cm Kw.K., which is the short gun formerly fitted in the Pz. Kpfw. IV. Recent models of the Pz. Kpfw. III now in service mount, therefore, either the 5 cm long gun or the 7.5 cm short gun. When the latter gun is mounted, the spaced armor plate on the gun mantlet and the fittings for it are omitted altogether. The mantlet is one of the Pz. Kpfw. III type without loader’s visor, but the recoil gear casing and armored protecting sleeve in front of the mantlet are of the type provided on the Pz. Kpfw. IV. In a captured Model N mounting a short 7.5 cm Kw.K., the sighting telescope was a T.Z.F. 5b, which is the type used with this gun in the older Pz. Kpfw. IV’s, Stu. G. 7.5 cm K.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         22 tons
Length 17 ft., 9 ins.
Width 9 ft., 8 ins.
Height 8 ft., 3 ins.
Ground clearance 14 ins.
Tread centers 8 ft., 2 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 9 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Width of track 15 ins.
Pitch of track 4 3/4 ins.
Track links 90
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 100 miles
     Cross-country 60 miles
Speed
     Roads 28 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 50 + 20 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 7.5 cm Kw.K.
2 MG 34’s
Ammunition 5.0 cm gun—78 rds.
MG’s—4950 rds.
Engine Maybach V-12, HL 120 TRM, 320 hp.
Transmission Manual operation, 6 speeds forward, 1 reverse.
Steering Epicyclic, clutch brake
Crew 5

German: p. 25

Gw. III/IV (Hummel) für 15 cm s.F.H. 18/1 (Sd. Kfz. 165): S.P. Heavy Field Howitzer “Bumblebee”

Gw. III/IV (Hummel) für 15 cm s.F.H. 18/1 (Sd. Kfz. 165): S.P. Heavy Field Howitzer "Bumblebee"

This equipment, known as the “Bumble Bee,” is composed of the 15 cm heavy field howitzer mounted on a modified Pz. Kw. IV tank chassis. It should not be confused with the 10.5 cm l.F.H. 18/2 (“Wasp”), which is the 10.5 cm light field howitzer mounted on the chassis of a Pz. Kw. II tank. The road performance of the “Bee” will approximate that of the Pz. Kw. IV tank.

In the construction of this vehicle the following modifications were made to the hull of the Pz. Kw. IV tank. The turret top plate mounting the turret traversing ring, the front vertical plate, and the rear partition separating the engine from the fighting compartment have been removed. The engine, cooling-fan assembly and exhaust pipes have been moved forward up to the gear box. A partition has been built across the width of the hull dividing the driver and assistant driver from the fighting compartment. A steel plate separates the engine from the fighting compartment. In place of the driver’s entrance hatches a cover similar to a cupola, with lid and shutter type vision, is provided.

The superstructure is in the form of a sloping four-sided shield 10 mm (.39 inch) thick. The front of the shield provides a bulging slot for the traverse and elevation of the gun while the rear plate is fitted with a hinged door.

The gun is mounted well back on the top of the engine cover plate by means of angle iron and steel brackets so that its muzzle projects almost flush with the nose of the hull. It retains its original buffer, recuperator and compensator, and elevating and traversing gears. Its overall length including muzzle brake, with which it must be fitted when firing charge 8, is 17 feet, 4 1/4 inches. The muzzle velocities of this piece are: Charge 6, 1,020 f.s.; Charge 7, 1,375 f.s.; Charge 8, 1,965 f.s. The maximum ranges are: Charge 6, 10,550 yards; Charge 7, 12,140 yards; Charge 8, 14,380 yards. Its elevation is 0°-39°; traverse each side 16°.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         28 tons
Length 20 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Width 9 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Height 9 ft., 4 ins.
Ground clearance 15 ins.
Tread centers 7 ft., 11 ins.
Ground contact 11 ft., 6 ins.
Width of track 15 ins.
Pitch of track 4 3/4 ins.
Track links 98
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action:
     Roads 96 miles
     Cross-country 62 miles
Speed:
     Road 25 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 12 m.p.h.
Armor:
     Front plate 50 mm
     Sides 30 mm
     Shield 10 mm
Armament 15 cm s.F.H. 18/1
Ammunition
Engine Maybach HL 120 TRKM, 320 hp.
Transmission Synchromesh—6 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic, clutch brake
Crew 5

German: p. 35

Pz. Jäg. III/IV (“Nashorn”) für 8.8 cm Pak 43/1 (Sf) (Sd. Kfz. 164): S.P. Antitank Gun—”Rhinoceros” (formerly “Hornet”)

Pz. Jäg. III/IV ("Nashorn") für 8.8 cm Pak 43/1 (Sf) (Sd. Kfz. 164): S.P. Antitank Gun—"Rhinoceros" (formerly "Hornet")

The German 8.8 cm gun was designed in 1934 as the standard semimobile antiaircraft gun. Encouraged by success in Spain against armored vehicles the Germans went ahead with the production of A.P. ammunition for the weapon and the design of a more mobile carriage. Both were ready in time for the Battle of France. The 8.8 cm gun was a success in this battle, when it proved capable of dealing with the heavier French tanks, against which the standard German 3.7 cm A.T. gun was comparatively ineffective. The Germans next provided the gun with a new mounting from which the gun could engage tanks without being taken off its wheels. Finally a self-propelled mounting was introduced from which the gun can be fired against ground targets but cannot be used in its original A.A. role. Such an equipment is the tank destroyer “Hornet,” which consists of the 8.8 cm Pak 43/1 mounted on the chassis of a modified Pz. Kpfw. IV tank, the engine of which has been moved forward to a central position to provide a clear space for the fighting compartment at the rear. The “Hornet” mounts in effect the same gun as the “Ferdinand” but it is much more lightly armored and relatively much faster. Comparative figures for weight and maximum road speed of “Hornet” and “Ferdinand” are: 28 tons and 22 m.p.h., 80 tons and 12 1/2 m.p.h., respectively.

The 8.8 cm gun, fitted with muzzle brake, is mounted over the engine within a high, open-topped superstructure of thin armor plate and extends well over the front of the chassis. Its length, with muzzle brake, is 21 feet, 6 inches and its muzzle velocity with H.E. shell is 3,280 f.s.; with A.P.C.B.C. shell, 3,214 f.s. It will defeat 5 1/2 inches of homogeneous armor at 1,000 yards range and 30° angle of attack. Its maximum horizontal range is 16,200 yards and its rate of fire 15 to 20 rounds per minute.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         25 tons
Length (excl. gun) 19 ft., 4 ins.
Width 9 ft., 7 ins.
Height
Ground clearance 15 ins.
Tread centers 7 ft., 11 ins.
Ground contact 11 ft., 6 ins.
Width of track 15 ins.
Pitch of track 4 3/4 ins.
Track links 98
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action:
     Roads (est.) 100 miles
     Cross-country (est.) 65 miles
Speed:
     Road 22 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 12 m.p.h.
Armor:
     Front plate 50 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 8.8 cm Pak 43/1
Ammunition
Engine Maybach HL 120 TRM, 320 hp.
Transmission Synchromesh—6 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic, clutch brake
Crew 5

German: p. 34