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BackgroundEdit

Mittelerer Waffenträger sFH 18 auf Panther V2, September 21st, 1944

Mittelerer Waffenträger sFH 18 auf Panther Version 2 - 15cm Version (Drawing Copyright Hilary Louis Doyle)

Please note that the dates for this section are contradictory. Panther & Its Variants gives the date of the issuing of the Geschützwagen Panther für sFH 18/4 (Sf) requirement as February 11th, 1944; while Panther Variants 1942-1945 gives it as July 6th. July seems to be the correct date; it also comes from the more recent book. Strangely, one sentence in Panther & Its Variants says that the Gerät 811 was based on “AZ 735 Wa.Prüf 4/Is from July 6th, 1944”. This would seem to indicate that the Gerät 811 was an entry for the July 6th requirement; and the authors did not realise this at the time.
Mittelerer Waffenträger auf Panther V2, September 21st, 1944 12,8cm

Mittelerer Waffenträger K 44 auf Panther Version 2 - 12,8cm Version (Drawing Copyright Hilary Louis Doyle)

On July 6th, 1944, Wa.Prüf 4 put out the Geschützwagen Panther für sFH 18/4 (Sf) requirement: a request for designs for a vehicle based on the Panther. In near identical repetition of the events two years prior, the requirements were that the vehicle carry a 15cm gun in a dismountable turret that could rotate 360 degrees. The 15cm sFH 18 cannon was required to have no muzzle brake, as it was supposed to be able to fire Sprenggranate 42 TS sabot rounds. Without the muzzle brake, the force of recoil of the cannon was a massive 28 metric tons; this was deemed acceptable for the chassis.

Mittelerer Waffenträger sFH 18 auf PantherEdit

Not content with their original design for the Geschützwagen Panther für sFH 18/4 (Sf) requirement from July 6th, 1944, Krupp produced a second design on September 21st, 1944. This version had a centrally mounted turret, instead of the forward mounted turret of the first design. Ammunition capacity was 60 rounds. Along with the second version, Krupp also proposed a version armed with the 12,8cm K 44 L/55 (with muzzle brake). The 12,8cm version’s turret was longer and slightly taller.

Only one day later, September 22nd, 1944, Krupp representative Dr. Bankwitz met with Wa.Prüf 4 in Berlin. Despite the requirement for a weapons carrier being only two months old, Wa.Prüf 4 ordered Krupp to stop all work on these designs, as they were no longer needed and the Panther chassis was no longer to be used for such purposes.

SourcesEdit

  1. Special Panzer Variants: Development - Production - Operations - Hilary Louis Doyle and Walter J. Spielberger, 2007
  2. Panther Variants 1942-1945 - Osprey New Vanguard, 1997
  3. Panther & Its Variants - Walter J. Spielberger, 1993