7.5cm PaK 40/4 auf Raupenschlepper Ost Selbstfahrlafette


7.5cm PaK 40/4 auf Raupenschlepper Ost (Sf)
7.5cm PaK 40/4 auf Raupenschlepper Ost (Sf)

This was the tracked tractor developed at the same time as the Radschlepper Ost for service in snow and mud conditions of the Eastern Front during the war.

It was developed by Steyr during 1942 and used the transmission of the standard 1 ½ – tonne Truck. The suspension was entirely tracked, though of crude design, which gave rise to excessive vibration in service. The suspension wheels were of steel, without rubber tyres, and springing was by quarter-elliptic leaf springs. Ground clearance was 55cm (21 ½-in), which allowed the vehicle to keep moving in the worst conditions.

Steering was by simply braking each track, without the use of any form of controlled differential, so that fine control of steering was almost impossible. Nevertheless, with a payload of 1 ½ tones and a towed rating of two tonnes, it was produced in between October 1943 and May 1944 and proved extremely useful in its designed role. They were built by Steyr, Auto-Union, Graf & Stift and KHD/Magirus. 83 RSOs were built with 60 mounting the 75mm PaK 40. The RSO began production in Oct of 43 and it seems production ended at the end of May 44. A production plan was formulated for 1944; March-60, April-100, May-150, June-200 and from July-400 per month.

The RSO with 7.5cm PaK40/4 vehicles were put on field trials with Army Group South. Of the 60 RSO/4 with PAK 40 14 each were given to Army Panzer Jager Abteilungen 743 and 744, 14 were issued to 18th Panzergrenadier Division and 7 were given to 1st Ski-Jager Brigade. They were not considered satisfactory on account of their low speed and noisy engine.

There were also at least three other tank destroyers which were planned to be built on modified RSOs. PzJag K43/1, PzJag K43/2 and the PzJag K43/3 all mounting 88s.

Information provided by Mitch Williamson.

 

Specifications

Weight: 5200kg
Crew: 4 men
Engine: Steyr V8 3.5l / 8-cylinder / 85hp
Speed: Road: 17.2km/h
Cross-Country: –km/h
Range: Road: 250km
Cross-Country: —km
Fuel Capacity: — litres
Lenght: 4.57m
Width: 1.99m
Height: 2.60m
Armament: 75mm Pak 40/4 L/46
Ammo: 75mm – 25 rounds
Armor: 5-10mm


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