Sd.Kfz.165/1 10.5cm leFH 18/1(Sf) auf Geschutzwagen IVb


10.5cm leFH 18/1(Sf) auf Geschutzwagen IVb

In September of 1939, Krupp designed first real self-propelled artillery piece. Two test vehicles were ordered and completed for tests (V1 and V2). They were tested and then accepted by the army in January of 1942. In 1941, Krupp-Gruson based in Magdeburg, build prototype vehicles armed with 105mm leFH 18/1 L/28 (light field howitzer) gun based on modified Panzerkampfwagen IV’s chassis (Sd.Kfz.161). Modified chassis consisted of three-station bogies per side and larger road wheels. Prototypes were fitted with smaller 6-cylinder Maybach HL66P engine with total power of 188 horsepower. Production models were to be fitted with 12-cylinder Maybach HL90 P20k engine with total power of 320 horsepower. Its open-top turret was not fully traversible and could only traverse 70 degrees to the each side. The crew of 4 (commander, 2 gunners and driver) was protected by armor ranging from 14.5mm to 30mm in thickness.

Sd.Kfz.165/1
Sd.Kfz.165/1

Only 10 prototypes (0-Serie – chassis number 150631-150640) were completed by Krupp-Gruson from August to December of 1942 and were troop tested in Russia with 16th Panzer Division in 1942/43. 200 were ordered from Krupp in December of 1941, but in July of 1942, it became evident that 105mm LeFH 18 can be mounted on modified Panzerkampfwagen II chassis – Wespe. It was then decided to utilize the chassis to mount heavier 150mm sFH but it proved impossible. As a result production scheduled for January of 1943 was cancelled in November of 1942. Sd.Kfz.165′s design never reached the production stage as entire self-propelled artillery program was redesigned. Its place was taken by Wespe and StuH 42. Designers planned to use its chassis as a base for Panzerjager armed with 75mm Pak 39 L/48 gun but Jagdpanzer IV was the first to enter production.

Today, new German Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 based on Leopard 2 is a continuation of wartime designs such as 10.5cm leFH 18/1(Sf) auf Geschutzwagen IVb.

Sd.Kfz.165/1
Sd.Kfz.165/1

Sd.Kfz.165/1 during tests in Russia.

Specifications for Sd.Kfz.165/1

Weight: 18000kg
Crew: 4 men
Engine: Maybach HL 66 / 6-cylinder / 188hp
Speed: 35km/h
Range: Road: 240km / Cross-Country: 130km
Capacity: 410 liters
Lenght: 5.90m
Width: 2.87m
Height: 2.25m
Armament: 105mm leFH 18/1 L/28
Ammo: 105mm – 60 rounds
Armor (mm/angle): Front Superstructure: 30/10
Front Hull: 30/12
Front Turret: 20/20
Gun Mantlet: 20/0-70
Side Superstructure: 14.5/0
Side Hull: 14.5/0
Side Turret: 14.5/15
Rear Superstructure: 14.5/20
Rear Hull: 14.5/10
Rear Turret: 14.5/10
Top Superstructure: 10/90
Top/Bottom Hull: 14.5/90
Top Turret: open

 


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