Breech end of 15cm K18

Breech end of 15cm K18

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Breech end of 15cm K18

Here we see the breech assembly on the 15cm Kannon 18, which used a manually operated horizontally sliding breech. The left hand equilibrator is also seen, as are the complex mechanisms used to control the gun.

German Heavy Artillery Guns 1933-1945, Alexander Lüdeke .Despite the title actually covers light, medium and heavy artillery as well as mortars and anti-tank guns (excludes railway guns, flak and rocket launchers). Each gets a useful write-up, supported by stats and at least one photo. Covers German-built guns and the many types captured and used by the Wehrmacht. [read full review]

Divisions of the United States Army

This list of United States Army divisions is divided into three eras: 1911–1917, 1917–1941, and 1941–present. These eras represent the major evolutions of army division structure (there have been several minor changes during these times). The 1911–1917 era lists divisions raised during the Army's first attempts at modernizing the division, prior to the authorization of permanent divisions, and the 1917–1941 era lists the first permanent divisions, prior to advent of specialized (armored, airborne, etc.) divisions. The 1941–present era lists all of the divisions organized, raised, or authorized since then.

As much as possible, divisions are only listed in the eras in which they were first created. Some divisions, such as the 1st Cavalry Division, are listed in multiple eras, as their organizations were drastically changed from one era to the next. Many divisions overlap the years listed in the era categories, mainly due to the slow pace in which they were deactivated, inactivated, or otherwise disbanded.

Several divisions have existed under multiple designations, such as the 10th Mountain Division (10th Light Division (Alpine), 10th Infantry Division). Additionally, several divisions with the same numerical designations were completely separate and unrelated divisions (there have been two 5th Divisions, for instance).

SIG 33 auf Geschutzwagen

The sIG 33 auf Geschutzwagen became several combat tank-based mobile howitzer platforms for the German Army in World War 2. This collection of Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA) expedients evolved along with the availability of the various tank chassis used throughout the conflict. At their core, the vehicles fielded the sIG 33 infantry howitzer of 150mm (15cm) caliber and were used in the ranged fire support role. The line began with the chassis of the Panzer I Light Tank and were evolved with the Panzer II Light Tank and, lastly, the Panzer III Medium Tank. Another conversion included the Czech Panzer 38(t) series.

The original 15cm sIG 33 heavy infantry guns were short-barreled, towed artillery pieces utilizing a two-wheeled carriage that incorporated a small gun shield, hydropneumatic recoil mechanism, and a horizontal sliding breech block. The weapon entered service in 1927 and was in play with German forces through to the end of the war in 1945. Manufacture of the guns happened through the storied concern of Rheinmetall primarily with additional production encountered under other brands as well - total production became about 4,600 guns by war's end.

Early-war actions by the German Army showcased a need for speed due to the evolution of mechanized warfare - towed artillery systems simply did not keep pace well alongside mobile armored corps which limited fire support tactics during a given assault. This put the focus on making the howitzers more mobile and the decision was made to mate the gun equipment to the existing, outgoing chassis of the Panzer I Ausf. B Light Tank line. The conversion process gave rise to the 15cm sIG33(sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B which also became known under the name of Sturmpanzer I.

The end result was just that, a Panzer I hull and chassis (complete with its running gear) and the sIG 33 series gun (complete with wheeled carriage) fitted over the vehicle - the original tank's turret accordingly removed. To this was added an open-topped, open-rear fighting cabin which essentially was made up of front and side walls. Sloping was only found along the front panel for basic ballistics protection. Overall weight of the new vehicle was 9.4 tons (short) and dimensions included a length of 2.7 meters, a width of 2 meters, and a height of 2.8 meters. Armor protection reached 13mm along the most critical facings and power was provided through a Maybach NL38TR 6-cylinder, water-cooled engine of 100 horsepower. The engine was coupled to a transmission system yielding five forward and one reverse speeds. Operational range was under 90 miles with a road speed up to 25 miles per hour. The crew numbered four and included a driver, commander, and two loaders.

Production of the Ausf. B model totaled just 38 units under Alkett GmbH and examples were available as soon as 1940. Once in action, limitations proved plenty for the vehicle held a high center of gravity making it an awkward and cumbersome battlefield sight. The lack of armor coverage readily exposed the crew to all manner of battlefield dangers as well as inclement weather. Onboard storage space was also at a premium with only three ready-to-fire 150mm projectiles carried. This latter quality required a trailing SdKfz 10 half-track to serve as ammunition carrier and to ferry three of the four crew into battle.

On the whole, the vehicle was an overweight design in which both the frame and motor works were stressed to their limits leading to frequent mechanical breakdowns. However, the sIG33 150mm guns were as lethal as ever, capable of supplying a hefty ranged punch against soft target areas through indirect fire. Range of the weapon reached out to 3.5 miles and a rate-of-fire of four rounds-per-minute could be achieved. The gun carriers saw combat service during the Belgian campaign and then on to the Battle of France (May-June 1940). They then followed with service in the invasion of the Balkans/Greece (April 1941), and the attack on southern Russia (June-November 1942). By the middle of 1943, the vehicles held little battlefield value and were either given up for good or lost through general wartime attrition.

Despite the limitations of the early mark, authorities considered the sIG 33 gun carrier design more or less a success as a quick-to-produce and effective mobile support platform. The 15cm sIG 33 auf Geschutzenwagen II Ausf C (SdKfz 121) (Sturmpanzer "Bison II") followed by mating the howitzer component to the Panzer II light tank chassis and this vehicle first appeared in 1942. Some changes were instituted to help address the failings of the original design such as a lower center of gravity - the roof line now equal to that of the original Panzer II tank. The 15cm sIG 33 FGST Ausf. PzKpfW II (sf) "Verlanget" appeared in 1943 and featured a lengthened and widened hull for better weight displacement. Power to the Panzer II-based marks was through a Bussing Typ GS 8-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine of 155 horsepower.

The most promising sIG33-armed Geschutzwagen vehicle form was a Panzer III-based model - the 15cm sIG 33 Ausf PzKpfW III. The vehicle was under consideration as early as 1941 and, while the medium tank chassis proved more than a viable gun carrier, further work on the line eventually lost steam in that only and only twelve examples were manufactured and these saw service along the Eastern Front.

The most successful of the sIG 33 conversion vehicles was the one based on the Czech PzKpfW 38(t), a design which was taken over by the conquering Germans. The newly-realized model of 1942 became the 15cm sIG 33(sf) Ausf. PzKpfW 38(t) SdKfz 138 "Bison" and SdKfz 138/I "Grille" was its perfected form of 1943. The PzKpfW 38(t)-based systems became the standardized sIG 33 gun carriers of the war and used in the greatest number.

15cm K39

Post by Sturm78 » 10 Nov 2008, 15:03

Can anybody confirm if this gun is a 15cm K39 german gun?
I know very few wartime pictures of this weapon.

Re: 15cm K39

Post by jopaerya » 10 Nov 2008, 16:34

The combination , split tails , wheels and the lenght of the barrel I would say
yes but I am not 100% sure because the "camouflage" block a lot of the gun . . it=+Kanone

Re: 15cm K39

Post by 20P7 » 10 Nov 2008, 18:13

maybe the picture of a 15 cm K 39 that I took once in Idar Oberstein helps:

Re: 15cm K39

Post by Sturm78 » 06 Feb 2009, 12:22

More photos of this rare gun:

Re: 15cm K39

Post by SASH155 » 19 Feb 2009, 00:52

Re: 15cm K39

Post by Sturm78 » 19 Feb 2009, 13:06

Re: 15cm K39

Post by Sturm78 » 08 Oct 2009, 12:06

I found this image on Ebay. I am not sure if the gun is a 15cm K39 or a 10.5cm K18. Can anyone help me?

Thanks in advance. Regards Sturm78.

Re: 15cm K39

Post by Sturm78 » 11 Oct 2009, 12:13

Re: 15cm K39

Post by jopaerya » 11 Oct 2009, 19:23

I am not sure about this gun , the big retreiver would indicate a 15 cm K. 39 .

Re: 15cm K39

Post by SASH155 » 11 Oct 2009, 20:46

Re: 15cm K39

Post by SASH155 » 24 Oct 2009, 01:31

Re: 15cm K39

Post by Sturm78 » 25 Oct 2009, 18:43

Thanks for your answers, SASH155 and Jopaerya.

I agree with you: 15cm K39 heavy gun. I have found in my files this picture (from Ebay) of a 15cm K39. I guess that this image could be a picture of the same series as the previous photo: same gun

Edit: sorry for the small size

Re: 15cm K39

Post by Sturm78 » 20 Apr 2010, 12:16

I have found these pictures of a same series of images, showing a 15cm K39 in winter camo in action:

Breech end of 15cm K18 - History

Hello and welcome to the second edition of "Buff my tank!"

The "Buff my tank!" articles are meant as an historical way to look at some tanks considered underpowered in game and ways to improve their combat abilities discussed by the original german engineers.
Beware that while being sometimes ironic in tone, the article treats about both costs and benefits of every choice and it most likely will never be listened by WG as suggestion.

The E-100 is often defined as "Gold Ammo" tank in game due to high reliance on the expensive HEAT shells.
In this article we will use Panzer Tracts 6-3 to explore the most extreme features the german engineers discussed during the tank implementation, while for the tank's history SilentStalker's article provides already excellent information.

As the E-100 never reached operational status and only a half-finished hull was done, we have no battlefield experience outside of virtual one to gather information from.
In the end it's likely E-100 and Maus would have worked as propaganda tanks or used as bunkers during the defence of Berlin rather than actively on the battlefield due to their logistics issues as those tanks did not exactly sip fuel which was extremely scarce in 1945 and I wouldn't want to be assigned to their maintenance.

First of all, E-100 is already somewhat above historical specs as side turret armor was planned to be a scant 80mm unlike the 150mm thickness in game, this removes a quite large potential weak spot as even scouts could have hurt it.

Of course, one could consider the original Krupp Tiger-Maus turret:

The answer here probably lies in ammunition choice, but as the 15cm L/38 (which is often mentioned as L/37) does not have a penetration table from WWII we cannot realistically say. In my opinion, by the time the gun would have been ready it would have used either a modified 15cm SFH 18 concrete-piercing round or just a mix of HEAT and HE ammo, which was enough to mission kill any WWII era tank as shown by the russian 152mm howitzers.

So, here comes the final verdict:

Very little room for improvement is left.

Unfortunately the fact that it was meant from the start to be a cheaper, easier to produce Maus means that engineers focused on things that could have been produced sooner with available means rather than making a super-tank, especially as the E-series were often seen with hostility by many both in the army and in competing firms.

Thank you for reading and see you in the next article!


no problem, I like my E-100 as it is: a gold-spamming siema-mobile :D

Your "siema-mobile" made me laugh so unstoppingly xD Gonna use it from now on, love the name <3

If only it could have its penetration buffed at least to 250 - it wouldnt make me laugh every time it tries to penetrate my tank.
(My Vk45P vs E100 - 5 shots, all bounced in close combat).

Introduction of gold ammo for creds rehabilitated this tank.
Before this happened the gun pen could and should have been buffed to

250 for balance.
As stated, no reliable pen tables are available anyway.

funny, because in 0.8.0 I actually got some quite nice stats soloing and brawling the enemy to death
didnt need any gold and gold actually made it harder to play, because its turret became once again a huge weakspot

The real Maus would have have faced laser guided artillery. That right there is the solution, remove arty.

no it wouldn't. First laser wasn't until 1960.

I believe that was just a typo, and the original statement was "would not(never) have faced".

The remove arty solution is as good as the remove the E-100 solution imho.

Artillery should shoot more frequently doing far less damage and have larger splash, harassing fire not instant kill. Any game that takes a minute to load into a battle where you can't re-spawn should not have one-shot kill weapons.

well im simply in love with sound when gun fires :) nothing else make me smile like 800hp gone on enemy tank :P
i even loved it when it wasnt gold ammo for credits, i simply knew when i can penetrate and when i cant, so i enjoyed it

Yeah.. I love that too.
With the stock gun of my Russian Tier 7 tank destroyer.

I feel kinda cheated when I have to beg for hits like that in my T10 heavy tank.
E-100 is a poor joke right now.

ok what about an alternative then?
germans allready have a slow under gunned havy

Sorry, we ran out of high tier german tanks.
The only things left are Maus II (imho reserved for Porsche line rebalance) and Tiger-Maus (aka the slower, longer early E-100 project using a Maus-like turret).

well then i have two bad ideas:

First the unhistorical one: give it a version of JT gun
Second logic fail: erase it and make E75 a T10, it is smaller has god armour and is more agile ( it would get HP nad armour buff)

apart from that i dont see how the problem of E 100 can be solved

Meh, the tank is terrible without gold ammo.
With it, it's a different story, but IMO still a huge barn.

Good article :D Since I'm a German fanboi )

I don't think the E-100 is serious UP. It could use a little pen buff agreed, BUT with the 12,8cm I can play it without a lot of prem ammo. I tried the 15cm but even with gold I have better results with the 12,8.
It's a really good tank imo and unstoppable on map with good cover.
If you have 5 arties it gets a bit difficult on open maps but lets face it, thats what arty is for. Not a problem of the tank.

I wish other than Wikipedia there was a source I could site for this, but even in that article it's listed that the E-100 had a plan to carry a 173mm main gun which is most likely the Kanone 18. I have advocated for this extensively in the past. The counter-argument was always that the gun wouldn't fit in the turret but I dispute that with a simple solution - use the Mausturm. The only real disadvantage there is the 10mm thinner mantlet, and the gun elevation and depression wouldn't be the greatest, but you'd at least have some serious punch at a 2.7-3.0 rpm rate of fire (3.0 with full crew, rammer, vents, etc).

Mausturm was supposed to use the same guns as E-100.

This is pretty much the best summary on the matter:

I've seen this clip before. If I read it correctly, it's basically saying that in the development stage, one side preferred the 15cm over the 17cm, and that the Maus *chassis* was too tall with the sighting equipment to be a feasible design. Using the Mausturm turret or the E-100's current turret however doesn't address the common argument that the breech and elevation blocks are too big to fit in the turret. The main concern with the huge Kanone 18 was elevation and depression causing the breech to strike the roof in full depression or the floor in full elevation, which could be easily addressed with a limitation on each.

I'd also like to add, that in my original suggestion, the E-100 could have been a "Swiss Army Knife" in terms of usage with two extra unlockable turret and gun options - one being a Mausturm which would lead to a 173mm K18, or an E-75 turret or buffed version of one with the 128mm KwK44 L/55 with a faster rotational speed, aim time, accuracy and RoF. This way the E-100 could be tailored to the way the owner wanted to play.

Stock - current turret + 150mm (slightly vague gun)

Longer-range engagement - E-75 turret or modded one + 128mm (distance 'sniper' version)

Brawler - Mausturm + 173mm K18 (big hurt, slow rotation, slow RoF, massive alpha, big pen at close/mid range)

The 17 cm wouldn't fit inside the turret ring at all, it would be impossible to load and would have no depression or elevation. Also it is completely historically inaccurate for the Maus/E-100 turm to mount such a gun. The E-75-style turret is also a slap in the face to history.

You also have to realize that the Germans never tried to mount such a gun inside any tank turret. The 17 cm and the longer 15 cm guns were proposed to be on the chassis in some form of superstructure, not a turret.

Another flaw in your plans is that the E-100 turm has the same room as the Mausturm does.

You can *say* all these things, but there's no proof of any of these things. I'll agree the elevation and depression would be an issue, but other than that, we're talking about vehicle heights on the maus chassis first. The Maus turret is physically longer front to back, which means there's more internal workspace unless it's grossly narrower than the current turret (doubtful).

The biggest issue here as you pointed out was reloading or in this case, shell capacity. I'm more than happy to concede the breech would be larger and would recoil farther back into the turret, and compared to the moderately sized 150, shell count would be far less, but take a good look at the Fv215 183, and tell me about the gun not fitting, or the ammo it can or cannot carry.

Give me an E-100 with Mausturm and the Kanone 18 and maybe 18 shells and I'd be a pretty happy tanker.

In addition, about the E-75 turret, we're not doing *anything* against history because if you really want to split hairs, the E-100's turret was never completed and a Mausturm would have been used until one could be finished/fitted.

Having an E-75 turret or a beefed up version of one housing a smaller caliber but more accurate gun would allow for faster rotation, a lighter tank, and a smaller cross-sectional target when facing it head on - all advantages there.

The German Wiki says the E-100 turm is too small for the 17 cm gun, you can also read the information in the picture Zarax posted and you'll see the Maus II turm(E-100 turm) was to have a larger turret ring than the regular Mausturm. Put two and two together and you get it doesn't fit.

Another piece of evidence is that the 15 cm L/68 takes up the whole turret if you overlay it, now imagine overlaying a 17 cm gun that would likely take up more space than the 15 cm L/68 gun would.

I'd like to keep with the tank Germany designed, not the one you pulled out of thin air.

Wouldn't an E-100 with an E-75 turret look like one of those body-builders with a tiny head? XD

@Brice - you're talking about turret rings, I'm talking about turret accommodating space in cubic feet. You're talking greek, I'm talking Italian. A ring goes into the floor of the turret, fine, I get that, the remainder of the turret's work-space. this is the issue I'm mentioning. WG has done a pretty bizarre job of making up stuff along with rumors and bits and pieces, and this wouldn't be any different. Nowhere does it say "the gun will not fit in the turret" . nowhere. The Ring is a resolvable issue that's easily remedied with an Ausf. B marque or an asterisk next to the name to denote a modified version. It's not like this'll ever even happen anyway, but to try to downplay it is foolish.

@ fattoler : Basically you'd end up with what Trumpter I believe made a model for which can be seen here :

Uh, turret ring diameters were always a pretty big constraint in tank design (or more specifically gun choice) you know. Something to do with recoil absorption and suchlike I understand - an sich you could always modify the turret design itself if mere volume was needed (within reason), after all.

The thing with enlarging the 'ring is AFAIK that you pretty much need to widen the hull to do it - and I doubt I need to explain the implications in the context of an already super-large vehicle as in this case.

Uhh, no.
It specifically talks about Assault guns on Maus and E-100 chassis when mentioning the larger guns so it's all about casemates, not turret.

Hmm. I made this thread some time ago, you might find some of the things interesting:

The turret placement, LFP angle, and stuff.

German engineers moved transmission to the front as there was not enough room at the back, unfortunately that's historical.

Oh, and the planned engine never managed to reliably reach over 800HP, while shortening the tank made bigger engines impossible to fit.

For all of this we have to thank the designer who decided Tiger II size engine compartement was enough.

I recomend reading panzer tracks 6-3 page 54 in the end (You have most likely read it before). Talking about the transmission. The E-100 was the same hull as the Tiger-Maus, we have no grasp what the end result would look like. The part in my post you reefer to was more like a what the future bring.

The hull was shortened and slightly widened between the first 170 ton draft and the final 130 ton one, not to mention the design was changed from rear to center turret.

On page 54 it says that rear transmission required moving the engine forward and changing the hull layout.

One could almost see *troll* an E-100 ausf M!

Well I'll write it in my native language SilentStalker can translate it if he wanna do so

E100 nepotrebuje buff ale kompletni predelani proste a jednoduse udelat z ni mene Mause ale vice onu odlehcenou variantu tezkeho tanku neco ve smyslu IS-7 s IS-4

Vzhledem k tomu ze ve hre mame stroje ktere nikdy neexistovali ani na nakresech, jsou to proste vytvory ze sveta WG vyvojaru kde neni problem sebrat tanku 10 mm z pancire a prezto mu pridat na vaze 2 tuny bych se nebal predelat E100 nasledujicim zpusobem:

Odebrat 150mm kanon, soucasnou vez vymenit za Adler turm (pripadne jinou mene pancerovanou a lehci vez), pridat novej 128mm kanon (budto z JT) nebo novou variantu zkratka lepsi penetracni vlastnosti nez u Maus kanonu, snizit hodnotu opancerovani tanku (stejne uz tak ma E100 horsi pancire nez jaky mela v realu met viz panzernet) tim by se docililo snizeni vahy a pridal bych ji maximalku na tech 40km/h co bylo zamyslenejch v realu.

Dale bych(a nejenom u E100) umoznil nemeckejm tankum lepsi zoomovani s ohledem na fakt kterej uznavaj i historici a sice ze nemci disponovali tema nejlepsima optikama (a dodnes je od nich odebira celej svet spolu s kanonama a motorama) tenhle fakt doted nebyl nikde in game zohlednen stejne tak bych zauvazoval o zlepseni dosahu u nemeckejch radii (koneckoncu novej Leo ma dosah JENOM 750 zatimco T62 ma 850) selskej rozum by asi kazdymu rekl ze pouzivat puskohled u pistole nebo u praku zatimco pri strelbe se sniperkou bez puskohledu me tam maj chybet i miridla je proste kravina a prece jenom pokud je clovek za nemecke tanky stavenej do role snipera musim podle toho met i patricny radia a ne aby se me stavalo ze v jednom platonu si vedle sebe stoji IS-3 a T32 a strilej to do dalky na maximalni dosah coby tanky ktery by se meli dostat souperum do tela a ja s KT si musim jeste znacne popojet pred ne aby se me enemak ukazal na obrazovce (pri nastaveni maximalni vykreslovaci vzdalenosti) protoze mam nejslabsi radio za jeden z nejvic sniper heavy tank toho tieru tak asi neni neco v poradku.

Příště se prosímtě podepiš a zkus to spíš anglicky.

Basically, this player suggests E-100 should be made (unhistorically) lighter, lighter Adlerturm should be added with a 128mm gun from the Jagdtiger, reduce the tank weight (reduce armor) and set the maximum speed to 40 km/h. He also suggets better zoom for tanks (because they had superior optics), better radio range) in order to make it a durable sniper.

8th Army Medium Artillery Stats 4 November 1941 (major update 19 June)

It is quite interesting to see the medium artillery situation in the Middle East at this date. While a lot of ink has been spilled looking at the tank situation, and the technological problems faced by the Empire, much less analysis has been made on the artillery, apart from the anti-tank guns, of course. This is probably in part because at least in the field artillery sector, and in the light anti-air sector, the Empire was quite superior to the Axis forces. I am indebted to my friend Jon who pointed this out to me.

For field artillerty, the Empire 25-pdr field gun was a superb gun, which served well in a dual role, as demonstrated by e.g. 1 Field Regiment at the Omars on 25 November, and also of course in the field artillery role. This superiority was noted by the Germans, who recognised that Empire field artillery was a nuisance. While the Axis divisional artillery had superior calibre, and in particular the Italian 105mm field gun was recognised by the Empire as a very good gun, the large numbers, range, versatility, and mobility of the 25-pdr were hard to beat.

In the anti-air role, the 40mm Bofors AA gun was also a very good alround design, and superior to the 20mm light AA guns fielded by the Axis forces. In the CRUSADER period it doubled as anti-tank gun, when required.

Empire vs. Axis Medium Artillery

In the field of medium and heavy artillery however, the Empire was severely lacking. Heavy artillery, there was none at all, and for medium artillery, there were few guns, and more than half of them obsolete. The Axis forces on the other hand had some superb guns in Africa in this sector – the captured French 155mm GPF gun, the Italian 149/40 gun, the 17cm K18 gun, and the 21cm Mortar 18. They only had small numbers of these, but still more in total than the Empire could field. Furthermore, most of these guns were concentrated under the Army artillery command Arko 104, while the Empire medium regiments were penny-packeted to the Corps, and often operated on a battery basis. The reason for this was of course that the Axis was planning a major assault on a fortress, and had brought in a siege train to undertake it. Below the army artillery, the standard heavy piece of German divisional artillery, the 15cm heavy howitzer 18, while outclassed inRussia, was superior to the Empire 6″ howitzer as well.

On 4 November the Empire forces reported a total of 126 medium guns in the Middle East, 28 of which were the modern 4.5″ gun , while the remainder were the obsolete 6” howitzer, the even more obsolete 4.5″ howitzer, and 18 155mm howitzers. 11 4.5″ howitzers were in the Western Desert, 10 in Tobruk, and 1 with the L.R.D.G. 16 of the 155mm howitzers, were with 1 Australian Corps, and another 2 155 mm howitzers with the schools in the Delta area. It is likely that of the remainder at least 16 6″ howitzers of 64 Medium Regiment were not in the Western Desert, but also rather in Syria with 1 Australian Corps. Thus the total of available medium guns in the Western Desert was brought down to 63, or a bit more than half the number of Axis mediums. Most of these guns were obsolete.

At the same time, while there is some confusion, Panzergruppe Afrika and the Italian forces appeared to be able to field up to 115 medium guns (>105mm), of which a large part were of superior quality to the Empire guns. It was this discrepancy which contributed a lot to the problems the Empire forces were facing in the static fighting around Sidi Rezegh, and the Tobruk corridor.

Some information on the guns

I am indebted to Nigel Evans’ superb site on the Royal Artillery for much of the information here.

The Empire 4.5” gun , which equipped one regiment and one battery at the time was better in some aspects compared to the German 15cm sFH, such as its superb range. It was outclassed however by the Italian Ansaldo 149/40 gun. The 4.5″ gun lacked destructive power and range by comparison, with a shell and explosive weight of only about half of that of the Ansaldo, and there were in any case not enough of the guns around. It’s main use was for counter-battery, and while it was certainly superior to the German 10cm K18, which served the same role, it could not compete with the heavier Axis pieces such as the 17cm K18, and the Ansaldo 149/40 guns.

A Section of 4.5 Medium Guns : near Reigel Ridge, Cyrenaica, May 1942

The 6″ howitzer was one of the weaker medium guns in theatre at the time. It fired a relatively low-weight projectile, and its range was not impressive. During the desert war it was replaced by WW1 vintage 155mm howitzers (see below) and then 5.5″ guns.

6″ Howitzer during Operation COMPASS

During the period, about 100 155mm Howitzers M1918 of WW1 French design (but modernised between the wars, e.g. to enable being trailed behind trucks) were in the process of being delivered to units as lend-lease by the USA, but these were not in the Western Desert yet. On 4 November they were equipping only an Australian medium regiment, 2/13, in Syria. A further 12 were already in ordnance depots, and 78 were en route with various convoys. By 12 February, only one regiment, 64 Medium Rgt. RA had been re-equipped with 16 of these howitzers, and 2 4.5″ guns.

A French-built 155mm howitzer of 212 Battery, 64th Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, 23 July 1942.

The 4.5″ howitzer was probably the weakest medium gun (in fairness it is more a field gun, rather than a medium, despite its calibre of 114mm being a bit more than the standard 105mm) in service in the desert. It’s relegation to the static role in Tobruk says as much. It was a pre-WW1 design which had been modernised in the 1930s to enable truck-towing. It’s range was only 6,600 yards, and the shell weight was only 37lbs.

The guns go off as the crew of a 4.5 inch Howitzer of the 2/1st Field Regiment RAA are given the order to fire during the cooperation artillery shoot with 107th (SNH) Royal Horse Artillery at the Bir Asley Artillery Range. (AWM Item C1005952)

The distribution of these guns in the Middle East on 4 November 1941 was as below:

Austro-Hungarian Project V Battleship Design

This was the final battleship proposal by the MTK ( Marine technische Komitee - Naval Technical Committee) , Pola offered in late 1917, early 1918. It was a further improvement on the previous Project III type with another step taken in a larger main weapon calibre: the 42cm sized cannons. These weapons first appeared on the Imperial German navy post Jutland battleship and battlecruiser (The Grosskreuzer and L 20) designs planned for the post war fleet of Germany as well.
The 4 turrets are in a conventional layout of superfiring pairs forward and aft while the secondary armament are along the sides in casemates, while the 15cm heavy Dual Purpose AA guns are located in turrets on the deck with a single large funnel emphasising this design. What you actually see is the battleship equivalent of the Project VI battlecruiser mounting the same kind of armament but on a thicker and more armoured hull.

The ship reminiscent both in size, armament and armour to the Japanese Nagato class battleships laid down a few years earlier.

The design(s) had the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 215 (wl) x 32 x 9,5m
Displacement: 37.200tons (standard), 39.600tons (full load)
Armour: 40mm Deck, 300mm Belt
Engines: 56.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 44km/h (24knots)
Range: 9.000km at 28km/h (5.000nm at 15knots) or
5.500km at 44km/h (3.000nm at 24knots)
4x2 42cm/45 Skoda K18 Cannons
20x1 15cm/50 Skoda K10 Guns
4x1 15cm/50 Skoda K18 DP-AA Guns
6x1 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

Or here together with a small history on them:

And finally based on the naming conventions of the German and Austro-Hungarian navies, the name of the class most likely be Ersatz Habsburg class the next oldest battleships of the KuK navy after the Monarch class.

This concludes the Austro-Hungarian Navy the Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine never were warship designs I've started in 2017 March!

Oh I like this design very much.

Clearly shows that designers were very competent people. I love how turret 2 and 3 have such high placement to remove all obstruction when firing with superb arcs.

Brits didn't thought of this with Nelsons.

Yes they did, the LII, L2, L3, K2, K3, J3 designs.

Nelson was a good very strong battleship stronger then any RN ship before it including QE, Revenge and Hood!

I was referring to faulty design on very limited displacement. After all they banned firing forward and full broadsides because of damage it caused to the hull and armor around turrets. Didn’t said that Nelsons were bad, my most favorite British BBs because of their awesome quirkiness. But if they raised the turrets higher above the deck they wouldn’t have to ban a battleship from firing broadsides which was its primary function. Quite comical, in best traditions of British humor LOL!

I don't know where you get your info but it is wrong, I've found quite a few photos of both Nelson and Rodney firing broadside during the war

OK, I admit, that was poor choice of a word - ban. Excuse me.

They fired broadsides, especially during trials. But during WW2 after problems become all-too evident there was a directive which advised to refrain from full broadside (all 9 guns at once) firing unless under extreme circumstances. Especially on Rodney where structural integrity of the hull and leakage made this ship basically useless by mid-war-period outside stationary duties like for brief period in Normandy where it fired a gun at a time - beautifully seen in video - always from different turret.

As for firing forward video. That's not full forward firing from both turrets at minimal elevation. It's one gun at a time, from two separate turrets, at like 30 degree elevation. Even during trials when they fired all-6-gun forward fore deck was completely trashed.

All photos you provided prove my point. Neither of ships fires all guns at once. It's this stepped firing procedure developed during the war or even before it. 1 gun fires two do not, 2 guns firing middle one is off.

What I've seen are more like ranging fire. But can you give me source of the Nelson not advised for full broadside?

You know why I'm rooting for this ship to be in WoW? (even-though the probability is extremely low)

The insane amount of secondary guns.
This ship packs Yamato and Grosser Kurfurst DPM level secondaries at Tier 7.
It's like having 2 Clevelands bolted on each side.
Will make for some very LOL worthy matches.

Wow Nice to meet someone who contributes to Wargaming.

Good luck making ships for Tier 9 and 10.

Another challenge is how the Reconstructed Austro Hungarian ships will look like in the 1940s timeframe
since you have no example to draw from.
Especially since the Austro Hungarian ships have the most bare bone minimalistic superstructures.
Or save from a pair of tripod masts, a conning tower and a tin can bridge there is NOTHING there.
They have less superstructures than WW1 American battleships.
Except from similar caliber size (and slide breech guns) these ships have barely anything in common with their German counterpart.
How are you going to infer a hypothetical WW2 level reconstruction from that?

With the WW1 German you can use modern examples of warships to estimate what a reconstructed
WW1 German vessel will look like for example Bayern has a bridge and tower superstructure straight from the Deutschland.

But good look trying to estimate what a Design V battleship will look like in WW2
and what type of AA guns it will use.
(Skoda did also use the 105mm caliber in their field howitzers which should act as the HAA counterpart
for the German 105 mm and the 140mm 56 caliber gun could make a powerful secondary weapon).

BTW. Who's bright idea is the T10 FRANCE?

Thanks for your kind words.

Yes, the most obvious problem would be how to approach the upgrades to the ships. Tzoli does have a drawing that I think comes pretty close to what I envision (Modernised Battleship Szent Istvan), though I wouldn't have large-scale reconstruction until tier VI. Looks-wise, I would like it to be similar to the upgraded superstructure of Bayern in WoWs. I think that would work fairly well with the austro-hungarian ships and probably even keep the general design for the rest of the branch.

Armaments aren't that much of a problem, I have enough historical equipment to work with for the early-to-mid tiers. Did you know, for example, that Hungary license-produced its own 40mm Bofors? They were used in the 40M Nimrod SPAAG, itself a license-built swedish design. For the later tiers, I can draw upon the weapons made in the A-H successor states, especially Czechoslovakia.

The biggest headache at the moment is the tier X. I don't really see any option beyond making it another 4x3 turreted ship, even though we already have 3 ships with the same gun arrangement. Also, I'm only making a rough overview of the specs without any drawings. I can't draw to save my life.

Finally, the T10 France seems to be an enlarged version of the Gascogne, a modification of the Richelieu that moved one quad turret aft. I'm not really a fan of the design myself, a T10 all-forward main gun BB would have been much more interesting in my opinion.

I look forward to the result.
But will Austro Hungary be the last Nation of the tech tree navies?
There are 8 in total right?
Austro Hungary

I don't know of another navy that did independent ship R&D that warrant a full three.
I would be amazed if Wargaming can pull a Chinese battleship techtree out of its ass.
The other are minor navies that could have shared trees like Latin America's cruisers.
And you have other small navies that warrant premiums like Holland's Project 1047 and Spain's version of Littorio.

There's still room for a battlecruiser line for the Royal, German and Japanese Navy in case Wargaming is running out of nations.

"I don't really see any option beyond making it another 4x3 turreted ship"
The Austro Hungarians pioneered the 4x3 super firing setup and beat the USS Pennsylvania to it by 3 and a half years.
So it should be fitting that the Austro Hungarian T10 should end with this setup

IMHO Grosser Kurfurst should never have had triple turrets.
My original idea for a German T10 was 8 X 460 mm in twins.
Just like Quad turrets is the national flavor for the French navy the Germans went with Twin turrets.
All German ships in the battleship techtree has Twin turrets except Grosser Kurfurst.
The Germans put their shell elevators between the two guns their guns ended being separated far apart in the turret.
Because of this design quirk Germans avoided Triple turrets as much as possible because we can already
see the result with Grosser Kurfurst turret being way bigger than Yamato's (and probably way heavier with all the armor).

I'm not a fan of the France either.
You have to play it like a Graf Spee with the drawback of being a far bigger target.
France historically had a 450mm gun planned and possibly prototyped in the early 1920s.
I don't know where Wargaming got the 431mm from.
France could have been a LOLZY ship had they modeled her with 16 X 380mm guns in 4 quads.
Nothing in smoke would have been safe from this ship.
She would have been an Atlanta with 380mm guns.

When the austro-hungarian navy comes (I consider it a matter of time more than a matter of "If"), it will most likely be after the seven major navies are finished (like, german and russian CV branch-finished).

While I don't think you could add any more complete tech trees without WG making up their own ships, you can for example make half a tree for the spanish navy. They had enough cruiser and destroyer designs to warrant it - just take a look over at shipbucket's never-built section for Spain. There's even someone who made two branches for it on the forum:

It's certainly much more justified than that copy-paste pan-asian DD line that's only in the game to attract more chinese players.

Regarding battlecruisers, I believe I heard that WG would very much like to include branches for the British and Germans. They actually have quite a number of designs that could be used to make complete lines - agains, shipbucket's never-were section is quite nice. Britain, for example, could have the Admiral-class at T7 (of which Hood was the only one built). Take a look:

Thanks for reminding me that A-H pioneered the 4x3 design, it certainly puts the T10 into perspective (I'll probably name if Franz Ferdinand).

Regarding the Kurfürst, yeah, that's what happens when WG uses its "russian archives". I still refuse to believe that it's a real design. More likely WG made it up to avoid their "No guns bigger than Yamato's"-rule. I think it's silly and the GK should have the option to go for 48cm or 50.8cm twin turrets. We'll see if WG eventually decides to make it an option.

I'd also have preferred the France with 4x4 380mm guns. Heck, you could even make it an option to swap them out for 3x3 450mm guns for those who prefer their guns xboxhueg.

In combat

During the war, several Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung (short s.Pz.Jg.Abt) would be formed, including 560, 655, 525, 93, 88, 664, 519 and 424. Other smaller units were formed, including the Schwere Panzerjäger Ersatz 43 und Asbuildung Abteilung, s.Pz.Jg. Kompanie 669 and Panzerkompanie Kummersdorf. The only units to receive Nashorns were the 1st Panzer Division and possibly the Das Reich Division.

Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 560

The forming of s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 and equipping it with the Nashorn was a slow process. The first six vehicles were received in February, followed by 24 in March, and the last 15 in May 1943. In preparation for the coming Kursk offensive, s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 was to be transported to Kharkiv in late April 1943. By the beginning of May 1943, the transportation of the unit was almost complete. In June, it was part of the Panzer Gruppe “Kempf”, but due to many mechanical problems, this unit was not ready for combat. While this unit did not see action during the battle for Kursk, it was busy defending the XXXXII Armee Korps’ (In September renamed into the 8th Armee) flanks from July onwards.

This vehicle had an early type travel lock that had to be released from outside. This vehicle belonged to s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560. It is on a train, possibly headed for the Eastern front. Source.
Throughout August, this unit also supported the 39th, 161st, and 282nd Infanterie Divisions. During this time, 14 vehicles were lost. s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 would be used mostly in defending actions against Soviet attacks until the end of 1943.
Thanks to constant reinforcement (with 5 vehicles in September, October, November, and 4 in February 1944), s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 managed to maintain almost full combat strength throughout 1943, although not all the vehicle were always operational. For example, on 31st October 1943, there were 39 vehicles in the unit, with only 8 operational and the remaining in various state of repair. By the end of 1943, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 reported having destroyed around 251 enemy tanks.
In January 1944, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 participated in the German defense of the city of Kirovograd (currently known as Kropyvnytskyi). In early February, this unit began a slow withdrawal toward Mielau in order to be requipped with the new Jagdpanther. By March, it was still engaged on the Eastern front under the LVII Pz.Korps, losing 16 Nashorn. By this time, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 had only 4 operational and 10 non-operational vehicles remaining. In late April 1944, the withdrawal was completed and s.Pz.Jg.Abt 560 was moved to Mielau.

Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 655

Another unit equipped with Nashorns was s.Pz.Jg.Abt “Stalingrad”. In April 1943, this unit was renamed s.Pz.Jg.Abt 655. For the creation of this unit, the remaining elements from Panzerjäger Abteilungen 521, 611, and 670 were used. It is for this reason that its Kompanie were named after these Abteilungen instead of the ordinary 1st, 2nd, and 3rd designations.
In April 1944, these would be renamed to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Kompanie. In April 1943, this unit had 35 vehicles. The last 10 vehicles arrived in May. The unit assembly and training was carried out until June 1943. By the time of the Kursk offensive s.Pz.Jg.Abt 655 was part of the Heeresgruppe mitte, but was not directly involved in combat. It would, however, be engaged with the Second Armee in trying to stop the Soviet attacks. This defense proved to be unsuccessful and the unit was forced to pull out in the direction of the Desna and Dnieper rivers. In a report dated 1st July, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 655 was noted to have lost eight vehicles: one to a mine, and the remaining seven during an air raid. All these were recovered and sent to Germany for repair. From November to the end of 1943, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 655 was mostly used in support of different Panzer Division, both in the attack and in the defense, around the Pripet Marshes.
The Nashorns proved to be effective, as can be seen in the report of Kompanie 521 during a combat operation defending Orel in mid July 1943, when following vehicles were claimed to have been destroyed: 1 x KV-2, 19 x KV-1s, 430 x T-34s, 1 x M3 Lee, 1 x T-60, 5 x T-70s, and 1 rocket launcher mounted on a tank chassis, with the loss of only two Nashorns. These numbers are just claims and were probably larger than reality.
s.Pz.Jg.Abt 655 received around 33 Nashorns as replacements (8 in July, 5 in October, November and December, and the last 10 in March 1944). This unit was even above the official combat strength with 47 operational (and 1 in repair) vehicles during June-July 1944.
In February, it was stationed in Belorussia in support of the elements of the Second Armee. By the end of May 1944, this unit was transferred to the 4th Panzer Armee, and it would see action in Ukraine on the Vistula river and at Lublin. In August 1944, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 655’s 1st and 2nd Kompanie were moved from Heeresgruppe Nord Ukraine to the training center at Mielau to be equipped with Jagdpanters and Jagdpanzer IVs.

Sd.Kfz.164 of the 2nd Kompanie of the schwere Panzerjäger Abteilungen 560, summer 1943.

Nashorn of the schwere Panzerjäger Abteilungen 519, Group center, Vitebsk area, Russia, winter 1943-44.

Nashorn of the schwere Panzerjäger Abteilungen 88, Russia.

Another Nashorn of the schwere Panzerjäger Abteilungen 88, Russia, 1944.

Sd.Kfz.164 Nashorn of the schwere Panzerjäger Abteilungen 525 in Italy, summer 1944.

Sd.Kfz.164 Nashorn in Italy, schwere Panzerjäger Abteilungen 525.

Schwere Panzerjäger Kompanie 669

The 3rd Kompanie of s.Pz.Jg.Abt 655 was equipped with all remaining Nashorns (possibly around 24 vehicles). The unit was renamed to Einsatz Kompanie 655 and was stationed on the Eastern Front. It would remain on the Eastern Front supporting the 4th Panzer Armee near the Sandomierz bridgehead until late 1944. In November 1944, it was renamed to s.Pz.Jg.Kp 669. The combat strength of the s.Pz.Jg.Kp 669 was around 20 Nashorns (December 1944). During the Soviet offensive in January 1945, s.Pz.Jg.Kp 669 was part of 17th Panzer Division, suffering heavy losses during the battle for Kielce. In February 1945, it was reinforced with 13 new vehicles. The unit met its end during the battle for Prague in May 1945, when it surrendered to the Soviets.

Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 525

Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 525 was formed in August 1939 as Pz.Abw.Abt 525. During the attack on the West, this unit was equipped with 88 mm Flak 18 gun for use against tanks and bunkers. In France, it was used to attack parts of the Maginot line. Later, it would see action in the Balkans and in the Soviet Union. In late April 1943, it was ordered to reequip s.Pz.Jg.Kp 525 with Nashorns in a standard 45-vehicles organization. It was moved to Magdeburg where it was to be supplied with these vehicles, and by July 1943 the assembly of the 45 Nashorns was completed.
It was originally allocated to the 26th Panzer Division, but due to the need for crew training, the unit was only combat-ready by the beginning of August 1943. In preparation for the German occupation of Italy, s.Pz.Jg.Kp 525 was transported to northern Italy, but due to the Allied offensive, the unit was repositioned to the south. It was attached to different units (like the 90th Panzer Grenadier Division or 371 Infantry Division) and was mostly used for coastal defense. During December 1943, it was stationed near Rome as part of the 3rd Grenadier Division. From January 1944, it was engaged in defense of Cassino, where four Nashorns were destroyed and three damaged, but later repaired. Thanks to well selected and favorable combat positions, they managed to take advantage of their strong guns, even achieving a claimed kill from more than 2,800 m against an Allied Sherman tank. The 1st and 2nd Kompanie would see action during the Battle of Anzio in early 1944. In May, s.Pz.Jg.Kp 525 was again stationed around Cassino.
s.Pz.Jg.Kp 525 suffered losses during the Battle for Pontecorvo, where the Canadian Allied soldiers managed to capture one and destroy three vehicles. s.Pz.Jg.Kp 525 also saw action against Polish forces (part of the 2nd Corps) in August 1944, when one was captured and two destroyed.
On 31st August, s.Pz.Jg.Kp 525 was to be reinforced with Jagdpanthers and thus form a gemischte Jagdpanther-Abteilung. For this reason, the 1st Kompanie was sent to Mielau for rearming. The 1st Kompanie vehicles were given to the 2nd and 3rd Kompanies and these two would remain in Italy supporting the 10th Armee. In April 1945, what remained of the 2nd Kompanie was supporting the 26th Panzer Division and the 3rd Kompanie was supporting the 29th Grenadier Division. Many more vehicles were captured by the Allies during the German retreat across the River Po, as a number of Nashorns were abandoned by the Germans.
In late November 1944, the 1st Kompanie was in the process of reorganization, but due to the rapid development on the front, it was sent to reinforce Kapmfgruppe Fuehter-Begleit-Brigade. It was equipped with 10 Nashorns in late November 1944.

Schwere Heeres Panzerjäger Abteilung 93

The original name of this unit was Pz.Abw.Abt. 23 and it was formed in 1935. The name was changed to s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93 in October 1942. It was part of the 26th Panzer Division, stationed in France for training and rest. In June 1943, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93 was chosen to be equipped with 45 Nashorns, and this process was completed in the period from July to September 1943. As the 26th Panzer Division was needed on the Italian front and s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93 was combat-ready, it was decided to detach it from this unit and attach it to the 7th Amree in Western France.
It was, from September 1943, engaged with Army Group “South” on the Eastern front for the support of the German retreat at the Dnieper River. and was used to support the German attack near Kryvyi Rog in late October. In early 1944, it supported the retreat of the 24th Division and the 6th Army. In early 1944, this part of the front was quiet, until 20th August when the Soviets launched a large offensive. Most elements of s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93 were lost together with the 6th Army near Chișinău (Kishinev). The 2nd Kompanie would survive and would be used to support s.Pz.Jg.Abt 525 in defense of the Rhine river. The final fate of what remained of s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93 is not clear.

Actions of the Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 93 and 525

s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93 and 525 were sent to the Western Front in order to reinforce the German forces which were desperately trying to stop the Allied advance to the Rhine. s.Pz.Jg.Abt 525 (1st Kompanie) was, in November 1944, equipped with 10 Nashorns while s.Pz.Abt 93 (2nd Kompanie) was, by December, equipped with just 12 Nashorns.
Both Abteilung 525 and 93 were attached to the 106th Panzer Brigade and operated in the Kolmar pocket until late December 1944 while suffering no losses. On 29th (or 27th depending on the sources) December, both were used to support Jagdpanthers from s.Pz.Jg.Abt 654. Later in January, they were used to reinforce the StuG.Brigade 280 until February. By that time, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 525 had suffered such heavy losses, that what was left was incorporated into s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93. In February, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 93 was renamed to s.Pz.Jg. Kompanie 93 due to its small size. By the end of February 1945, the Kompanie had only 10 vehicles left and was supporting 106th Armored Brigade near Cologne. In March, one Nashorn managed to destroy the new American T26E3 (at a distance of 500 m) tank near the town of Niehl. The Kompanie finally met its fate in April 1945, when it surrendered in the Ruhr area.

Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 519 and 664

Another unit to be equipped with Nashorns was s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519, which was formed in late August 1943. By November 1943, the last vehicle was received and the unit had 45 operational Nashorns. It was repositioned to the Eastern Front, where it supported the 3rd Panzer Armee. One of the first actions was the battle for Vitebsk, where the advancing Soviet forces were stopped. It would be stationed there from December 1943 to January 1944, during which time it helped repel many Soviet attacks. During the period from 10th December 1943 to 24th February 1944, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519 claimed to have destroyed some 290 enemy tanks with the loss of only 6 vehicles, of which 4 were destroyed by their crews (due to a lack of towing vehicles).
From January to June, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519 saw very few combat actions and was part of the 3rd Armee. From June 1944, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519 was used to support the 4th Armee in Belorussia. By the end of June, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519 claimed to have destroyed around 112 Soviet tanks with some losses. To replace the losses, this unit received 15 new vehicles (5 in March, April, and June). Due to the following fighting in July 1944, the unit lost many of its Nashorns. What was left of s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519 was used to support the Panzerkampfgruppe Hoppe by the middle of July. By August 1944, like the previous units, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519 was also sent to Mielau to be equipped with Jagdpanthers, but was also equipped with StuG III.

Late production version somewhere on the eastern front. The crew observe their surroundings for possible enemy targets. The Nashorn is positioned between the two wooden houses which serve as makeshift camouflage. This vehicle belongs to s.Pz.Jg.Ab 519’s commanding Kompanie. Source.
Its remaining vehicles were given to s.Pz.Jg.Abt 664 which was equipped with towed 88 mm PaK 43 guns. This unit never achieved a full combat strength, with only around 12 vehicles being used (October 1944). It was engaged with HeeresGruppe Mitte, but was lost in late January 1945 on the Eastern Front.
Interesting to note is that Nashorn crews from s.Pz.Jg.Abt 519 had a habit of naming their (and paining it on the vehicle) vehicles after East German cities (like Pommern) or animals (Puma, Tiger, etc).

Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 88

s.Pz.Jg.Abt 88 was originally formed in late October 1940, and by late 1943 was mostly engaged on the Eastern Front. In late November, it was moved to Mielau to be equipped with Nashorns and for crew training. The unit reaches its full combat strength by January 1944 but was not ready for combat operation until February 1944.
By early 1944, s.Pz.Jg.Abt 88 was part of the 1st Panzer Armee on the Eastern Front. s.Pz.Jg.Abt 88 was heavily engaged during the battle of Kamienets-Podolsky. Later, in March/April 1944, this unit supported the 6th and 17th Panzer Divisions. An interesting fact is that, in May 1944, one s.Pz.Jg.Kp 88 Nashorn managed to destroy a new Soviet tank IS-2 in somewhat comic circumstances. This vehicle had actually been captured by the Germans and was in the process of being towed to the rear when it was spotted by the Nashorns. They immediately destroyed it without knowing it was actually captured by their comrades, although it is unlikely that the soldiers towing their prize back were amused by this incident.
This unit suffered heavy losses during the support of the Army Group A, around Brody and Lvov. In order to replace the losses, it received 30 new vehicles in August 1944. The rest of the year, this unit was stationed near Miechow. From January 1945, it was engaged against the Soviets near Lisow and Kielce.
In late January, an unknown number of Nashorns from this unit were supporting the German defense of Preiswitz near the village of Gieraltowice. During these actions, some Nashorns from s.Pz.Jg.Abt 88 were equipped with experimental night vision equipment, but in what numbers and how effective this system was is unknown. In March, the remnants of s.Pz.Jg.Abt 88 supported the 17th Armored Division near Lauban. s.Pz.Jg.Abt 88 would fight on until it surrendered in Prague in May 1945.

Schwere Panzerjäger Ersatz 43 and Asbuildung Abteilung

These two units were originally used for training and as reinforcements and were stationed at Spremberg. In desperation, both units were mobilized in the defense of the Oder River, where both would be lost. The number of vehicles that these units had is unknown.

The use of Nashorn in other units.

Panzerkompanie Kummersdorf was formed using the vehicle present at the Kummersdorf Weapons Testing Center, including at least one Nashorn. An unknown number of Nashorns were allocated to the 1st Panzer Division in December 1944. They were used to reinforce Pz.Jg.Abt 37, which had lost most of its Marder anti-tank vehicles. By April 1945, there was still an unknown number of Nashorns operational with this unit. It is possible that at least 12 Nashorns were given to the Das Reich Division in late December 1944, but precise information is not available.
By the end of 1944, there were still some 130-165 operational Nashorns in total (depending on the source). Most were located on the Eastern front, with smaller numbers to the West.

Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung/Kompanie 424

The origin of this unit is not clear, and depending on the sources it is either marked as an Abteilung or a Kompanie. What is known is that s.Pz.Jg.Ab 424 was mostly destroyed in early 1945 near the Kielce area. The remaining elements of this unit (with only two Nashorns) were used to defend the Order river.

Other potential users

The attempt to sell Kuwait and Romania Disston Tractor Tanks, and the successful sale to Afghanistan is documented with primary sources and clear photographic evidence. However, there were three more reported attempts to sell the vehicle. These are: the US Military (namely the US Army and US Marine Corps), Canada, New Zealand, and China. There is a general lack of credible evidence for each of these potential users/buyers, but the claims cannot be categorically dismissed either. In some cases, there has been difficulty obtaining the original source material for the claims, however, additional research on the claim has been undertaken in each case.

Combat record [ edit | edit source ]

The first field combat for the 15 cm sFH 18 was with the Chinese National Revolutionary Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Chinese were desperately short on artillery guns and other heavy weapons, but the few 15 cm sFH 18 units the Chinese did have hopelessly outclassed their Japanese counterparts which were mainly the Type 38 15 cm howitzer and Type 4 15 cm howitzer, forcing the Japanese to introduce the Type 96 15 cm Howitzer. It is interesting that some earlier pieces (about 24) of sFH18 in China were designed specially with a 32/L barrel, known as sFH18 32/L. The maximum range was increased to 15 km. But most of the sFH18 in China were lost to attrition. Only two pieces can be seen in the museums today. [ citation needed ]

Against the Soviet Union however, the sFH 18 proved to be greatly inferior to the Red Army corps artillery 122 mm gun and 152 mm ML-20 gun-howitzer, whose maximum range of 20.4 kilometres (22,300 yd) and 17.3 kilometres (18,900 yd) allowed it to fire counter-battery against the sFH 18 with a 7 kilometres (7,700 yd) and 4 kilometres (4,400 yd) advantage. This led to numerous efforts to introduce new guns with even better performance than the ML-20, while various experiments were also carried out on the sFH㺒 to improve its range. These led to the 15 cm sFH 18M version with a removable barrel liner and a muzzle brake that allowed a larger "special 7" or 8 charge to be used. The 18M increased range to 15,100 metres (16,500 yd), but it was found that the liners suffered increased wear and the recoil system could not handle the increased loads in spite of the brake. This led to a more interesting modification, the introduction of the 15 cm R. Gr. 19 FES ammunition, which used a rocket-assisted round that could reach 18,200 metres (19,900 yd) and give it some level of parity with the A-19 and ML-20.

Several countries continued fielding the sFH 18 after the war in large numbers including Czechoslovakia, Portugal and many South American and Central American countries. Finland bought 48 sFH㺒 howitzers from Germany in 1940 and designated them 150 H/40. These guns were modernized in 1988 as the 152 H 88, and they are still used by Finnish army.

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