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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Geschützwagen-Lorraine Schlepper(f), GWLrS(f)

Design

In May 1942, Hitler ordered that 40 Lorraine Schlepper chassis be converted to mount a 15cm sFH for use in North Africa. The superstructure came from Alkett and assembly was done in Paris. In July 78 more were made available and Keitel ordered 30 to be fitted with the 15cm SFH at Krefeld while the remainder were to become Panzerjäger and 15cm sFH. In May 1942, 60 10.5cm leFH18/4 were ordered to be mounted on the Lorraine Schlepper, but only 12 were completed.

The 150 mm had a range of 9,432 yards. The 90 lb HE shell had a muzzle velocity of 1,250'/sec.

Conversion

The rear suspension was strengthened to handle the placement of a gun mount in the cargo area. A spade was place in the rear of the 15cm FH13 conversion to assist in stabilizing the vehicle when it fired.

Production

  • Lorraine Schlepper 15 cm FH13: 94, 102
    • Production: July 1942, 1942 - ?
  • Lorraine Schlepper 10.5cm FH18 conversions: 1942: 12, 24
  • Assembled by Alfred Becker of Krefeld, Alkett
  • Chassis #s: 731001-

Variants

  • 10.5cm le FH 18 auf GW Lorraine Schlepper (f): Had 10.5 cm howitzer placed at rear of chassis.
  • Geschützwagen-Lorraine für 15 cm S.F.H. 13, SdKfz 135/1; 15cm sFH 13 Selbstfahrlafette Lorraine SdKfz 135/1; 15cm sFH 13 auf GWLrS(f): 15cm sFH 13 installed in a armored superstructure at the rear of the tank. A spade, at the rear of the vehicle, was lowered when firing.

Usage

Afrika Korps

Ten Lorraine Schlepper 15cm FH13s were issued to Panzerartillerie Abteilung of the 21st Panzer Division in North Africa in July 1942. Eleven were issued to the 15th Panzer Division. Used at the Battle of El Alemein. By November 1942 all had been destroyed or captured.

Northwest Europe

There were 54 15cm FH13s and 37 10.5cm FH18s were in service on June 6, 1944, on the Western Front.

Specifications

  sFH 13/1 auf Lorraine Schlepper SdKfz 135/1
Crew 4
Radio FuG Spr f
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 8.36 tons, 8.49 tons, 9.4 tons
Length 15.7'
5.31 m
Height 7.2'
2.23 m
Width 6.1'
1.83 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11.8"
Ground contact length 108"
Ground pressure 9.2 psi
Armament  
Main 150 mm S.F.H. 13, L/17
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 8
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 0.4"
Side: 0.4"
Hull Front, Upper 9@35°
Hull Front, Lower 12@round
Hull Sides, Upper 9@10° & 9@35°
Hull Sides, Lower 9@0°
Hull Rear 9@11° & 9@36°
Hull Top 6@90°
Hull Bottom 5@90°
Superstructure Front 10@8°
gun shield: 10@8°
Superstructure Sides 9@12°
Superstructure Rear 7@12°
Superstructure Top Open
Engine (Make / Model) DelaHaye 103 TT
De la Haye
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 6, I-6
Capacity  
Net HP 70@2,800 rpm
70
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse.
Mechanical with crash type manually operated gearbox
Steering Clutch brake, controlled differential
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 5° left, 5° right., ±7°
Speed - Road 22 mph
34 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 84 miles
135 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -0° to +40°
Fording depth 33.5"
Trench crossing 5.9'
Vertical obstacle 22"
Climbing ability 24° (45%) slope
Suspension (Type) Pairs of road wheels sprung on semi-elliptic springs
Wheels each side 12x2, 6
Return rollers each side 3, 4
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 9.5" (shoe 8.5")
Diameter  
Number of links 109
Pitch 3.25"
Tire tread Rubber
Track centers/tread  
  Lorraine Schlepper 15cm FH13
Crew 4
Radio FuG Spr f
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 8.5 tons
8,636 kg
Length 17' 5"
5.31 m
Height 7' 4"
2.23 m
Width 6'
1.83 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 5.91" sFH13/1
150 mm sFH13/1
150 mm sFH13/1 L/17
Secondary  
MG 1: 0.312" MG34
1: 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 8
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Superstructure Front  
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Delahaye
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 70
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 22 mph
35 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 84 miles
135 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  Lorraine Schlepper 10.5cm FH18
Crew 4
Radio FuG Spr f
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 8.5 tons
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 10.5cm le FH 18
105 mm leFH18/40 L/28
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 20
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Superstructure Front  
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  3. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  4. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site