World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Artillerie-Panzerbeobachtungswagen III, SdKfz 143

Design

262 were converted from February 1943 to April 1944. Was an artillery observation vehicle converted from older model IIIs. It was used by forward artillery observers for the self-propelled howitzer batteries of Panzer divisions. Early models received additional 30 mm armored plates. The ball MG in the hull was replaced by a pistol port. A dummy gun barrel was placed where the coaxial MG was located and a MG was placed where the gun used to be. A retractable TBF-2 observation periscope was installed and could be closed by an armored cover. A 2 m "star" antenna for a FuG 8 was installed over the engine compartment. In 1943 some had the 50 mm KwK 39 L/60 gun installed.

Usage

In early 1943 they were issued to Hummel and Wespe batteries.

Specifications

  Artillerie-Panzerbeobachtungswagen III (SdKfz 143)
Crew 5
Radio FuG4, FuG8
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19.5-23 tons
Length 5.52 m
Height 2.5 m
Width 2.92 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 7.92 mm MG34
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1,500 Patr SmK
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 30+30@9°
Hull Front, Lower 30+30@21°
Hull Sides, Upper 30@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°
Hull Rear 30@30° & 30+30@10°
Hull Top 17@77-90°
Hull Bottom 16@90°
Turret Front 30@15°
Mantlet: 50@0-45°
Turret Sides 3-@25°
Turret Rear 30@12°
Turret Top 10@83-90°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120 TR OR Maybach HL 120 TRM
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 10 forward, 1 reverse. OR 6 forward, 1 reverse.
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse Hand.
Speed - Road 40 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 165 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  

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site