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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Marder I
Translation: Martin/Marten (weasel)

Photos

Marder I:
Germany's Marder I tank destroyer
Bundesarchiv, Koblenz

Design

After the invasion of Russia, it was realized that more powerful and mobile anti-tank capability was needed at the front.2

Captain Alfred Becker, 227th Infantry Division, was stationed in France and designed vehicles that married captured chassis with captured artillery guns.2 This caught the notice of the German High Command and in the summer of 1942, Becker was transferred to Alkett in Berlin.2 He was then dispatched to Paris to convert enough vehicles to equip two panzer divisions.2

The Weapons Department ordered on May 25, 1942, that the Lorraine Schlepper chassis was to be developed into a self-propelled mount for anti-tank and artillery guns.2

Idler was mounted in rear, and drive sprocket in front.2

Main Armament

The Pak 40 was placed in an armored structure that used the original gun shield.3,4

Production

  • Marder I:
    • Converted: 152, 662, 843, 1042, 1701, 1844
      • June - July 19422 , July - August 19421, August 19422 , September - December 19422
    • Manufacturer: Alfred Becker1
    • Production: 1942 - ?4
    • Chassis #s: 731001-1

Variants

  • Marder I:
    • Also known as:
      • 7.5 cm Pak 40/1 auf Geschützwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f), SdKfz 135, Marder I:
      • 7.5 cm Pak 40/1 auf Lorraine Schlepper(f) (Marder I) SdKfz 135:
      • Panzerjaeger für 7.5cm Pak 40(Sf) Lorraine Schlepper:
      • PzJaeg LrS für 7.5cm Pak 40/1:

Usage

Issued to Panzerjäger detachments and mainly operated in France.2 Some did go to the Easter Front, and to Italy in 1943-1944.2

After the destruction of the 21st Panzer Division in North Africa, it was reconstructed in Normandy, France.2 Becker, now Major, took command of it's 200th Assault Gun Battalion, which had 45 Marder Is in 5 batteries.2 Major Becker was awarded the Knight's Cross for his fighting around Caen.2

131 were still being used in France on January 1, 1944.2

Specifications

  Marder I
Crew 42, 51,4
Radio FuG51
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 8 tons1,5, 8.3 tons2
Length  
Height  
Width  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Armament  
Main 75 mm PaK40/1 L/461,4
75 mm Pak 402
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms 7.92 mm MG341
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 122
Side: 92
Rear: 92
Hull Front, Upper 9@35°1
Hull Front, Lower 12@round1
Hull Sides, Upper 9@45°1
Hull Sides, Lower 9@0°1
Hull Rear 9@35°1 & 9@36°1
Hull Top 6@90°1
Hull Bottom 5@90°1
Superstructure Front 10@33°1
gun shield: 10@33°1
Superstructure Sides 9@20°1
Superstructure Rear 7@28°1
Superstructure Top open1
Engine (Make / Model) DelaHaye 103 TT1
De La Haye 103TT2
Cylinders 61,2
Net HP 702
701 @ 2,800 rpm1
Transmission 5 forward, 1 reverse.1
Fuel type Gasoline2
Octane  
Capacity 111 liters2
24 gallons2
Reserve tank: 5.5 gallons2, 25 liters2
Performance  
Traverse 32° left, 32° right.1
Speed - Road 21 mph2
34 kph1, 38 kph2
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 56-93 miles2
90-150 km2, 135 km1
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -5° to +22°1,2
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type) Semi-elliptical leaf springs2
Wheels each side 12x2
Return rollers each side 3, 42
Track length  
Tires 17.5"2
445 mm2
Track width 3.9"2
100 mm2
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  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