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    Schartenbrecher!

    Hello to all ; something on this.........................................

    The 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer-Selbstfahrlafette-IVa.

    Faced with the proliferation of fortifications in Europe, especially the extensive Maginot Line, the Heer sought to acquire a Schartenbrecher (bunker demolition), whose initial task is to approach the French fortifications without too much risk and eliminate them with explosives. On April 25, 1940, two pre-production assault weapons were ordered for delivery in August of the same year. In January 1941, they were finally armed and, on March 31, a demonstration was held in front of Hitler and it was decided to send them to the front in order to obtain important conclusions based on experience before launching a mass production in the spring of 1942, as intended. The first two prototypes were designated as 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer Selbstfahrlafette IVa and were assigned to the Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 521 which was subordinate to the XXIV. Armeekorps (Mot), within Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group for Operation Barbarossa.

    On June 22, 1941 the schw. Panzerjäger-Abteilung 521 counted among the means at its disposal a Platoon with 2 x 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer Selbstfahrlafette IVa. In turn, the Platoon was organized according to the following scheme, kampfstaffel (combat echelon), munitions-staffel (ammunition echelon) and tross (logistics train).

    Kampstaffel: Zug-trupp (Platoon commander), Geschütz-staffel (2 x 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer Selbstfahrlafette IVa), Luftschutz-kfz (anti-aircraft vehicle - Sd. Kfz 4) and Fernsprechwagen (communications vehicle - Kfz 15). Thanks to this weaponry, the Platoon can be used in direct and indirect fire.

    The weapon is not equipped with complete cartridges, but the projectile and the cartridge are substantially separated. High-explosive grenades are fired with a large charge (Vo = 805 m / s) or with a medium charge (Vo = 635 m / s). 26 shots go in the tank destroyer and another 80 in an ammunition transport vehicle.

    Lost.

    But the tests did not start well and on June 26, 1941, one of the vehicles was lost due to an explosion while marching in the direction of Sluck; the reasons for this explosion are not yet clear. It is possible that the explosion was caused by the ignition of the cartridges stored in the so-called antiaircraft protection cabin, since, according to the operator's statements, the detonation was caused by a flashing flame from said sector. The particularly high outside temperature that day, along with the heat emitted by the engine, likely caused a build-up of heat in this section.

    The crew was able to get out of the vehicle when the first flash of flame was fired, so there is no loss of personnel. The vehicle rolled a few more steps and then stopped. There was an explosion in the vehicle shortly after the flame was fired and the detonation of grenades was heard shortly afterwards. As a result, the vehicle was completely destroyed.


    The 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer-Selbstfahrlafette-IVa destroyed by internal explosion ..........................


    Another view of the vehicle with the usual curious .........................................

    Sources: Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation Volume I.
    https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/...inspect/zoom/6
    https://www.vif2ne.org/rkka/forum/arhprint/68292

    Cheers. Raúl M .

    #2
    What was the fate of the second Geschuetz?

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      #3
      Hello to all ; more.........................................

      The 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer-Selbstfahrlafette-IVa.

      The remaining 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer-Selbstfahrlafette-IVa. fought successfully until the end of 1941. Some pictures, features seven white rings painted on it. it was transported back to Krupp and rebuilt during the first half of 1942. When the repair work was complete, it was returned to the Panzerjaeger-Abteilung 521 in time to take part in the 1942 new German summer offensive on the Eastern Front, called Case Blue. Its crew returned to their original unit on June 1, 1942. The last surviving 10.5cm K. gepanzerte Selbstfahrlafette IVa disappeared from the Panzerjäger-Abteilung 521 ‘strength reports’ in November 1942.

      OoB of sPz.Jäg. Abt.521 as June 1942:

      1. Ko : 9 x Marder II
      2. Ko : 9 x Marder II
      3. Ko : 9 x Jpz-I
      4. Ko : 2 x 12.8cm Selbstfahrlafette IV + 1 x 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer Selbstfahrlafette IVa


      Picture showing the vehicle with damage being transported back to the facory. It looks like it has lost a road wheel (mine?). See also the kill rings..........................................
      https://www.vif2ne.org/rkka/forum/arhprint/68292

      Sources: Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation Volume I.
      https://panzerchronique.jimdofree.com/allemagne/dicker-max/la-fin-des-dicker-max/
      http://users.skynet.be/niemacks_plac...20Main.htm#521

      Cheers. Raúl M .
      Last edited by tigre; 10-24-2020, 10:34 PM.

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        #4
        Thanks for rounding out the story. The chassis gives me the impression of at least looking underpowered for the load it carried.

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