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"German Self-Propelled 150-mm Howitzer" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following WWII intelligence report on the German 150-mm self-propelled medium howitzer mounted on captured French tractors was originally printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 12, November 19, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The 150-mm medium howitzer, sFH 13, has been provided with a self-propelled mounting, the chassis of the French tracteur blindé 38L, made by Lorraine.

[German 150-mm self-propelled medium howitzer mounted on captured French tractor]

The sFH 13 is equipment of the last war, superseded in first-line units by the 15-cm sFH 18. Particulars of the gun are:

Caliber       149.7 mm
Muzzle velocity1,250 f/s
Maximum range9,300 yds
Length of bore17 cals
Number of grooves36
Elevation+5° to +45°
Weight of projectile92.4 lbs

The particulars of the mount 38L are: length, 14 feet; width, 5 feet 2 inches; weight, 7 1/2 tons; engine, 70 horsepower; maximum speed, 22 miles per hour.

The sketch above shows the following details:

(a) A fixed gun-house of not very thick plate

(b) A limited traverse of not more than about 4 degrees

(c) A spade on the rear of the hull that can be let down to take recoil stresses.

It is notable that in this case an equipment firing a 92-lb shell to a maximum range of 9,300 yards has been mounted on a hull weighing no more than 7 1/2 tons.

This is another case in which the Germans have utilized a standard field gun to make self-propelled artillery. A recent picture shows another 150-mm howitzer, the 15-cm sIG 33, on a German Mark II chassis with the gun on a special mounting built into the hull. There is a three-sided shield no higher than the normal tank, instead of the very high box-like structure for the self-propelled sFH 13.


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