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"New Axis Self-Propelled Guns" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on new German and Italian self-propelled guns was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 18, Feb. 11, 1943.

[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.]


Owing to the battlefield mobility of tanks, as well as to other factors, the towed antitank gun is not always an adequate antitank weapon. To supplement the towed gun, self-propelled antitank guns have been developed and organized into special units: for example, the U.S. tank-destroyer organizations. For a considerable period of time the Germans have shown a tendency to mount a large number of guns on self-propelled mounts, the calibers varying from 20 mm to 150 mm. Recently the following new German equipment of this type was reported to exist:

German 37-mm AT gun on an armored personnel carrier;
Russian 76.2 -mm gun on German Mark II tank chassis;
Russian 76.2-mm gun on Czech light tank (38) chassis;
German 75-mm tank gun (40)* on German Mark II tank chassis;
German 75-mm tank gun (40)* on Czech light tank (38) chassis.

Of the above weapons, the first two are known to have been present in North Africa. Whether the last three have been issued to units is not known. The Germans are also reported to be developing 88-mm and 128-mm armored self-propelled guns.

The Italians are apparently still endeavoring to follow the Germans in the development of self-propelled weapons. It is reported that they now have a 90-mm self-propelled gun. While this gun is known to exist, it is not believed to have appeared yet in action. The Italian 75-mm self-propelled gun (see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 6, p. 35) is reported to have proved not wholly successful, and it is thought that Italy does not possess sufficient resources to allow free improvisation on the German pattern.

*See article number 4, this issue.


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