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Waffenträger leFH 18/40 auf GW III/IV Weapon Carrier

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This vehicle was another in the series of Waffenträger projects started in 1942. One prototype was produced by Rheinmetall-Borsig in 1943; it had 20mm hull armour and the armour around the superstructure was 20mm thick. It was planned to carry 80 rounds of ammunition. The vehicle never went into production, however. The chassis could not be supplied in sufficient numbers since they were being used for the Hummel.
The chassis was similar to that of a standard Geschützwagen III/IV but fitted with a rear-mounted engine and PzKpfw III Ausf H idler wheels. The engine intakes were at the rear of the hull and were sharply inclined inwards, and most of the superstructure was widened to extend the full width of the track covers. The sprockets, from the PzKpfw III Ausf H, and the driver’s compartment were the same as on the late production Hummel. The vehicle was fitted with all-steel return rollers, four per side.
The howitzer was a standard field piece suitably dismantled. Its wheels and trails were carried on the vehicle on the rear superstructure. The gun could then be dismounted and reassembled to be used in the normal way. The gun was slid on rails and hoisted to the ground by block and tackle. The vehicle apparently has stowage positions on the hull sides, between the first and second return rollers, that were probably for spare roadwheels or the lifting tackle.

Model Id:202
Manufacture:Rheinmetall-Borsig AG, Dusseldorf, Germany (Sole manufacturer 1943)

1) Wheatcroft Collection, Leicester, Britain

Number of Photos: 9
Sample Photo from Album Number 191

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Unique ID: 191
Serial Number:
Other Identification:

Text in original Preserved German Tanks publication:

This was the only prototype of the de-mountable weapons carrier built by Rheinmetall. It was captured by the Allies during the closing stages of the war and is now missing the semi-circular armoured shield from in front of the gun. It was acquired on loan in 1966 from Gamecock Barracks at Bramcott, Warwickshire, and was recently transferred from the Imperial War Museum in London. It is currently displayed in a replica shop tableau in the Land Warfare Hall.

Text in Preserved German Tanks Update:

This prototype of a (Sf) auf Geschutzwagen demountable weapons carrier was seen outside at the Duxford Military Vehicle show in 2003; it was believed to be due to be sent elsewhere for restoration (source: J. Harris). It features on the Wheatcroft Collection website so that must have been where it went for restoration; its current status is unknown.