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10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM

Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) Vehicle

Nazi Germany | 1942

"Again it was a former French armored vehicle that formed the basis for a German self-propelled gun carrier - this becoming the 10.5cm leFH 16 Geschutzwagen FCM."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/08/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
With the Fall of France in May / June of 1940, the Germans found themselves with a healthy stock of former French military goods including tanks. One type in the lot was the pre-war FCM-36, a light infantry tank produced in just 100 examples from 1938 to 1939. Some 37 of these were captured by the Germans and redesignated as "Panzerkampfwagen 737 FCM(f)" and used for a short while. In 1943, ten of the stock were modified as tank destroyers in the "Marder I" guise. In 1942, a batch of twelve were earmarked for modification as Self-Propelled Howitzers to become the "10.5cm leFH 16 (Sf) auf Geschutzwagen FCM(f)".

The conversion to an SPH was relatively straightforward as the basic underlying workings of the combat tank remained. Surplus 10.5cm leFH 16 series howitzers were then installed over the middle-rear of the hull, leading to deletion of the original turret. Around this emplacement was set a thin, open-air armored workspace for the gunnery crew. The driver maintained his position inside the hull while the gunnery crew totaled three operators. The radio fit was the Fu.Spr.Ger set. Length of the vehicle was 4.6 meters and width was 2.14 meters. The height of the French tank was now 2.15 meters. Drive power was the original French Ricardo-Berliet 4-cylinder diesel unit of 91 horsepower. Road speeds reached 17 miles per hour and range was out to 124 miles.

The leFH 16 howitzer was afforded 50 projectiles stowed about the vehicle - mainly along the inside walls of the new superstructure. For secondary armament, the 7.92mm MG34 machine gun was fitted. This could prove critical in defending the vehicle from infantry attack or low-flying aircraft. 2,000 rounds of 7.92mm ammunition were carried for it. Beyond this, any personal weapons carried by the crew came into play for defense.

Conversions of eight to twelve FCM-36 series tanks (sources vary) was had in the latter part of 1942. Complications were experienced due to the relatively modern nature of the French tank design coupled with the ages-old leFH 16 howitzers (having debuted in World War 1). Such delays worked against the program and may represent why fewer than a dozen were ever completed. They ended up assigned to German mechanized artillery formations where they proved their worth as compact, economical solutions - if only for a short time - as all were out of service by 1944.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) Vehicle.
1 x Ricardo-Berliet 4-cylinder liquid-cooled, diesel-fueled engine developing 91 horsepower at 1,550rpm.
Installed Power
17 mph
28 kph
Road Speed
124 miles
200 km
The physical qualities of the 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) Vehicle.
15.1 ft
4.6 meters
O/A Length
7.0 ft
2.14 meters
O/A Width
7.1 ft
2.15 meters
O/A Height
24,405 lb
11,070 kg | 12.2 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) Vehicle.
1 x 105mm (10.5cm) leFH 16 howitzer.
1 x 7.92mm MG34 machine gun
50 x 105mm projectiles
2,000 x 7.92mm ammunition
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM family line.
10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM - Base Series Designation; formed from a captured stock of French FCM-36 tanks.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 8 Units

Contractor(s): State Factories - Nazi Germany
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany

[ Nazi Germany ]
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Image of the 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM
Image from the Public Domain.
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Image of the 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM
Image from the Public Domain.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The 10.5cm leFH 16 auf Geschuetzwagen FCM Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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