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7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (SdKfz 135)


Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH)


Nazi Germany | 1942



"French Lorraine artillery tractors formed the basis of yet another German self-propelled gun platform - the 7.5cm Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper."



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.
By the middle of the war, Germany held something of a mastery of captured weapon systems when it came to reconstituting them for new battlefield purposes. This was the case with the stock of Lorraine artillery tractors taken from the French after the Fall of France in June 1940. In time it was decided to fit the excellent 75mm PaK 40 series towed anti-tank guns of the German Army to these existing machines to produce a new type of self-propelled howitzer - the 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (Army identifier of "SdKfz 135").

The modification process for the program was relatively simple as the original French under-workings remained largely intact. Over the rear of the hull was added a light-armored, open-air superstructure for the gunnery crew and the main gun consisted of the aforementioned PaK 40 which was installed, gun mount and all (including the three-sided gun shield) into the superstructure's frontal facing. The shield was placed outside of the side walls of the superstructure so as to retain the gun's ability to traverse 32-degrees left or right from centerline (otherwise the entire vehicle was to turn into the direction of desired fire). Power was from the French DelaHaye 103TT 6-cylinder gasoline engine of 70 horsepower and road speeds reached 21 miles per hour with operational ranges out to 75 miles (46.5 cross-country).

The FuG.5 radio kit was fitted for communications and the crew totaled four men - the driver, commander and two gun handlers. The gunnery crew resided in the open-air superstructure which exposed them to the elements as well as overhead dangers - the Soviet winter was particularly brutal for these men - but the driver had the luxury of being seated within the hull. Forty rounds of 75mm ammunition could be stowed about the vehicle. The 7.92mm MG34 machine gun was installed for point defense. Overall weight of the complete vehicle was 8 tons.

The conversions were had during 1942 and the program produced some 170 gun carriers. Infantry Division Panzerjager units were some of the first groups issued the type and these were placed in immediate action along the East Front against the Soviet Union. However, the Allied threat emerging from the south and west meant that some of the stock was sent elsewhere in support. As such, some of these weapons saw action in the Normandy Campaign and the series would serve into the war's final weeks (May 1945).

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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 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH).
1 x DelaHaye 103TT 6-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine developing 70 horsepower at 2,800rpm.
Installed Power
21 mph
34 kph
Road Speed
75 miles
120 km
Range
Structure
The physical qualities of the 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH).
4
(MANNED)
Crew
6.1 ft
1.85 meters
O/A Width
16,006 lb
7,260 kg | 8.0 tons
Weight
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (SdKfz 135) Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH).
1 x 75mm (7.5cm) PaK 40/1 howitzer.
1 x 7.92mm MG34 machine gun.
AMMUNITION:
40 x 75mm projectiles.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (SdKfz 135) family line.
7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (SdKfz 135) - Base Series Designation.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (SdKfz 135). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 170 Units

Contractor(s): Paris Army Workshop - France / Krefeld Army Workshop - Nazi Germany
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany

[ Nazi Germany ]
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Image of the 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (SdKfz 135)
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.
FIRE SUPPORT / ASSAULT / BREACHING
Recognition
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 7.5cm PaK 40/1 auf Geschutzenwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) (SdKfz 135) Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) appears in the following collections:
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