Hello everyone, about half a year ago (when I still wasn’t banned on EU forums), I wrote a post, dealing with the possibility to build an assault gun “derp” line for the Germans. My conclusion was that it’s hardly possible, as there are some serious gaps on mid-high tiers and the T9-T10 are problematic also. Well, some time has passed, let’s revisit that idea, shall we? There are two basic essential problems with German AG branch: depression, and gun choices. Depression is obvious – most of the “derp guns”, just like some of their Soviet counterparts, were designed to fulfill the artillery role, with good elevation, but bad depression. That rules out a whole bunch of designs, which is a problem. This becomes even worse on high tiers, but there are still some vehicles, that would fit. The second problem is worse. Basically, what you have is 70-ish mm howitzers for tier 2-3, then you have the 105mm L/28 howitzer (and its modifications) for tier 4-5, the 150mm StuH 43 for tiers 6 (maybe 7) and then there’s a huge gap, behind which are the real beasts, such as the French 210mm Beutemörser (captured mortar). This gap is found between tiers 7 and 8 as you can see, but again, it’s not something that cannot be overcome. Overall, the characteristics of the branch would be: massive (for their level) HE-based guns with HEAT shells as their premium rounds, slow firing, inaccurate, but very high alpha. Lower tiers in general would be quite fragile, but from tier 6 onwards we have some pretty well armored vehicles and while not as durable as the heavy tanks of their tiers, these TD’s can take some real punishment. Of course, the speed in general won’t be stellar, but (apart from the biggest monsters) not that bad either. What I am thinking, the whole line could look like this: Tier 2 – Krupp LSK SPG An SPG project from 1928, when Krupp Essen took a light LSK artillery tractor and armed it with a 75mm LeIG howitzer. The prototype was ready in 1930 and in 1931, the gun itself was added to the front of the vehicle. The only protection for the crew was a small gun shield. The vehicle weighted 8,9 tons and was tested from 1931 to 1933, but its terrain passability characteristics were bad, it was slow and completely unprotected. Therefore, the program was cancelled around 1934. As you can see, it’s a first step. Very fragile vehicle, but it has all the things it needs, including some traverse and possibly depresion. Don’t worry, it gets better. Tier 3 – SdKfz 165/1 Here it gets a bit more complicated. For tier 3, we need some sort of 105mm howitzer, but we can’t really have any Grille mutation (0 depression) and certain one-time conversions, because they were simply that – one time. What we need is something with a 105mm gun, but low protection and mediocre mobility, possibly with a turret, which can be “tweaked” by reducing the turret turn rate, so the vehicle doesn’t become OP. SdKfz 165/1 is the Krupp first take on the (later named) Heuschrecke concept of mobile SPG. The design was started in 1941 and the vehicle was to use as many available suspension/hull parts as possible. In the end, the Panzer IV chassis was selected – it was shortened by one roadwheel (it’s NOT a Panzer III chassis, but a shortened Panzer IV hull), with an open-topped turret with a 105mm FH 18 howitzer installed. The gun had excellent elevation (40) and depression (-10) angles and the whole 17 ton vehicle was powered by a 180hp Maybach engine, allowing it theoretically to reach 45 km/h (but I am pretty sure this would be nerfed in the game). The armor was very, very thin – 20mm in the front and 14,5mm on the sides. 8 prototypes were made and they were even tested in combat on the eastern front. While the test results were not bad, in the end, the Wespe was selected to be the Germany’s 105mm mobile SPG, mostly because it was easier to build (it used only slightly modified Panzer II hull, while the SdKfz 165/1 was quite manhour-requiring to build). As you can see, this could somehow work. The gun is not OP, the armor is non-existent and the vehicle is open-topped. Its mobility and turnrate could be tweaked for best results. Tier 4 – Feldhaubitze FH 18/40 auf GW III/IV (Sfl) At first I was thinking to use the classic Heuschrecke 10 here, but that thing has 0 depression, so it won’t do. We’ll go with the Rheinmetall prototype instead then. In 1942, Rheinmetall proposed a SPG, that was to be the competition for Krupp’s Heuschrecke 10. It was again a 105mm howitzer, placed in a fully traverseable turret, but this time, the Panzer III/IV hull was used (the same hull that was used for the Hummel and Nashorn – there’s a possibility of a “bridge” from/to the 2nd German TD line here). The vehicle’s main feature would be the very comfortable -10 depression. Both the frontal armor of the hull and of the turret was 30mm (some sources state 20mm), so it’s a bit of an upgrade from the T3, the hull sides were 20mm thick and the sides of the turret were 10mm thick. One prototype was made in 1942, but – just like with the other Heuschrecke vehicles – it never made it past the prototype stage and the whole program was eventually cancelled in favour of the Wespe. The vehicle weighted cca 25 tons and was powered by a 300hp Maybach 120 TRM engine. That means it’s relatively mobile (maximum speed 42 km/h). Could be a nice, yet fragile, T4 tank destroyer. Tier 5 – StuH 42 This one’s a no brainer and it’s widely known, so there’s no need to describe it even further (after all, in one of its configurations, it’s already in the game). This is basically the StuG III with a 105mm gun. It often (but not necesserily) carried the Schürzen (side armor). What I think is that it could differ from the current T5 StuG by having less mobility, but more side armor, plus a different gunshield, as can be seen here: Earlier, I was checking the sources for a 105mm-equipped StuG IV (that would fit better), but I couldn’t find any quite honestly. Also, the StuH 42 should represent the late model (80mm frontal armor) in order to keep the time continuity. Tier 6 – Sturmpanzer IV “Brummbär” Now we are getting to the 150mm area. Now, in my original proposal, I did “reserve” Continue reading →

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