15 cm Panzerwerfer auf Sf (Sd.Kfz. 4/1) at the Saumur Tank Museum
|Place of origin||Nazi Germany|
|Used by||Nazi Germany|
|Wars||World War II|
|7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 |
|Engine||6-cylinder Opel 3.6-litre engine.|
The SdKfz 4 Gleisketten-Lastkraftwagen ("chain-track truck"), was a 4.5-tonne military truck of Maultier ("mule") half-track family developed during World War II by Germany. Its manufacturer designation was Mercedes-Benz L4500R.
Development[edit | edit source]
The SdKfz 4 was developed after the 1941 invasion of the USSR to deal with the ice and mud, which bogged down the road-bound commercial vehicles that were used to supply German forces. It was modified Standard Mercedes-Benz L4500S (4x2) with Horstmann suspension instead of back axle. Another manufacturer of 4.5-t truck, Büssing planned similar conversion of its Büssing-NAG L4500S, but didn't proceeded.
A total of 22,500 Maultier halftracks were produced by 1944, among which 1480 were 4.5-t. SdKfz 4, others — 2-t. SdKfz 3. In 1943 Opel was ordered to build armored vehicles outfitted with 15 cm Panzerwerfer 42 rocket launchers. These vehicles were designated SdKfz 4/1, with around 300 produced. Given the extra weight of the Panzerwerfer, the top speed was only 24 mph (40 kph).
The vast majority of Maultiers operated using British-pattern Carden-Loyd running gear, with the exception of the Type L4500R, which used PzKpfw. II running gear. The 6-cylinder engines were mated to a transmission with 5 forward / 1 reverse gears and could attain a maximum forward speed of 40 km/h. Each halftrack was equipped with the FuG Spr G f radio.
Notes[edit | edit source]
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