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10,5cm K18 auf Panzer Selbstfahrlafette IVa

History: This self-propelled gun was ordered from Krupp for the purpose of destroying heavily fortified bunkers.  Two prototypes were built, and these were presented to Hitler on 31 March 1941.  At a discussion with Hitler on 26 May 1941, it was decided that this type of vehcle be developed as heavy Panzerjäger (alongside a  proposed 12,8cm Panzerjäger) so as to be able to engage super-heavy tanks anticipated from Britain and elsewhere.  Production of the 10,5cm K18 was to start in spring of 1942.  By this time, however, requirements had changed and manufacture did not take place.
Specific features: The 10,5cm K18, fitted with a muzzle-brake, was capable of penetrating 111mm of 30° sloped armour at 2000 metres, or 132mm of vertical armour.  The high, open-topped superstructure was moderately armoured and gave an indication of forthcoming lightly armoured Panzerjäger vehicles.  The chassis was that of a Panzer IV ausf D, the two chassis being set aside from production in February 1940.
Combat service: The two 10.5cm K18 auf Panzer Sfl IVa, were issued to the 521st Panzerjäger Detachment for the proposed attack on Gibraltar.  Later, they were used in Russia with the 3rd Panzer Division.  One vehicle was destroyed and the second returned to Germany in October 1941, after considerable succes against enemy armour.

10,5cm K18 auf Panzer Selbstfahrlafette IVa

 

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