Panzerjäger I ( German Panzerjäger I or the full official name 4.7 cm Pak (t) Sfl auf Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B ) is a German anti-tank self-propelled gun . Created on the basis of the Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf tank . B and armed with the captured 47mm Czechoslovak anti-tank gun PaK. 36 (t) L / 43.4 (Skoda 47mm A-5 PUV vz. 36). It is the first serial anti-tank self-propelled guns produced by Germany during the Second World War.
"Panzerjäger I" in the Museum of Koblenz
|Combat weight, t||6.4|
|Layout diagram||rear engine compartment, transmission front, combat and center controls|
|Years of development||1939 - 1940|
|Years of production||1940 - 1941|
|Years of operation||1940 - 1943|
|The number of issued, pcs.||202|
|Length with gun forward, mm||4420|
|Type of armor||heterogeneous chromium molybdenum rolled|
|Forehead of the body (top), mm / city.||13/22 °|
|The forehead of the body (bottom), mm / city.||13/27 °|
|Board of the case (top), mm / city.||13/22 °|
|Board of the case (bottom), mm / city.||13/0 °|
|Housing feed (top), mm / city.||13/0 °|
|Housing feed (bottom), mm / city.||13/19 °|
|Housing roof, mm||6|
|Cutting forehead, mm / city.||14.5 / 27 °|
|Board towers, mm / city.||20 mm|
|Cutting board, mm / city.||14.5 / 27 °|
|Caliber and brand of guns||4.7cm PaK. 36 (t)|
|Barrel length, calibres||43.4|
|Angles VN, deg.||−8 ... + 12|
|Corners GN, hail.||−17.5 ... + 17.5|
|Firing range, km||2.8 high-explosive SprGr 36 (t)|
|Engine type||in-line |
6- cylinder liquid-cooled carburetor
|Engine power, l with.||100|
|Speed on the highway, km / h||42|
|Cruising on the highway , km||140|
|Cruising cross country, km||95|
|Specific Power, l s / t||15.6|
|Suspension type||interlocked in pairs, on leaf springs and individual on vertical springs|
|Ground pressure, kg / cm²||0.45|
|The overcome wall, m||0.37|
|The overcome ditch, m||1.4|
|Fording , m||0.6|
Creation History and Design Features
By 1940, the Panzerkampfwagen I no longer completely met the requirements of modern warfare. In order to “extend the life” of operational tanks, the Berlin-based Alkett company developed several self-propelled gun projects based on PzKpfw.I. Of greatest interest was the anti-tank self-propelled guns, equipped with the Czechoslovak trophy gun PaK 36 (t), which went to Germany as a result of the occupation of Czechoslovakia . The disadvantage of this generally successful weapon was the lack of a carriage adapted to mechanical traction, which imposed significant restrictions on its use in the German army. However, as a result of using the chassis of an outdated tank, a rather successful self-propelled gun was obtained.
The production of Panzerjäger I was organized at Alkett. According to plans, 40 cars were redone from Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B in March 1940, another 60 in April and 30 in May. Krupp was involved in the issue, which was entrusted with the task of making 60 logging. In Krupp correspondence, these machines were designated as La.S.47. Another 72 logs were released at the Deutsche Edelstahlwerke AG (DEW) plant in Hanover. Škoda was not left idle either. The Plzen factory received an order for the manufacture of guns for a tank destroyer. In reality, the last two cars built lasted a long time on Alkett. The fact is that Škoda traditionally frustrated the plan for the production of guns. The penultimate Panzerjäger I of the first series was delivered in September 1940, and the last one even later, in July 1941.
The good results of the use of installations in France served as the basis for thinking about the release of an additional series of self-propelled installations. On September 19, 1940, a contract was signed with Krupp to manufacture a batch of 70 cuttings. The cars of the second series were distinguished by the form of cutting, which received additional side sheets.
It was originally supposed that Alkett would be engaged in the alteration of Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B in Panzerjäger I, but on October 15, plans changed. The fact is that Alkett was overloaded with StuG III Ausf.B. As a result, only 10 cars were redone in Spandau. The Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz company has been identified as an alternate production site. This company, which also included Magirus, is better known for trucks. Nevertheless, it was here that from December 1940 to February 1941, 60 tanks were converted to Panzerjäger I.
Ammunition Panzerjäger I, as a rule, consisted of 74 armor-piercing and 10 fragmentation shells. In total, 202 such machines were built. Panzerjäger I participated in the French campaign , the North African campaign and operations on the territory of the USSR. The last mention of combat use dates back to 1943.
Panzerjäger I organizationally united in three-armed battalions, the company staff - 9 vehicles. One Kl.Pz.Bf.Wg received the company commanders and battalion commanders. In total, the battalion was to count 31 armored vehicles. However, in the French campaign, the 512th anti-tank battalion (Panzerjäger-Abteilung 521) consisted of companies with 6 vehicles in each. Basically, such battalions were used as separate anti-tank units.
During the French campaign, Panzerjäger I was equipped with the 521st, 616th, 643rd and 670th anti-tank battalions (99 in total). From the first days of the campaign, only the 521st PTB took part in hostilities. The rest were introduced into battles gradually, as training was completed. In battles with French tanks, Panzerjäger I showed mediocre effectiveness: the lack of armor penetration of the gun affected.
The 605th PTB, armed with 27 Panzerjäger I, took part in the North African campaign . He arrived in Tripoli on March 18-21, 1941 as part of the 5th light division. In the battles of June 1941, 3 cars were lost. 5 more cars were sent for re-equipment, but by October 2 only 3 of them arrived, the rest sank in the Mediterranean Sea along with Castellon transport. At the time of the start of Operation Cruzeider, the battalion had 27 self-propelled guns. During the British operation “Cruzader,” the battalion lost 13 vehicles. Taking into account losses and replenishment, only 11 vehicles remained in the battalion for the Second Battle of El Alamein .
To participate in Operation Barbarossa , the 521st, 529th, 616th, 643rd and 670th PTBs were formed, armed with 135 Panzerjäger I. They were distributed as follows:
|521||XXIV Corps (motorized)||2nd tank group||Army Group Center|
|529||VII Corps||4th Army||Army Group Center|
|616||4th tank group||Army Group North|
|643||XXXIX Enclosure (Motorized)||3rd tank group||Army Group Center|
|670||1st tank group||Army Group South|
In addition, a company with 9 cars was part of the motorized brigades of the Leibstandart SS Adolf Hitler and the 900th training. Thus, Germany exhibited 153 installations against the Soviet Union.
Until July 27, 1941, the 529th PTB lost 4 Panzerjäger I. On November 23, 1941, there were 16 vehicles in the reports, including 2 non-operational. Most of them, apparently, did not survive the winter of 1941/1942, since the 521st PTB reported only 5 combat-ready vehicles on May 5, 1942. The 529th PTB at the time of its disbandment on June 30, 1942 had only 2 vehicles in service. The 616th PTB was an exception because it reported on the presence of the Panzerjäger I in all 3 companies in the autumn of 1942.
By the beginning of the Barbarossa operation, sub-caliber shells had come into service, which sharply increased the anti-tank properties of the Panzerjäger I. This made it possible to fight the latest Soviet T-34 and KV 1 tanks from distances of 500-600 m. Older Soviet armored vehicles were confidently amazed with 700 m even a caliber armor-piercing shell. However, it is worth noting that the armor effect of the 47-mm sub-caliber projectile was very weak, and even when the armor was pierced, the core often cracked, lost kinetic energy and did not cause any damage to the crew and equipment. Among the shortcomings of the Panzerjäger I, identified in the conditions of the Eastern Front, congestion and, as a consequence, insufficient reliability of the chassis and transmission were noted. The engine was completely unsuitable for operation at low temperatures, and the lack of special winter lubricants in the supply only exacerbated the situation.