15cm slG33 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf)

The 15cm slG33 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf) was the second attempt to mount the 15cm sIG 33 infantry howitzer on a tank chassis. The first attempt, in February 1940, had seen the gun mounted on a Panzer I fuselage, and although this version had been used successfully during the campaign in Western Europe in May-June 1940, the resulting vehicle was just over 9ft 2in (2.8m) high, making it too vulnerable to enemy fire.

Front view of 15cm slG33 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf)
Front view of
15cm slG33 auf
Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf)

It was hoped that a significantly lower vehicle could be produced by using the slightly larger Panzer II fuselage, and a prototype was built in February 1941, but it was soon discovered that the standard Panzer II was too small for the job. An new version of the Panzer II fuselage was designed (32cm wider and 60cm longer, and with an extra sixth road wheel) with a three sided fighting compartment constructed out of 15mm armour plating on top. The new design was only 6ft 2in (1.9m) high.

It had been hoped that production could begin in July 1941, but work on the new design progressed less quickly than expected, and the first of the twelve 15cm sIG33 (Sf)s was not completed until late in the year.

All twelve of these vehicles were sent to North Africa at the start of 1942, arriving in time to take part in the attack at Gazala. They remained in service with the German army in North Africa until the last survivor was destroyed early in 1943.

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War II, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary L. Doyle. A superb detailed reference guide that covers every type of tank, armoured car, self-propelled guns and semi-tracked vehicle that was used by the German Army between 1933 and the end of the Second World War War. An essential reference book for anyone interested in the subject. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 February 2008), 15cm slG33 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_15cm_sIG33_PanzerII.html

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