SdKfz 124 Wespe

German self-propelled gun SdKfz 124 leFH18 on Panzer II ‘Wespe’ (‘Wasp’)

SdKfz 124 Wespe

SdKfz 124 Wespe in action at the front.

Germany-flagWespe (SdKfz 124, leFH18 on Panzer II)
Type: Self-propelled light field howitzer on tracked carriage.

History:

The Wespe (Wasp) was designed by Alkett early in 1942, and was chosen as the most practical self-propelled mount for the leFH18 over the Panzer 3 and Panzer 4.

As an interim measure, the Wespe proved a great success and in February 1943, all further Panzer 2 chassis were ordered to be used for its production. The initial order for 1,000 was cut back to 835 late in 1943. This total included 159 (without leFH18/2) designated Munitions-Sf auf Fgst PzKpfw II (Ammunition-SP on chassis (of) AFV II) which carried 90 extra-rounds with a crew of three.

The Wespe was built on a modified PzKpfw II chassis with the hull slightly lengthened, the engine moved forward, line glacis extended and the cooling-system louvres completely re-designed. The suspension was altered slightly by reducing the number of return rollers from four to three, and by adding spring bumper stops for the road wheels to absorb the recoil loadings. The driver occupied a small compartment forward, next to the transmission, and separated from the remainder of the crew who were located in the rear fighting compartment which was built up from sloping plates. The design of the Munitions-Sf version still allowed the installation of the leFH18/2 by Field Maintenance as replacement for unserviceable Wespe.

The Wespe was issued to SP detachments of the artillery regiments in Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions. Its first major action was at Kursk in Russia, and it saw active service in the east, west and south-west until the end of the war.

Users: Germany.


Animated 3D model SdKfz 124 Wespe


Specifications for SdKfz 124 Wespe (leFH 18 on PzKpfw II)

Specifications
SdKfz 124 Wespe Specification
Type Self-propelled light field howitzer on tracked carriage
Engine Maybach HL62TRM with 140 hp
Gearbox 6 forward, 1 reverse
Crew total 5
Turret crew 4
Length 4.81 m
Width 2.28 m
Height 2.3 m
Weight 11 tons
Maximum speed 40 km/hr
Cross-country speed 24 km/hr
Fuel consumption per 100km road 120 litres, cross-country 180 litres
Fuel 170 litres (in 2 tanks)
Road radius 140 km
Cross-country radius 90 km
Vertical obstacle 0.42 m
Trench crossing 1.70 m
Fording depth 0.80 m
Turning circle 4.80 m
Gradient 30°
Armour
SdKfz 124 Wespe mm angle
Turret front
Turret side -
Turret rear
Turret top open
Superstructure front 20 30°
Superstructure side 15
Superstructure rear 8
Superstructure top 10 90°
Hull front 30 15°
Hull side 15
Hull rear 15 10°
Hull bottom 5 90°
Gun mantlet 10 16-24°
Armament and Equipment
SdKfz 124 Wespe Specification
Main armament 10.5cm leFH18M L/28
Rounds 32 (ammunition carrier: 90)
Traverse 17° left; 17° right
Elevation -5°; +42°
Muzzle velocity AP: 470 m/s; HE: 495 m/s
Shell weight AP: 14.0 kg; Gr39 H1/A: 12.3 kg; Gr39 H1/B: 12.1 kg; Gr39 H1/C: 12.35 kg
Secondary armament 7.92 mm MG 34 (loose)
Radio ?
Telescopic sight Rblf36 (range 2,000 m)

t_arrow1see also: 105mm leFH 18

Penetration mm at 30° armour plates of the gun
Range PzGr39 Gr39 H1/A Gr39 H1/B Gr39 H1/C
100 meters 63 mm 80 mm 90 mm 100 mm
500 meters 59 mm 80 mm 90 mm 100 mm
1000 meters 54 mm 80 mm 90 mm 100 mm
1500 meters 50 mm 80 mm 90 mm 100 mm
2000 meters 46 mm - -
Production
SdKfz 124 Wespe data
Production February 1943 – July 1944
Combat delivery instantly
Price per tank ? (PzKpfw II: c. 50,000 RM)
Total production figure (all) 676 + 159 ammunition carriers
Service statistics of SdKfz 124 Wespe
Year Available Production Losses
before 1939
1939 (Sep)
1940
1941 -
1942
1943 514 ?
1944 ? 162 ?
1945 ? ?
TOTAL 676 ?
Call of War
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