Early self-propelled guns

Mitch has added an experience report from the Eastern Front to his blog post about the Wespe.

surviving Wespe in museum
It's the second half of the blog post and very interesting concerning the effects of having protected mobility for howitzers, especially concerning survivability and availability.

Some of the conclusions (ignoring counterfire in firing position)  were partially obsolete already by late 1944, when American heavy anti-air artillery was employed in ground battles with VT fuzed HE (above ground explosions, taking advantage of open-topped nature of vehicles such as Wespe and especially of most field fortifications) for the first time.

Wespe, with good enough camo to make it
difficult to tell from a cannon-armed tank


  1. Given how often German vehicles were strafed moving up to the front, I would imagine the lack of top cover would be missed there as well.

    Open top would still be a lot better than horse drawn.

  2. The armor plate strength was only 8 mm in its weakest parts. That's enough against the most common machine guns (same as the 2x4 mm of 75 mm AT guns), but not enough against 50cal AP from strafing fighters.

    It was really only a protection against occasional rifle or machinegun fire, frag effect and against AP mines.