HORSES AND TRACTORS IN THE WEHRMACHT

HORSES AND TRACTORS IN THE WEHRMACHTHORSES AND TRACTORS IN THE WEHRMACHTThis is one of the photos since the beginning of the great Patriotic war. Comments can be found in the diaries of the chief of the General staff of the Wehrmacht F. Halder, who noted: “Autumn, and especially winter 1941, unkind met part of the Wehrmacht. Difficulties with the supply of led motorized units in the disabled state, adversely impact on their mobility. Impassable mud were forced to stop even tracked vehicles”. The inability of the automotive transport in these conditions has sharply raised the value of animal-drawn transport in the German army.

 
By 1940, the armed forces of Germany was 771 thousand horses and mules. The war with the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht started, having in their ranks they have about a million. The horse has become “the main driving force of German troops”. Apparently, therefore, by 1943 the number of “units draft force” the troops reached 1,380 thousand.
 
In the Wehrmacht on the arms were specially designed standard horse-animal-drawn vehicles military pattern. Type Hf1 was a two-horse “crew” weight 650 kg, covered with “low-profile tent.” Had a capacity of 750 kg – with a single denote. Other -the type Hf2 – is a heavy denote carts, they were covered with iron sheets and had rubber wheels. They were already pulled by four horses, because they were really heavy -weight 1024 kg; they were carrying loads of up to 1720 kg.
 
There is evidence that the Germans in the period 1939 – 1945 was used in the army more than three million horses: they accounted for 90% of draft power, and in all infantry divisions artillery had a horse pull.
 
It is recognized, and the German military figure, General of artillery of the Wehrmacht M. Fretter Pico in his book “the Strategic mistakes of the Wehrmacht” published only in 2013, He pointed out, in particular, to the events that took place in the autumn of 1941 in Ukraine: “the Mobility division provided horse-drawn. Many vehicles, for example, the Paris utility vehicles, which were equipped with division, couldn’t drive in slush” and then continues: “the Division submitted an application to trucks, which, undoubtedly, would justify”.
 
Note, however, that the Germans themselves admitted the weakness of its as wheeled and tracked tractors, which consisted then in service with the Wehrmacht. In slush they are hopelessly stuck in the winter could not overcome the deep snow. Such machines are unlikely to be able to successfully help the division of General.
 
Was required to replace the immensely overgrown horse pulling power, such insatiable, on mechanical. The Wehrmacht desperately needed artillery tractor with tracked chassis, a reliable, but simple in design.
 
RSO/1 mod. 1942
 
RSO/1 mod. 1942
 
RSO/3 mod. 1943
 
The RSO/3, 1943.
 
The truck tractor Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO abbreviated) like our artillery tracked STZ-5 and
 
The truck tractor Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO abbreviated) like our artillery tracked STZ-5 and “Stalinist”. Weight is 3.8 tons, tractive effort of about 3 T.
 
Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO abbreviated) translated literally meant
 
Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO abbreviated) translated literally meant “tractor, next to the East.” It was thought that this name was given to Hitler. On the photo: the RSO on the Eastern front. Winter 1943
 
Had Hitler “authority to use” and make an army of specialists to adopt the new draft of the tractor of the tractor type of our artillery tracked STZ-5 and “Stalinist” for further development. It is believed that Hitler gave him the title Raupenschlepper Ost (abbreviation: RSO), which translated literally meant “tractor, next to the East.” The project of the new machine was developed by engineers of well-known concern Steyr-Daimler-Puch under the direction of Professor F. Porsche. According to him, the tractor had to answer urgent technical requirements: to have good maneuverability off-road, high load carrying capacity and powerful towing capabilities, reliability in the climatic conditions of the Eastern front, but also be cheap to manufacture, and to manufacture it would not have taken some valuable raw material. It was thought that he should replace all available in army light tractor.
 
In 1942, the draft had been made some changes in the drafting of which was attended by Hitler himself. After that, Steyr-Daimler-Puch has received an order for production of 50 prototypes of the RSO tractor. However, its large-scale serial production began only in 1943 in the factories of several companies of Auto Union, klöckner-Deutz-Magirus, Ulm Gref and Pin, wanderer.
 
Edition tractor Raupenschlepper Ost really become a mass – 28 151 unit until the end of the war.
 
The basis of the tractor was developed in the production truck “Steyr” 1500/02 (Steyr), from which it borrowed the main components, of course, as much as was possible. So, transmission is fully consistent with the used truck. However, the engine of the tractor mounted a more powerful, 8-cylinder, 85-horsepower carbureted Steyr 1500A capacity 3.5 liters.
 
Tractor RSO gradually replaced other light trucks of the Wehrmacht. Changed and hundreds of thousands of horses on mechanical traction. Photo: the RSO tractor with a light field a 105 mm howitzer in tow. Northern France, October 1943, Archives of the Bundeswehr
 
Tractor RSO gradually replaced other light trucks of the Wehrmacht. Changed and hundreds of thousands of horses on mechanical traction. Photo: the RSO tractor with a light field a 105 mm howitzer in tow. Northern France, October 1943, Archives of the Bundeswehr
 
Self-propelled 7.5 cm Cancer 40 test firings. To increase the angle of fire with lateral firing under the tracks on the beams
 
Self-propelled 7.5 cm Cancer 40 test firings. To increase the angle of fire with lateral firing under the tracks on the beams
 
Cargo platform RSO turned open body with low drop sides. The center has established 75-mm antitank gun RAK-40, leaving him 5-mm regular shield
 
Load the RSO turned open body with low drop sides. The center has established 75-mm antitank gun RAK-40, leaving him 5-mm regular shield
 
To reduce the cost of production of road wheels started churning from steel sheet without rubber bands. The caterpillars even made of alloy steel. Put in suspension quarter-elliptical leaf springs. This was controlled by a simple blocking of the left or right tracks. Double cabin all-metal was heated, cargo platform, made of wood, had a canvas top.
 
Flotation machines was accompanied by a very high ground clearance of 550 mm. the Velocity was low – up to 20 km/h, but quite sufficient when towing. 180-litre fuel capacity allowed a range of up to 250 km.
 
After some time on the car installed more than reliable diesel 4-cylinder KNV F4L 514 with 70 HP. Again, to reduce the cost of production has simplified the shape of the cabin, it began manufacturing of wood and iron sheets, covered with tarpaulins.
 
Tractor weight equal to 3.8 so had a capacity of 1.25 t, pulling force up to 3 T. He was awarded the index of the RSO/03.
 
Tractor Raupenschlepper Ost was gradually replaced with other light trucks of the Wehrmacht, including half-track transport trucks types Sd.Kfz, sWS. There was a replacement, it can be said without exaggeration, hundreds of thousands of horses on mechanical traction.
 
Durable and reliable tractor RSO has become very popular on the Eastern front. He entrusted all the work inherent in vehicles. And not only in military units RSO was used as a tractor 50-mm, 75-mm, 88-mm guns, light howitzers, guns Cancer 33.
 
RSO tractor very satisfactorily proved itself in different weather conditions and when driving on rough terrain of the Eastern front. Therefore, in the summer of 1943, the military command of the Wehrmacht decided to use it as a carrier of weapons. The obvious difficulties were associated with a small area of the loading platform. Had to “construct” open body with folding wooden sides (again, due to the savings in metal). The center has established 75-mm antitank gun RAK-40, leaving him 5-mm regular shield. But the gun was too long barrel, which prevented a covered cabin. Here found a simple way out of this situation – the cab was cut, leaving only its lower part and having 5-mm armor from bullets and shrapnel. Thus, firm Steyr-Daimler-Pooh “has developed a” self-propelled anti-tank installation 7.5 cm РаК40 auf Raupenschlepper Ost (Sf).
 
SAU 7.5 cm Cancer 40 Ost
 
SAU 7.5 cm Cancer is 40 Ost
 
1 – 75-mm anti-tank gun Cancer 40; 2 – gun shield; 3 – tail and side gun platform; 4 – leading rear wheel; 5 – front guide wheel; 6 – a workplace of the commander; 7 – front openers guns; 8 – breech guns; 9 – gun mounting platform; 10 – back openers tools; 11 – working place of the driver; 12 – muzzle brake

 
SAU 7.5 school Cancer 40 ready to fire at the firing position. Calculation - five people, including the driver. Winter 1944, the Eastern front
 
ACS Cancer 40 7.5 secondary school in readiness for shooting at the firing position. Calculation – five people, including the driver. Winter 1944, the Eastern front
 
Option is self-propelled with shelter guns and artillery calculations tent
 
The option is self-propelled with shelter guns and artillery calculations tent
 
Gun PAK 40 was the most common in the Wehrmacht. Their production amounted to 23 303 units. They were established in 1942 – 1944 on the ACS “Mar-der” on the chassis of tanks “Guccis” and T-IV, armoured personnel carriers, caterpillar tractor C50.
 
These guns were developed by “Rheinmetall-Borsig” in 1936, but only in 1942 they appeared in the army. Their main purpose – the defeat of armored vehicles, especially tanks. But the ammunition was attended by high-explosive shells, allowing effectively to struggle with manpower to suppress the weapon emplacements, destroy various fortifications. In fairness, I must say that these guns were very dangerous to our tanks of the time.
 
Mounted on the RSO guns could lead a circular firing. The obstacle was only an awning stretched over the tractor. In this case, the horizontal movement was limited to 30° in both directions, vertical was + 22°. The best distances to engage tanks from 40 Cancer based on prenepremenno the ability of shells was considered the distance up to 800 – 900 m, while the effective firing range was equal to 1500 m. the Aiming took place with the help of the device ZF3.
 
The shells of the gun ammunition was located in the combat pack, laid directly on the floor of the platform. The calculation of the machine was reduced to 4 people, although only in the artillery crew had to go 6-8.
 
Presentation of the new artillery units occurred on October 1, 1943, it was attended by all army authorities and Hitler himself. ACS caused universal approval, has been highly praised and, despite the fact that she has not yet passed military tests, the Fuhrer gave an indication of the production of 50 prototypes and further preparation for the mass release to hundreds of units monthly. He was enraptured with the high cross and maneuverability, stopping power, penetration of the projectile and the promised low cost of production.
 
Self-propelled 7.5 cm Cancer 40 Ost on the basis of the RSO tractor. The exposition of the world war II Museum in Lommel, Belgium
 
Self-propelled 7.5 cm Cancer 40 Ost on the basis of the RSO tractor. The exposition of the world war II Museum in Lommel, Belgium

 
Military trials of ACS held on the Eastern front in January 1944, Along with them have passed the exam of anti-aircraft 20 mm anti-aircraft gun FlaK 38 on a mountain gun carriage, also in an experimental order placed on the chassis of the RSO.
 
Production schedule from March to July 1944, provided for the progressive release of ACS 7.5 cm РаК40 auf Raupenschlepper Ost (Sf) increases from 50 to 400 units per month. However, this plan proved impracticable, in particular, due to the fact that the instrument Cancer 40 required for mass production of a light tank destroyer “Hetzer”, but also for military troops.
 
There were manufactured about 100 units РаК40 Ost (according to others, only 60) – so very any Fuhrer installation. Although German soldiers have deciphered the acronym RSO in its own way – as Rollender sarg Ost, meaning “East-Propelled coffin”.
 
In 1943 – 1944 German designers planned to create on the basis of the RSO three different types of fighters tanks with 88-mm anti-tank guns. In addition, there were prototypes truck amphibians, prototypes of a truck tractor with a transport trailer for 50 soldiers and ambulances. Understand the reasons why projects were not implemented.
 
PRODUCTION OF THE RSO TRACTOR
 
PRODUCTION OF THE RSO TRACTOR
 
The ARMOR piercing SHELLS GUNS Cancer 40
 
ARMOR piercing SHELLS GUNS Cancer 40
 
This might be the end of the performance RSO readers, if not less interesting consequences of its “life”. German tractor was restored in the Leningrad Kirov plant. Then the forest harvesting sector has needed a tractor for harvesting and logging.
 
Studies have shown that the most suited for this German RSO with its high ground clearance. And the elaboration of “similar articles” under the symbol KT-12 began the designers of the Kirov tractor Bureau “using the chassis of captured German artillery tractor “Steyr”. In the fall of 1947, a few prototypes of the tractor with a power gas generator was tested in the timber industry of the Leningrad region. After a few perekidat from plant to plant, its production stopped at the Onega tractor plant in Petrozavodsk engine GD-30 35 HP In January 1949 began serial production of the skidder KT-12. The tractor was produced until 1956 Was made 13 thousand units.
 
A Testament to its advantages can serve as the Stalin prize, awarded in 1948 the team of designers headed by J. Kotin “For the creation of a new tractor for logging”.
 
TACTICAL AND TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TRACTOR RSO
 
Combat weight, kg……………………………..3 800
Crew…………………………………………2
Length, mm……………………………………….4425
Width, mm……………………………………1990
Height, mm……………………………………..2530
Ground clearance, mm……………………………………..550
Engine………………………8-cylinder petrol Steyr 1500A power of 85 horsepower, 1944 – diesel 4-cylinder KHBF4L514 with 70 HP.
Transmission…………….a four-speed transmission, four gears forward, one back
Brake……….hydraulic on the drive wheels and guide
Suspension……………….four anchor skating rink on Board, idler front, leading, rear suspension – leaf spring
Width caterpillars, mm…………………………340
Maximum speed, km/h……………..20
The volume of tanks, l…………………………180 (140)
Load capacity, kg……………………..1250
Tractive force, kg………………………to 3000
Overcoming obstacles in m:
the width of the pit……………………………………..1,7
fording depth……………………………….0,67
the gradient, grad………………………………………30
 
FEATURES GUNS Cancer 40
 
Caliber, mm…………………………………………75
Barrel length, CLB………………………………46
Barrel length with muzzle brake, mm…………………3710
Mass of gun in firing position, kg…………………..1425
The rate of fire, RDS./min…….12-14
Max firing range, m……………………8100
Effective firing range, m……………….1500
 
The PERFORMANCE characteristics of the ACS 7.5 cm Cancer is 40 Ost
 
Combat weight, kg………………………………5200
Crew…………………………………………4
Length, mm……………………………………….4570
Width, mm……………………………………1990
Height, mm……………………………………..2600
Ground clearance, mm……………………………………..550
Track, mm……………………………………….1350
Engine………………………8-Steyr 1500A cylinder carburetor liquid-cooled; power 85 HP at 3000 rpm, a working volume of 3517 cm3
The voltage in the electrical system, ………..12
Speed km/h……………………………………17
The volume of fuel tanks, l………………..180
Reserve, km…………………………………..300
Fuel consumption, l/100 km:
on the highway………………………………………….60
the lane……………………………………120
Specific power, HP/t………………..13,5
Caterpillar:
the width of the tracks……………………………….340
the width of the winter tracks……………………600
the number of tracks……………………………65
Gun platform, mm:
length…………………………………………..2100
width………………………………………..1860
Weapons………75-mm anti-tank gun Cancer 40
The deflection angle, grad…………………………………..±30
The elevation angle, deg……………………………-5 – +22
Sight…………………………………….ZF3 3×80
The rate of fire, RDS./min…….12- 14
Ammunition, shells………………………..28
Towed load, kg………………………2000
Radio……………..FuG15 or FuG16

 
V. TALANOV

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