SdKfz 9October 2 2017 at 3:54 PM
|Jeff Plowman (Login JeffPlowman)|
from IP address 184.108.40.206
When did the SdKfz 9 enter service and how many were produced in 1941? I understand that 9 were produced in 1940.
Re: SdKfz 9
|October 4 2017, 2:42 AM |
The F1-version was produced in 1938 and F2 in 1939-1944 so Sdkfz 9 was in service already in Poland. There are some pics in "Famo 18 t - The military machine" (Stefan König), taken in autumn 39 and winter 39/40.
I do not know the exact production numbers, but 643 were built in 1943 and 834 in 1944. Total production number is estimated as 2500.
Perhaps someone can give the exact numbers?
Sd.Kfz 9 in Greece
|October 8 2017, 6:34 AM |
Jeff hi there,
Just to add to what Asko said. According to Stefan Koenig on 1 Sept 1939 Germans had 131 Sd.Kfz 9, in 1940 they built 240, in 1941 - 250, in 1942 - 384, 1943 - 655, 1944 - 916, 1945 - 116. Thus, totalling to 2500+.
I am not sure, possibly same book has a couple of pics of Sd.Kfz 9 with Sd.Anh 116 trailer with a damaged Pz.IV of 9.Pz.Div on top of the trailer made in March 1941, they say the photos made in sunny Bulgaria. I do not have that informative book at hand unfortunately.
Repairing the Panzers vol.2 page 136 - a nice pic of Sd.Kfz 9 (plate No. WH - 92856) towing Pz.III of 9. Pz.Div on a street of a Greek town.
|October 4 2017, 3:53 AM |
sorry for the late answer (but I can check my library only at night after work and family!).
I checked quite some books, but I found no answer for number produced before 1943 (as Asko already wrote).
I understand that F2 was only produced before the war in very few numbers and F3 was in production from 1939 to 1944 (no months) but AFAIK the main difference was the engine power output.
I agree with Asko that most probably a few should be in service already in 1939.
Yet there are some information in Spielberger "Halftracked Vehicles of the German Army 1909-1945": the Author wrote that FAMO began F3 production in 1939 and Vomag in 1940, and "On 20 December 1942 the Army had 855 of these important vehicles..."
Where did you find the number 9 for 1940?
Maybe You can ask to Lukas Friedli or Holger Erdmann directly by email.
The SdKfz 9 suitability as a recovery vehicle
|October 4 2017, 5:43 PM |
Thanks for that. My source was Wikipedia because I don't have any good references on halftracks. My interest in this is knowing:
- How many were available or issued to units in Greece in April 1941?
- How suitable was it for tank recovery in rough, hilly terrain (was this its prime function)?
- Did the Germans have something better for tank recovery around this time?
I noted that they did fit earth spades later but when and was this because it was not really good for tank recovery.
|October 5 2017, 12:23 AM |
In 1941 it was the primary AFV recovery vehicle. Kstn 1187 has 1 Famo in the recovery section for 1937 but by late 1941 is had been modified to 9 Sd.Kfz 9s and 6 Sd.Anh 116. 3 Sd.Kfz 9s and 2 Sd.Anh 116 in each recovery platoon. By the Greek campaign most Panzer divisions would be working towards the new allotment.
The Sd.Kfz 9's primary function was an AFV recovery vehicle or Prime mover for heavy artillery. Until the advent of the Tiger and Panther the Sd.Kfz 9 was the primary AFV recovery vehicle.I have read no complaints about the Sd.Kfz 9 in regards to recovery of early war Panzers. The Sd.Kfz 8 and 7 were used for recovery as well, but better suited to lighter tanks.
In difficult recoveries, various pulley rigs were utilised to increase the pulling power of the winch. Instead of using a spade, the vehicle was cabled to what ever could be used as an anchor. In very heavy going the winches of multiple Sd.Kfz 9s were combined, by pulleys, to increase the pulling power, for the recovery. I think the spade was introduced as the AFVs became heavier, but does not seem to be universal.
Sdkfz 9s in Greece
|October 5 2017, 5:52 AM |
Thanks Trevor that was most helpful. I am struggling with some research into the fighting on Greece, specifically a battlegroup from 2. Panzer-Division had quite a few tanks disabled during the fighting for Platamon Ridge on the 15th and 16th of April. They secured the ridge around midday on the 16th but spent the rest of the day recovering their tanks (possibly as many as 20 were disabled by various means), and apparently some of the next day as well as they reported having very few Mk IIs when they set off after the New Zealand infantry battalion they had opposed. Yet I know they lost one tank crossing the Pineios River, 11 were totally destroyed in the fighting on the 18th of April and a further three were damaged. So the question was why did it take so long to recover all those tanks and what did they have available to do it. Would they have had SdKfz 9s or were they having to use SdKfz 8s?
|October 7 2017, 9:42 PM |
I have no specific answers for you. There are a number of issues, that the Wehrmacht were going through at the time. From early 1941, the logistic support teams were building up repair and spare parts facilities in the east, in preparation for Barbarossa.. Equipping the new Panzer divisions was problematic. I know that at this time Panzer Regiment 5 only had one recovery platoon, instead of three. This was at a time when the number of medium tanks were expanding, making the lightweight recovery vehicles less useful.
The success of the recoveries in France were helped by the level of mechanisation of France. Facilities could be taken over as workshops, reducing the time to set up facilities.i am not sure of the level of mechanisation of Greece at the time and whether facilities were abundant in the areas that they occupied. The speed of the advance would have been an issue as well, with workshops trying to keep close to the front as well.
Then there is the terrain. There is a photo of a disabled 2nd Panzer division Panzer III, in Repaing the Panzers 2 (page 221) at the bottom of a small ravine. The hapless crew are trying to repair a completely destroyed suspension, I would imagine so that a recovery could be attempted, which would have required some heavy lifting equipment.
The Sd.Kfz 9 had reasonable off road capacity, but the Sd.Anh 116 was not that good on broken ground, which added extra issues, having to tow the AFVs to a collection point to get them back to the workshops.
|October 8 2017, 6:09 AM |
Interesting, was it taken in Greece? Can you send me a scan of the image? My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: The SdKfz 9 suitability as a recovery vehicle
|October 5 2017, 1:59 AM |
The SdKfz 9 was used towing the heavy guns/mortars, too.
If any of below mentioned guns was in service in Greece so SdKfz 9 was there. (But I think those guns were never there. It would need too much heavy job: loading/unloading/transport,...).
21cm Kanone 39(21cmK39). Transport in three loads (barrel, cradle, platform/base).
24cm K(t) auf Mörserlafette. Transport in four loads (barrel, left cradle, right cradle, base).
35.5cm M1. I do not know how this mörser was dismounted, but it was transported in seven loads.
SdKfz 9 towed also the giant guns 42cm H (t), 54cm Mörser Karl and 60cm Mörser Karl. Transport with a Culemeyer trailer in four loads. The Mörser Karl was never used in Greece and I doubt very strongly that this was the case with 42cm H (t), too. The terrain was too heavy.