German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery


Self propelled artillery on fully tracked chassis



- 150 mm gun on Panzer I chassis

- 61 photos


- coming soon


- 105 mm gun on Panzer II chassis

- 59 photos


- 105 mm gun on Stug III chassis

- 61 photos


- coming soon

SIG 33

- coming soon


- 105 mm gun on Stug III chassis

- 43 photos


- coming soon


- 150 mm howitzer on Geschützwagen III/IV

- 83 photos


- 150 mm howitzer on Panzer IV chassis

- 64 photos


- 380 mm rocket launcher on Tiger chassis

- 52 photos


- coming soon



The classic artillery, drawn by horses or motorized towing vehicles, had a crucial drawback of very limited mobility. To change position, the gun personnel had to assemble it, hook it to the carriage, take it to the new place, dismount and re-deploy it again, which was very time consuming. Beside that, the whole formation was bound to travel on the roads or just very light terrain.

To overcome these shortcomings, the gun needed to become part of the carrier, being ready to fire right from it. It was not dificult to install a light gun on a modified wheeled truck, but the resulting vehicle still had a very limited off-road capabilities and could not carry heavier artillery pieces. Soon it was clear, that the gun needs to be installed on a fully tracked chassis like the one of a tank. The firts such self-propelled gun was developed by the British in 1917. It was called Gun Carrier Mark I carrying either a 127 mm gun or a 152,4 mm howitzer. However this vehicle did not see any notable war action. No revolution took place either after the war and so the artillery generally retained it`s traditional appearance.

At the moment of World War II breakout, the self-propelled artillery still wasn`t any hot topic. Even the Germans, who well understood the power of combined-arms actions, were relying on Stuka diving bombers to support their tanks and infantry instead of highly mobile artillery. However as the war progressed, the need for self-propelled guns got more obvious.

First German designs were rather simple installations using the chassis of own obsolete light tanks or war-trophy tanks. Later on, more robust full-value designs came into production. The Germans created two categories of self-propelled artillery. „Selbstfahrlafetten“ (self propelled gun carriages) played the same role as traditional artillery – providing indirect support fire to the frontline units from the positions behind them. These machines were just lightly armored and usually carried heavy long-range guns. The other category were so called „Sturmpanzer“ or „Sturmgeschütze“ (assault guns). These vehicles were intended to advance together with the frontline units and give them a close fire support. Because they operated right on the front, they needed fully enclosed fighting compartment to protect the crew. The most famous of German assualt guns was definitely the Stug III, which was produced in large numbers and effectively acted also as a tank destroyer.