now the next prototype is finished.
The Waffenträger Steyer with 88 Pak 43
“The initial designs for Waffentrager based on the large and complicated Pz III/IV were built during 1943. Wa Pruf 4 (Ordnance Proving branch 4) decided that these were too heavy and too costly for the purposes of the Artillery. In February 1944 a new specification was issued for a Waffentrager to replace towed artillery weapons. Again, the weapon was to be dismountable but from a low rear platform without special equipment. The traverse was to be 360 degrees, fire height 1.8m and elevation -8 degrees to + 45 degrees. Krupp were given overall responsibility for the project, with Rheinmetall cooperating on gun aspects, and Ardelt and Steyr developing the chassis. The light-weight project was managed by a Herr Woelfort. Initially, it was intended to have a rear drive in keeping with current thinking, but the more conventional front was adopted as it allowed a lower gun platform. Steyr produced a vehicle with running gear based on the RSO (Raupenschlepper Ost=Tracked Tractor East) but the Ardelt design with Norman 38(t) wheels was accepted for production. The engine and transmission were placed to the right of the driver, and the driver’s compartment could be folded to give increased depression to the gun. Prototypes based on the 38(t) were built in late 1944. Production was to be on the basis of the 38(d) which featured a new transmission, the Tatra 103 220PS motor, and new idler/drive sprockets. A 38(d) was tested mounting the 8.8cm was tested successfully at Hillersleben on 27 April 1945.”
(from “Encyclopedia of German Tanks” by Chamberlain and Doyle.)
The prototype of the model is ready.