Thursday, 28 April 2011

Panzerspähwagen BA(F) 203(r) "Stummel" ?

"Beute" Soviet BA-6.
Of late I have been looking for a "mount" for "Major von Hächtel" the commander of my 28mm Kampfgruppe.  I have considered using a Panzer, SPW or even a "beute" T70 but all seem a bit boring.  Then last night I found an unmade "Force of Arms" BA-6 in bubble wrap!  The cogs started whirring and an old idea was suddenly resurrected.

The BA-3/6 was captured in large quantities by the advancing Wehrmacht.  They were used widely in security units but also found their way into front line units.  Sometimes you see them with the bulky T26 turret removed and an MG fitted in improvised shields of varying complexity.  I have even seen one with what looks like a 2,0cm KwK 30 in a semi-fixed mounting.  So far so good.

Mock-up for the BA-Stummel.
I want something a little unusual for the august Major and started thinking along the lines of an 7,5cm L/24 howitzer - as mounted on Sdkfz 233 (6* and 8 wheel) 234/3, 250 (old‡ and new) and 251.  I created a little mock-up with MS paint and it looks acceptable in terms of size.  When comparing the details to the Sdkfz 250 it is obvious that the BA-6 is indeed of a similar size and weight.  So I wonder: "Is there sufficient room in the rear  compartment to handle the weapon?"

So many unofficial conversions are apparent in photos and newsreels that I am of the opinion that "if it could be done, it probably was"  I am sure the recoil would not be great for the BA's health in the long-term (then neither is a PaK 38's good for an Sdkfz 250 - but it is a known field-mod!)  However, expediency on the battlefield seemed, as always, to be the greatest consideration.  If you look at "Endkampf" kit you can see some seriously strange conversions - so my argument is that von Hächtel was just a bit ahead of his time in winter 43/44!

Early production Sdkfz 251/9.
I would be most interested in any comments from people who are familiar with the internal layout of the BA-3/6 and could tell me if there was room enough for two standing crew members after removal of the turret.

*There are unsubstantiated reports of the short 75mm being mounted on the 6-rad Sdkfz 232. 

‡The prototype Sdkfz 250/8s were built (1943) on old style chassis.

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