Friday, 22 April 2011

Rostov 1942 - Unusual panzerjäger

PaK 38 mounted upon Sdkfz 10.
After years of viewing newsreels and old photos I am fully aware that German soldiers performed unofficial "field modifications" in an attempt to improve their combat effectiveness.   

These oddballs crop up quite often and this suggests to me that such modifications were far from unusual.  Considering the nature of the Ostfront and the strained supply lines, it is logical that troops would make do and mend with what was to hand.  However, many of these conversions are quite elaborate - I would assume the level of modification would reflect the skills of a given unit's workshop personnel.

Anyway, looking at a newsreel concerning the recapture of Rostov in July 1942, I found a couple of interesting vehicles.

The first appears to be a fairly well known modification , whereby the PaK 38 was mounted upon it's Sdkfz 10 prime mover.  Some of these have armour plating on the front and others a more elaborate armoured cab.  In many books this vehicle is said to be a Waffen SS "special" but I have seen plenty of them crewed by Heer soldiers.  In this newsreel there appear to be two examples, one in Army use and the other alongside men of SS Wiking - perhaps it is actually the same vehicle?

Rostov 1942 -  "Ersatz" panzerjäger.
Of greater interest to me is another vehicle shown street fighting in Rostov.  This is clearly a PaK 36 (or it's 45mm Soviet clone) unofficially mounted on some kind of chassis.

This outdated weapon was certainly mounted upon a great many vehicles as an "ersatz" panzerjäger.  Ostfront PaK 36  field-mods I have seen include: Krupp "Protze", Renault UE carrier, Horch 4x4, Sdkfz 10, Bren Carrier and Komsomolets tractor.  However, the vehicle used here is not immediately obvious.

I suspect it is an half-track or "beute" AFV of some description.  I doubt it is another Sdkfz 10 as the details appear incorrect.  Sadly this was the best still I could take from the newsreel in question.

Does anyone have any ideas?


  1. Good research but no idea myself.

  2. It's a weird one that's for sure. I am out of candidates having looked at Soviet lights and armoured cars.

    I wonder if it is something French with a PaK plonked on top.