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Germany's 15cm schwerer Infanteriegeschütz 33(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H Grille, SdKfz 138/1 "Cricket", "Bison";
15cm schwerer Infanteriegeschütz 33/1 auf Selbstfahrlafette 38(t) (SF) Ausf K, SdKfz 138/1 "Cricket",
15 cm S.I.G. 33 auf GW 38(t), SdKfz 138/1:

Photos

sIG 33 PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H self propelled gun
Germany's sIG 33 PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H self propelled gun

sIG 33 PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H self propelled gun
Germany's sIG PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H self propelled gun

sIG 33 PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf K self propelled gun
Germany's sIG 33 PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf K self propelled gun

Design

Development of the sIG 33 PzKpfw 38(t) started in late 1942.2

Conversions

Some of the early models were converted when they came back to the factory for work.2 The sIG 33 gun was mounted on the body with an armored shield built around it.2 The engine area was covered so it could store ammunition.2

Prototype

Alkett delivered a prototype based in the PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H chassis.2,5 An ordered was placed for 200 to be built on the PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf K chassis.2 These chassis weren't ready so the PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H chassis was used initially in production.2

Production

The PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf M chassis was used for the majority of production.2

  • sIG 33(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H: 901
    • Production: February 19431,2 - April 19431
    • Manufacturer: BMM1,5
  • sIG 33(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf K: 2821
    • Production: April 1943 - June 1943, October 1943 - September 19441
    • Manufacturer BMM1
      • Chassis: BMW-Alkett3
      • Gun: Rheinmetall-Borsig3
  • sIG 33(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf M:
  • Total: 3704,5
    • Production: 1942 - 19445

Variants

  • 15cm sIG 33(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H, SdKfz 138/1: Used Czechoslovakian 38(t) Ausf H chassis and was converted by Alkett. Engine was mounted in rear to expedite production.2,4 The fighting compartment was extended over the engine.
    In June 1944, there were 12 issued (6 each) to the 38th Panzer schwere Infanteriegeschütz Abteilung of the 2nd Panzer Division.
  • 15cm sIG 33/1(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf K, SdKfz 138/1: Produced by Böhmisch-Mährisch. The engine was mounted in the front and the gun towards the rear.2,3,4,5 Maximum range 4,700 meters. Used FuG16 radio.1
    The gun fired a 83.8 lb HE shell at a muzzle velocity of 787'/sec. to a range of 5,140 yards.3
  • 15cm sIG 33 Ausf M:
  • ??: Ammunition carrier.2 Used the PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf M chassis.2

Usage

They served in Russia, Tunisia, Italy, and France.

They were issued to the schwere Infanteriegeschütz companies of the Panzergrenadier regiments.

Issued to Panzergrenadier regiments from early 1943 and served on all fronts.

Late War

As of February 1945 there were still 173 Grilles still being used.2

Specifications

  15cm sIG 33(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H, SdKfz 138/1, Bison
Crew 51
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 25,760 lb, 25,353 lb
11.5 tons1
Length 15' 1.5"
4.61 m1
Height 7' 10.5"
2.4 m1
Width 7' 1"
2.16 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1.5 cm s.I.G. 33 L/115
1.5 cm sIG33/1 L/121
Secondary  
MG 7.92 MG341
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 151
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 25@12°1
Hull Front, Lower 50@15°1
Hull Sides, Upper 151
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°1
Hull Rear 15@10°1 & 15@16°1
Hull Top open1
Hull Bottom 8@90°1
Superstructure Front Gun shield: 15@12°1
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Praga EPA/21
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse1
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 5° left, 5° right1
hand1
Speed - Road 21.7 mph
35 kph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 185 km1
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -3° to +72°1
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  15cm sIG 33/1(SF) auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf K, SdKfz 138/1, Bison
Crew 41,3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 26,880 lb, 26,455 lb
12 tons1, 12.7 tons3
Length 16' 2.75", 16.7'3
4.95 m1
Height 8' 1", 8.2'3
2.47 m1
Width 7', 7.3'3
2.15 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 16"3
Ground contact length 102.75"3
Ground pressure 10.1 psi3
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 150 mm sIG33/21
15 cm s.I.G. 33, L/113
Secondary  
MG 7.92 MG341
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 153, 181
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 0.75"3
Side: 0.5"3
Hull Front, Upper 10@67°1
Hull Front, Lower 20@15°1
Hull Sides, Upper 10@15°1
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°1
Hull Rear 10@0°1 & 10@41°1
Hull Top 8@90°1
Hull Bottom 10@90°1
Superstructure Front 0.44"3
Gun shield: 10@9°1
Superstructure Sides 0.38"3
Gun shield: 10@16°1
Superstructure Rear Gun shield: 10@17°1
Superstructure Top open1
Engine (Make / Model) Praga AC1
Praga THNP3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water3
Cylinders I-63
Capacity  
Net HP 1253
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Praga-Wilson preselective3
5 forward, 1 reverse.1,3
Steering Clutch brake3
Steering ratio  
Starter Hand and electric3
Electrical system 12-volt3
Ignition Magneto3
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse ±5°3
5° left, 5° right1
hand1
Speed - Road 22 mph3
35 kph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 115 miles3
190 km1
Range - Cross Country 87 miles3
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -3° to +72°3, -0° to +73°1
Fording depth 34.5"3
Trench crossing 6.3'3
Vertical obstacle 33.5"3
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope3
Suspension (Type) Wheels on 2 bogies with 1/2 elliptic springs3
Wheels each side 43
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin3
Length  
Width 12.25"3 (shoe 11.5")3
Diameter  
Number of links 933
Pitch 4.25"3
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5.9'3
  Grille 15cm Heavy Infantry SPG Ausf M2
Crew 42
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12 tons2
12,192 kg2
Length 16' 3"2
4.95 m2
Height 8' 1"2
2.47 m2
Width 7' 1"2
2.15 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 5.91" sIG 33/22
15 cm sIG 33/22
Secondary  
MG 1: 0.312" MG342
1: 7.92 mm MG342
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 182
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 152
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Superstructure Front  
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Praga AC2
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 62
Capacity  
Net HP 1502
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 26 mph2
42 kph2
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 118 miles2
190 km2
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  3. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  4. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  5. Profile AFV Weapons #22 Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) & 35(t), John Milsom, 1970
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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