The Waffenamt wanted to provide artillery support to armored units. They had proposed putting an 105 mm leFH to be mounted on a PzKpfw III or IV chassis but it was found a 15cm gun could be mounted instead.4 On July 25, 1942, this was changed to mount a 15 cm sFH, since the PzKpfw II could mount the 105 leFH.
Was originally nicknamed the Hummel (bumble bee), but Hitler order that the name be dropped on February 27, 1944.5
Early vehicles had muzzle brake installed but it was found that these were unnecessary and were removed from production in 1944.4,7
The 96 lb HE shell was fired at a muzzle velocity of 1,706'/sec and had a maximum range of 14,490 yards.6
Built on the Geschützwagen III/IV chassis, which was a hybrid of the PzKpfw III and IV.5,7,8 Developed on a PzKpfw IV chassis that was lengthened and used the drive assemblies, track, and transmission from a PzKpfw III. The engine was moved to the center as the fighting compartment was in the rear.
Early models had the glacis plate extended and a compartment for the driver was made on the left side.4 From early 1944 the crew compartment went all the way across the front and the radio operator was also placed in it.4,7
The gun crew was exposed to the elements and some would place canvas covers over them.4
Alkett presented a prototype to Hitler in October 1942.4 An order was then placed to have 100 ready by May 12, 1943, in time for the Kursk offensive.4
Armor was supplied by Stahlindustrie (Deutsche Röhrenwerke) of Mülheim/Ruhr and Deutsche Edelstahl in Hanover.
Hummel: >6008, 6664,5, 7141
Production: 1941 - ?1, 19427, December 1942 - June 19445