Jagdpanther. Ferdinand. Jagdtiger. Everyone here has heard of those monsters and a lot of people even play them in World of Tanks. Lot of people knows also about the E-series and - at least generally - about Waffenträgers. But there were others. Some where products of improvisation and German engineering, others were born of sheer desperation - but they existed. Let's have a look at some not that many people have heard about - well, at least not those who don't own the fabled Panzer Tracts from Mr. Jentz and Mr. Doyle. Please note that I completely skipped halftrack and armored car TD designs, as those have zero chance of implementation in WoT.
10,5 cm LG 5.240 auf Gepanzerter Munitionsschelepper VK 3.02
This is a project from September 1941 by Rheinmetall-Borsig (gun) and Krupp (turret) to arm the VK 3.02 ammo carrier with a 105mm recoilless gun. Only a mock-up was ever built.
Armor: cca 15mm
Engine: Borgward 6M
Speed: cca 37 km/h
Weight (ammo carrier alone): 3,7 tons
Weapon: 105mm recoilless LG 5.240
Another conversion concieved in 1941 included a 50mm PaK 38 cannon on the same platform, which was concieved as a light tank destroyer for infantry and parachute forces. The development however got delayed and only two prototypes were built and sent on 1.7.1942 to 19th Panzer Division for testing. However, their performance remains a mystery, as the relevant paperwork disappeared.
3,7cm PaK 36 auf R35(f)
A 37mm PaK mounted on captured Renault R-35 tank. There is no additional info available on this vehicle, as only this picture seems to exist. There were more such 37mm conversions, usually unique, for example the 37mm PaK 35/36 mounted on Panzer I chassis which was used for training:
3,7 cm PaK 36 auf Selbstfahrlafette Bren(e)
After the Dunkerque operation a number of British Brencarriers (Universal Carriers) was captured. A few of them were armed with 37mm PaK and used for secondary duties (patrolling captured territories and such) and for training. As far as it is known, none have ever seen any combat. This is however not the only Brencarrier conversion. Germans also modified an unknown number of Brencarries with (also captured) British 2pdrs. Considering the fact this vehicle was obsolete by the time it was "introduced", it was most likely also used for policing and training. This is how it looked:
37mm PaK 36 auf T-20
Another interesting German conversion - a 37mm PaK mounted on the Soviet T-20 "Komsomolec" artillery tractor. It's worth noting the Soviets had something like this, called the ZiS-30 (which is scheduled to appear as a premium Soviet tank destroyer), mounting a 57mm gun. This vehicle was used in combat on the eastern front (as can be seen from the "kill rings" on the barrel of the vehicle on the second picture), but it's unknown how many were made and it's also clear that the combat value of such a conversion was very low - it was most likely a stopgap measure.
37mm TaK auf Hanomag WD-25
This is a 1923 Hanomag Raupenschlepper tractor, selected in 1927 by Reichswehr to be a weapons carrier. The number in its name means it had 25 horsepower (there was a 50 horsepower version called WD-50). This is the great-grandfather of German tank destroyers actually.
The weapon it carried was the early 37mm Tankabwehrkanone (anti-tank gun) from Rheinmetall, firing 0,7kg shots at 760 m/s. The elevation and depression was -5/+15 degrees and the gun could be tilted 30 degrees to both sides. The crew was practically unprotected - only the gun shield provided some sort of cover. The vehicle was never build in series and due to the Versailles treaties, it was tested in Russia.
Engine: Hanomag VD 25hp
Speed: unknow, presumed 5 km/h
Weight (ammo carrier alone): 3,3 tons
Weapon: 37mm Rheinmetall TaK L/45
50mm KwK38 L/42 auf Matilda(e)
50mm PaK38 auf Brückenleger IVc
Another interesting conversion of a bridgelayer Panzer IV vehicle, probably unique. The tank was allegedly serving with 18th Panzer Division and 3rd Panzer Division and it was photographed in winter 1941/1942 near Kharkov.
5cm PaK auf Panzer II Ausf.G
This is an interesting vehicle. This time, it was no stopgap field conversion, this is the "real deal". In July 1940, the German army ordered a new light tank destroyer developed on the chassis of Panzer II Ausf. G, armed with a 50mm gun, mounted in an open turret. Two prototypes were supposedly built in September 1941 and transferred for testing to the unit designated 3.Kp./Pz.Jg.Abt. (Sfl.)559. They fough on the eastern front and one vehicle is listed as operational on 20.8.1942. After that their traces disappear.
Various 50mm conversions
There were various platforms used to carry the 50mm cannon of several versions. Here's the old French Schneider (licensed Caterpillar) tractor converted by Germans to carry the aforementioned gun. The vehicle surrendered near La Rochelle
The 7,5cm PaK 40 Lorraine37L conversions are known. But one unique vehicle was equipped with the 50mm cannon instead. It was used by the French resistance unit designated 1.Groupement Mobile de Reconnaissance - in fact it's not clear whether it was the Germans who made this conversion, or the French themselves.
And another such an unique conversion was made by 23rd Panzer Division (Pz.Jg.Abt.128) - this time, a Panzer II was converted to carry the 50mm gun. It was clearly inspired by the Marder vehicle series.
7,5 cm PaK 40 auf Fgst. PzKpfw.39H(f)
This conversion, not unlike the PaK 40 auf FCM (which is better known) was built by the Germans on the Hotchkiss H-39 light tank chassis - these light tanks were captured in significant numbers during the fall of France. 62 were made in 1942 and from what I remember, they took part during the battles in France.
75mm PaK auf Light Tank Mk.VI (Mk736(e))
Probably a single prototype of this 75mm armed vehicle was built, unknown where or when. The basis was the MkVI chassis - some of these vehicles were captured in the aftermath of the Dunkerque operation and used (amongst other things) to mount German 105mm howitzers to serve as improvised SPGs (although to my knowledge they never really fired in anger).
75mm PaK 40/4 auf RSO
This vehicle usually pops up from time to time in the "most ridiculous tanks" forums threads all over the internet. It's basically a Steyr RSO artillery tractor, converted to carry a 75mm PaK. Around 80 were made in 1944 and they served both in the west and in the east. It obviously wasn't a very successful design, the crew was completely exposed, the only advantage it had was that the crew didn't have to carry the AT PaK thru mud and snow by themselves.
Armor: none (the gun shield was 4mm thick)
Engine: Steyr V8, 70hp
Speed: cca 17 km/h
Weight (ammo carrier alone): 5,4 tons
Weapon: 75mm PaK 40/4
75mm L/70 VK1602 Leopard
Although I don't really have a scanned picture of that, there was a project to actually create a light tank destroyer with the KwK 42 Panther gun based on the Leopard chassis from autumn 1942 (designated Sturmgeschutz auf Leopard (L/70)). The project was cancelled when the VK1602 Leopard was scrapped. Another design was concieved actually - to mount the same gun on the VK903 light tank chassis. Also stayed on the drawing boards.
7,5 cm PaK 97/38 auf T-26(r)
Yet another very interesting conversion - this time of the captured Soviet T-26 tanks. In 1943 10 pieces were made by removing the T-26 turrets and replacing them with a French 75mm Mle 98 AT gun. The crew was practically unprotected, because the suspension couldn't carry the weight of additional steel plates. These vehicles served with the 3.Kompanie 563.PzJägAbt. In march 1944, they were declared as obsolete and phased out of service.
7,5-cm Selbstfahrlafette PaK (Škoda) (also VOSS I)
A quite obscure project from 1941/1942 by Škoda. Based on the obsolete T-21/T-22/T-23M Czech medium tank chassis, it was supposed to carry the 75mm Škoda A16 cannon on the top of the hull. Very little is known of the development, but it suspected Škoda developed it on direct request by the Wehrmacht, even though the company hoped to offer the vehicle to foreign countries for export. The development was later stopped. Please note that the gun was NOT autoloaded. A VOSS II version existed with 150mm short howitzer mounted instead of the AT gun (the very same weapon, that was produced in Czechoslovakia for the Sturmpanzer IV vehicles)
Armor: 10-50mm max
Engine: V8, 260hp
Speed: cca 50 km/h
Weight: 18 tons
Weapon: 75mm Škoda A16
So, this is it for now. There are many more designs - an insane number of Waffenträgers, the halftracks, further prototypes... all kinds of stuff. Let me know if you are interested.