Special Panthers part III – Sturmmörser Panther

Part IPanther and Jagdpanther
Part IIWaffenträger Panther

Hello everyone,

in this short last part, we are going to have a look at one of the most interesting Panther designs, the Sturmmörser Panther.


Basically, what happened: if you did read part II of Special Panthers series, you might have noticed a trend to use the Panther chassis for an artillery vehicle. But what about the Sturmartillerie?

Direct fire support high-caliber vehicles with proper armor and short, but heavy armament were in high demand in the German army, especially in the east. Such vehicles are quite useful when assaulting heavily fortified positions, or during city combat.

One of the ideas to convert a Panther into such a vehicle was to replace its main armament with something heavy. On 18.3.1944, there was an official demand (apparently from the Heereswaffenamt, along with WaPrüf4) to mount a 210mm mortar (of an unspecified type, but most likely a newly-developed weapon, not the French Beutemörser, which were considered years earlier for other platforms, but something like the 21cm GrW 69 “Elefant”, designed before 1944?). Krupp responded and on 23.6.1944, its representative handed over a first draft of a 150mm assault mortar (Sturmmörser) with the StuH 43/1 150mm gun mounted within the Panther turret (a modification of the gun the Sturmpanzer IV “Brummbär” used). The vehicle was to have new rangefinder, commander’s copula from the Tiger tank and optics intended for Maus.

In July 1944, Krupp was informed that all the development of heavy and superheavy weapons (including the Sturmmörsers) is to be stopped. A wooden mockup was made nevertheless and presented to Guderian. This still didn’t save the project – after August 1944, the work on it slowly halted and it was definitely scrapped around September 1944, including the 210mm variant.

Alkett was working on such a thing simultaneously, but preferred a Sturmgeschütz chassis (StuG III).

There is one more interesting project, completely unrelated to World of Tanks however: the Raketenwerfer Panther::

It was basically a Škoda (Czech) developed 105mm multiple rocket system, mounted on Panther chassis, using a 88mm FlaK mount. As far as I can tell, it never left the drawing boards.

W.Spielberger – Panther and its variants
H.L.Doyle, T.Jentz – Panther Variants 1942-1945
H.L.Doyle – Panzer Tracts
Posts by Daigensui (US forum) and Zarax

35 thoughts on “Special Panthers part III – Sturmmörser Panther

    • This is the tank that would make players cry, a tier VII high speed KV-2, which could be paired with the soviet KV-152 to create the ultimate troll tank pair!

  1. Dream of german tank driver: To oneshot everyone with 210mm artylike Canon while speeding around with 1200hp.
    I think that would be an nice Turbopanther t9-troll-tank ;)

    • Well, TBH that would be a proper artillery vehicle so speed would be low.
      With the Turbine engine you’d have to sacrifice too much space reserved for ammunition.

      Remember even the Grille 21 (based on Tiger II) could carry only 3 rounds…

      • What? The last I checked the article the proposed turbine (realistically the GT102, even the desginer apparently though the cruder 101 unsuitable for practical use) was rather more compact than the piston engine, it’s just that the freed-up space promptly went to extra fuel tankage to slake its considerable greater thirst. Plus all of that happens in the engine compartement to the rear anyway, which for most intents and purposes matters not one whit as far as munitions storage space in the fighting compartement is concerned.

        RoF oughta be something terribad though.

          • My point exactly. Not only would this be a roughly 50% bigger gun (and shell volume ergo weight increases *exponentially* according to the square-cube law when caliber goes up), but it’d also be in a vehicle not exactly intented for such huge shells and propellant charges.

  2. Unrelated, but is it possible to ask SerB if the RBT-5 is still planned?

  3. Thanks for these articles, very interesting.
    I rather read about the Panther than play with it in WoT :(

    • Dudes needed to keep themselves too useful to send to the camps, I’d guess. And look for ways to keep their outfit solvent – and the Germans were the only customer in town.

  4. Good articel. But I have a note.
    The design process that led to the 21-cm-Granatwerfer 69 was actually started in August 1941. Back then Skoda received the order to design a 22 cm weapon (later known as 22-cm-Granatwerfer 43, Gerät 3-2204 or Skoda B 14) as a further development of the Schwerer Ladungswerfer (Gerät 180 or Skoda B 19). In 1942 a wooden mockup was built and work on test barrel began. In 1944 the caliber was changed to 21 cm and the 21-cm-Granatwerfer 69, Gerät 3-2133 was born.
    The SPG versions of the 21-cm-Granatwerfer 69 became
    21-cm-Granatwerfer Sf 1, Gerät 3-2134 based on the Panzer III
    and the
    21-cm-Granatwerfer Sf 2, Gerät 3-2135 based on the Hummel.

      • Source is Waffen Revue #34 (III/79). The issue contains articles about development & testing of the late war Skoda 21/22, 30,5 and 42 cm Granatwerfer weapons. (although not much about the SPG versions since they obviously remained paper dreams…).

        • Now that i looked it up the SPG versions mentioned in the equipment lists of the Heer were:
          Gerät 21-816 Geschützwagen 634/3 (21-cm-Gr W Sf 1)
          Gerät 21-589 Geschützwagen 638/32 für 21-cm-Gr W Sf 2

          638 was based on the 38(t) so it was a Waffenträger. The Panzer III mention was probably just an error in the article. 634 was based on the III/IV so that would be the Hummel.

      • Ditto. Problem is really that English doesn’t have separate terms for *artillery* and *infantry* mortars…

      • I have only seen Mörser used for howitzers and in rare cases for breach loading (very) heavy mortars. I could not in all honestly tell you were the definition one begins and the other ends but in case of this article I would certainly suggest howitzer would be the correct term to use.

        • Considering even English jargon actually has terms like “gun-mortar”, idk. Plus I’d think most people can figure it out from the picture; if there *are* twerps who think it’s a high-arc indirect fire weapon merely because it’s called a “mortar” or somesuch their opinion can be discounted on grounds of failing to qualify as fully sapient.

          • Okay, having looked into this, which maybe I ought to have done in the first case, there seem to be a few guidelines for the naming convention, which however appears inconsistently used by the Germans.
            As far as I can make it out:
            Haubitze is for multi-role howitzers that can also be expected to be used in the direct fire role. Mörser is for more dedicated high arc artillery types not generally expected to engage on a flat trajectory. This includes both howitzers and mortars except lighter (infantry support) mortars which are called Granatwerfer.)
            But stuff like the Mörser mentioned in the article are pretty much direct fire only weapons. Most confusing.

          • *shrug* Compare to the whole Sturmgeschutz-Panzerjäger-Jagdpanzer mess or the US “Motor Gun Carriage” (AKA tank destroyer) mire… or the way the Cavalry branches of several armies in the interwar period (the US and French most notably) had to invent fig-leaf euphemisms for their tanks because by law only the Infantry could have “tanks”.

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