This is an interesting project, that could be a part of the Czechoslovak SPG branch (if any such a thing ever appears in World of Tanks)
After the war, the Czechoslovak countryside was littered with the wrecks of German vehicles in various state of decay. Some were just burnt-out shells, others were actually quite useable though: Panthers with broken final drives, vehicles that simply ran out of fuel, functional Panzers abandoned by fleeing German crews, in some cases with engines still running. Over the years after the war, these wrecks were collected, towed to repair shops by the Czechoslovaks and – in some cases – refitted and pressed into service in the newly reformed Czechoslovak army, that was equipped with a various assortment of wartime vehicles, from T-34′s to British Cromwells and Stuarts (even with a Firefly actually) the units came with back to Czechoslovakia.
Such was the fate of at least 11 Hungarian Turáns, captured from the Hungarian 2nd Armored Division in southern Slovakia by the end of 1944. These were collected and transported to the repair shop (Automobile arms factory No.1) in Přelouč to evaluate their potential use. While the Turán tanks as such were quite obsolete, it was decided that the hull could be salvaged and On 16.6.1947 (Pejčoch states 10.6.1947), the VTU (Vojenský Technický Ústav – Military Technical Institute, the Czechoslovak tank development center) committee ordered the development of a 105mm leFH 18 self-propelled gun, based on Turán chassis. This decision was based on the earlier program from 1946, focusing on the development of new post-war self-propelled guns for the Czechoslovak army.
On 18.7.1947, representatives of the Škoda company went to Přelouč to pick up the best (least damaged) Turán hulls for the conversion. Here, the sources differ as to which hulls were picked. Pejčoch states that the vehicles selected for conversion were three Turán I tanks (no. H-803, H-822 and 1H-203) and one Turán II (2H-223), Dubánek states that only two Turán I hulls were selected (H-803 and 1H-503) and the rest was intended to be used for spare parts.
Either way, two versions of this vehicle were designed, one with the gun located on the axis of the vehicle and with the gun not on the axis but somewhat sideways (the point of this was to reduce the overall height of the vehicle by 420mm). The latter however suffered with very limited traverse rate and this problem was not solved even in the modified proposal by Škoda from 11.12.1947.
The gun the vehicles were equipped was the classic German field howitzer, renamed in Czechoslovak service to “lehká 105mm houfnice vzor 18/40 N” (“light 105mm howitzer, pattern 18/40 N”, where the numbers mean the year of introduction and the N means “německý” – Czechoslovak designation for German captured weaponry). The gun’s mount (upper lafette, elevation and traverse parts) was modified, but the recoil system and the cradle remained the same. The turrets were removed from the vehicle and instead, the guns were installed into a relatively thin superstructure (15mm thick plates) – the front was 50mm thick though, according to M.Dubánek. The vehicle was open-topped.
The entire project was plagued with the lack of Turán spare parts (the company representatives spent May 1948 in Přelouč and in Zlaté Moravice warehouse, scouring the facilities for left-over spares), but two prototypes were actually built in November 1948 and passed the factory trials. A month later, in December 1948, the vehicles were sent to the army for evaluation. However, on 22.12.1948, both vehicles suffered breakdowns during the trials after 50km drive and the army refused to accept them.
They were pulled back to the factory and repaired and in March 1949, both vehicles successfully passed the firing trials at Jince proving ground and driving trials near Pilsen (in quite difficult positions, snowing and strong winds). As a result, the army actually bought the prototypes and they were transferred as training vehicles to the Artillery training unit No.4677 in Olomouc. There, they served for several years and they were turned to scrap metal by the end of the 50′s.
Weight: 16,5 tons
Maximum speed: 50 km/h
Maximum firing range: 11 km
Engine: Manfréd-Weiss V-8H
Gun: 105mm LeFH 18/40, L/28
Dubánek – Od bodáku po tryskáče
Pejčoch – Obrněná technika
“reduce the overall weight of the vehicle by 420mm”
Thinking the same. Stronk tenks?
height – my typo
Thanks Silentstalker – keep up with the good work. I enjoy the history lessons here. These things weren’t taught to us in South Africa.
Id love to have Czechoslovak SPG branch ending with either ShKH vz. 77 Dana or Zuzana T-72 M1
And I dont really care Dana is wheeled vehicle and Zuzana is build on too new hull… Still want it :-D
There’re not much else can be found in the Hungarian history books/articles about this project. All I want to add are some minor details:
height: 2135 mm
lenght with barrel: 6800 mm
width: 2300 mm
vertical arc: -5°, +42°
horizontal arc: 20-20° (same as Wespe)
and this picture:
Ádám Bíró – Gyula Sárhidai: A Magyar Királyi Honvédség hazai gyártású páncélos harcjárművei 1914-1945. pages 223-226.
Cool, didn’t know that.
This arty is very similar to the 105 leFH18B2 – captured tank, converted to arty(with the same gun as the B2), turret removed, replaced by a thin plates.
in WoT, this arty would have better mobility and horizontal traverse arc than the B2
Get a feeling that someone tries to highlight czech tanks like there’s no tomorrow, feels a bit desperate, or hobby?
Maybe because these are interesting and the author has native knowledge of the Czech language and can therefore better research Czech projects about which there isn’t any info in any other language ?