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|Germany||Turreted SPG||Tier IV|
SPG prototype equipped with a 105-mm howitizer. Developed in 1939 by the Krupp company, a total of 8 prototypes were manufactured and sent to the Eastern Front for trials. However, the SPG never entered mass production
The Pz.Sfl.IVb is an excellent SPG due its versatility, high ammo capacity and excellent gun elevation and depression, it also has an excellent camouflage factor and encompasses a serious threat to enemies, to top it off, it can even fire AP rounds which can easily penetrate the roof armor of the enemies and cause devastating effects, that is, if the shell manages to land on it, the downside of this SPG is the very long aim time and its very poor mobility.
The Pz.Sfl. IVb leads to the Grille.
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
Pros and Cons
- Wide gun arc due to the semi-rotating turret
- Very good accuracy and damage
- Second gun can fire AP rounds
- Highest HP for SPG of its Tier
- Very high ammo count, even on second gun
- Works as a surprisingly effective tank destroyer when necessary
- Very slow, even for a SPG
- Burst radius is unimpressive, but normal in comparison with other nations' SPG.
This tank is incredibly fun to play. Its very high damage gun, plus the second one being able to mount AP rounds, means that it can fulfill a very effective TD role; if only about ambushing, as its armor is very weak. Its gun suffers the same issues as any other SPG trying to play as a TD, however, in that you're not going to have sniper mode, sadly. Furthermore, your gun is not going to be very accurate at all, either, so you have to rely on a good bit of luck, or just simply sit still for a while. Which you should have done, as you're supposed to play as an ambush TD, unlike the Hetzer or perhaps StuG III.
If you do choose to play as a TD, stick to enclosed spaces, or bottlenecks where tanks have to come through, and hopefully not too fast. If you get into a close ranged fight with multiple tanks on each side, you probably don't have time to relocate, so take up a punishing position and fire whatever AP rounds you have at vulnerable parts as enemies try to peek and shoot.
Scouts are going to be a pain in your head, but less so than other SPG's, as you're going to be able to one shot just about any one of them, much like any other SPG. However, you have a much larger arc of fire, which will render circling useless against you, unless you end up tracked, or the scout is simply coming in too fast for you to follow.
Plus this is one good SPG even in higher tiers, some players even hate this SPG because it keeps tracking them.
Stock configuration isn't terrible, and upgrades don't bring anything very new to the tank except some minor stat upgrades. Sadly, none of the radios from the Wespe, or even the G.Pz. Mk. VI (e) carry over, as the Pz.Sfl. IVb is closer to an actual tank, than a self-propelled gun. The Fug 7 is a staple of earlier tanks, and goes back as early as the Pz. I and II. The Fug Spr. A can be picked up from Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. G, or maybe the Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. C, if you've delved any into the German scout tree. You may wish to pick up the engine first, or the upgraded gun, as traverse speed is less important on this SPG compared to others due to the turret, which grants a wide field of fire. The suspension isn't required at all, on this tank, as you can mount every module without having to upgrade it.
Pz.Sfl.IVb also known as Heuschrecke 10 (English: Grasshopper 10) was a prototype self-propelled gun developed by Krupp-Gruson between 1943 and 1944. The official designation of the vehicle was 105 mm leichte Feldhaubitze 18/1 L/28 auf Waffenträger Geschützwagen IVband was scheduled to be built in Magdeburg, Germany. The Pz.Sfl.IVb featured a removable turret which could be deployed as a pillbox or towed behind the vehicle as an artillery piece. Krupp produced only three prototypes from 1942–1943. The Heuschrecke initially made use of a shortened Panzerkampfwagen IV hull, but it was later switched to the Geschützwagen IV chassis, developed for the Hummel self-propelled gun. Mass production of the Pz.Sfl.IVb was scheduled to start in February 1945, but never occurred.
Towards the end of September 1939, Krupp designed the "first real self-propelled artillery piece", the Sonderkraftfahrzeug 165/1 (Special Purpose Vehicle 165/1, abbreviated Sd.Kfz. 165/1). The Sd.Kfz. 165/1 was similar in design to the Pz.Sfl.IVb, but did not have the chassis-mounted launching mechanism to remove the turret. After a series of tests, the Sd.Kfz. 165/1 was accepted by the Wehrmacht in early January 1940. In 1941, Krupp built prototype vehicles armed with the 105 mm leichte Feldhaubitze 18/1 L/28 (light field howitzer 18/1 L/28, abbreviated leFH 18/1 L/28) cannon based on a modified Panzer IV chassis. The prototypes were fitted with a smaller six-cylinder Maybach HL66P engine, which had a power capacity of 188 hp (140 kW). Although 200 vehicles were ordered, Krupp completed only 10 prototypes in the final four months of 1942. These saw service on the Eastern Front.
The distinguishing feature of the Pz.Sfl.IVb was its removable turret. A lifting gantry attached to the chassis could remove the turret for use on concrete fortifications or the ground. Although the howitzer could equally be fired from the chassis, the vehicle was designed to carry the artillery piece to a firing emplacement for removal before usage. The turretless vehicle could be used as an ammunition carrier or recovery vehicle. The prototype turret was armed with the 105 mm leFH 18/1 L/28. The production models, however, were to have the 105 mm leFH 43 L/28. The hull was consisted of a welded steel plates, with thickness ranging from 10 to 25 millimeters, and sloped armour to deflect incoming fire more effectively. It had a large ammunition stowage, making it one of the chosen ammunition-carriers to help alleviate losses of ammunition that could not otherwise be transported. The original prototype engine was the twelve-cylinder Maybach HL90, but for the production models, the twelve-cylinder Maybach HL100 was chosen.
The design phase began in 1942, when Krupp conceived a new type of self-propelled artillery. In 1943, Krupp produced three prototypes, with serial numbers from 582501 to 582503, which were designated as either Heuschrecke 10 or Heuschrecke IVb. The cehicle designed by Krupp was similar in design to a vehicle built by Alkett and Rheinmetall-Borsig, the 105 mm leFH 18/40/2 auf Geschützwagen III/IV, which was ready in March 1944. The competing Rheinmetall-Borsig model had overall slightly better performance than that of Krupps' vehicle. It was decided, however, to utilize an alternate chassis on the Rheinmetall-Borsig model, that of the Panzer IV. Production was to start in October 1944, but the chassis choice was changed to that of the Geschützwagen IV in December 1944. Production, in Magdeburg, was then intended to commence in February 1945, but none were produced. The Nazi high command thought that the production of the Pz.Sfl.IVb would disrupt the production of the needed Panzers. The quantity of materials required for the construction of weapon-carriers were so great that companies like Krupp were told to halt production. The majority of weapon-carriers never left the production stage. The Pz.Sfl.IVb was seen as interesting by the General Inspector of the Panzer Troops, Heinz Guderian, however, Guderian agreed that their development was not worth the disruption to tank production. The development of the Pz.Sfl.IVb was therefore canceled in February 1943.
SurvivorsIt is believed only one Pz.Sfl.IVb survived the war. This sole survivor was originally on display at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. It was transferred from there to the Fort Sill Field Artillery Museum in Fort Sill, Oklahoma along with several other World War II self-propelled guns.