7.5 cm PaK 40 auf Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO)

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7.5 cm PaK 40 auf Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO)

Introduction:

The 7.5 cm PaK 40 auf RSO stemmed from a concept rooted in German Panzerjäger vehicles, leveraging the Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO) chassis. Designed as an Eastern Tracked Tractor, the RSO was initially a cargo vehicle tailored to navigate tough Eastern Front conditions. In 1943, plans were initiated to mount a 7.5 cm PaK 40 anti-tank gun on the RSO chassis, aiming to render stationary anti-tank weapons mobile.
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Development:

The RSO’s notable simplicity, fully tracked design, and exceptional adaptability made it thrive in the demanding Eastern Front environment. Collaborative efforts involving Wa Pruef 4, Steyr, and Rheinmetall-Borsig led to the integration of the high-velocity anti-tank gun onto the RSO. The gun’s base underwent evolution, facilitating secure mounting on the RSO chassis. Redesigning the cab into a low-profile shape provided gun clearance over the vehicle’s front.

Armament:

The 7.5 cm PaK 40 auf RSO ingeniously combined a set of tracks, an engine, and the high-velocity anti-tank gun. This setup allowed the gun to traverse 360 degrees, enhancing mobility and practicality. It eliminated the need for separate gun carriages, enhancing crew efficiency in firing and maneuvering, unlike conventional towed guns.
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Motorization:

Tests in 1943 demonstrated the vehicle’s stability while firing the gun sideways, dispelling initial concerns. Hitler was impressed with its potential, ordering 50 test vehicles for combat evaluation. However, crew vulnerability emerged as a significant issue due to minimal armor protection, exposure to enemy fire, and harsh weather conditions.

Outcome:

Reports from early 1944 highlighted vehicle inefficiency, including low speed, loud engines, and reliability issues, culminating in the vulnerability of the crew. Despite Hitler’s initial enthusiasm, these setbacks led to the project’s cancellation in June 1944. Approximately 60 units were produced, mainly deployed to frontline units, mostly within armored divisions, attempting to bolster their weakened forces.

Attribute Details
Armor 4mm
Engine 5.5l / 4 cylinders Deutz diesel / 66hp (RSO/03)
Engine Power 66/85 horsepower
Speed on Roads 30 km/h
Speed off Roads 17 km/h
Weight 5.4 tons
Weapon 75mm PaK 40/1 (360° rotation)
Units Produced Around 80
Crew 4
Gun Depression/Elevation -5° / +22°

Dimensions

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Dimensions(LxWxH) 4.17m x 1.7m x2.49m (13’8" x 5’7" x 8’2"
Total Weight 5.2 tons(10,400 lbs)
Crew 4
Engine Steyr V8 3.5l 8-cylinder, 85 hp
Speed(Road) 17km/h(10.5mph)
Armament 75 mm (2.95 in) Pak 40/4 L/46, 28 rounds
Armor 5-10 mm (0.24-0.35 in)
Total production 80-90 in 1943-1944

Images

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Source:

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7.5 cm PaK 40 auf Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO) - Tank Encyclopedia
Raupenschlepper Ost - Wikipedia

3 Likes

Oh so max speed is 30km/h? I thought it was much slower.

1 Like

Such a goofy little thing. Reminds me of the M56 Scorpion! +1

1 Like

Seems very… Italian.

+1!

As an Italy main I felt discomforted but also not offended at the same time.
It looks more like a SU-5-1 tho

Here are some more info about the vehicle:

1 Like