8.8 cm PaK 43 Waffenträger (Ardelt-Krupp)

Would you like to see the 8.8 cm PaK 43 Waffenträger (Ardelt-Krupp) in-game?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
At which battle rating should it be? (5.7 is the in-game Waffenträger)
  • 5.3
  • 5.7
  • 6.0
  • I voted no
0 voters
How should it be implemented?
  • Tech Tree
  • Premium
  • Event
  • Squadron
  • I voted no
0 voters


For my first suggestion I am proposing the 8.8 cm PaK 43 Waffenträger constructed by companies Ardelt and Krupp. This minimalist tank destroyer was devised alongside similar designs from Ardelt-Rheinmetall and Steyr/Krupp, the latter being the Waffenträger currently found within German ground forces tech tree.

History

In February 1944, the Waffenträger concept was devised as a means of providing rapid deployment and withdrawal of heavy artillery and anti-tank weaponry at the frontline. Late war reports were beginning to display an alarming lack of suitable artillery transport vehicles such as halftracks, and thus simply mounting the gun on a motorized chassis was seen as a more cost effective solution, allowing for enhanced mobility not just in retreat, but also in advance.

Various guns were detailed for the Waffenträger program; these being the 10.5 cm leFH 18, 8.8 cm PaK 43, 12.8 cm Kanone 81, and 15 cm sFH 18. Out of these four cannons, only two were successfully integrated into prototype vehicles, those being the well known PaK 43 Waffenträgers and the more mysterious leFH 18 “Leichter” Waffenträger.

In essence, there were four primary designs for the PaK 43 Waffenträger:

  • Steyr and Krupp created the tank destroyer currently found in-game, built upon a modified RSO artillery tractor chassis and featuring the smallest turret of the three. Issues procuring and adapting a more effective engine prevented this vehicle from reaching the pre-production stage.

  • For their first of two vehicles Ardelt collaborated with Rheinmetall to construct a prototype that used components from the Panzer 38(t) and Hetzer, resulting in this Waffenträger having the fastest produced prototype. This design also utilized an open-topped turret similarly to the Steyr vehicle, albeit at a size much more suitable for the PaK 43.

  • Ardelt’s second collaboration, this time with Krupp, produced a prototype similar in many ways to the Ardelt-Rheinmetall one. Due to Ardelt having prior experience in this competition, the chassis from the Ardelt-Rheinmetall vehicle was reused, as depite its hasty construction had reportedly driven over 120 km during testing without any signifigant issues arising. This is the Waffenträger in this suggestion.

  • A fourth design was created by Rheinmetall and Borsig, but it is presumed to have been dropped early on as there is little to no surviving information about this contender.

Between the Ardelt-Rheinmetall and Ardelt-Krupp designs, the latter was seen as more cost-effective, something that Germany began to prioritize for these sorts of vehicles later on in the war. After a demonstration between the three competing designs in May of 1944, the aforementioned Ardelt-Krupp vehicle was chosen and a series of 82 SPGs and 18 ammunition carriers was ordered. Unfortunately, due to the troubling situation of the German war effort by this point in time, only 7 Waffenträgers were recorded as being produced, with parts to complete another handful found in the Ardelt factory postwar.

What is most interesting about this vehicle however, is the fact that it actually saw combat, as opposed to the other prototypes created for the competition. In May 1945, after the Battle of Berlin, Soviet troops discovered two wrecked Waffenträgers northeast of the city. An additional machine was found intact in the town of Eberswalde, which is where the seven vehicles were assigned to defend, and sent back to Russia for testing and evaluation.

There is little to no information known about the actual combat operations of these potent tank killers, however according to some sources Dr. Günther Ardelt himself died on one of them whilst defending his hometown of Eberswalde.

Luckily, the Soviets managed to capture one of these weapon carriers and conduct testing on it in 1946. They noted that while the Waffenträger had good stability during firing tests, a moderately compact design, and decent weapon traverse/handling, it also had inadequate mobility at only 9 hp/t, low protection for the gun operators from shrapnel and debris, and a small supply of 30 on-board rounds. Nonetheless, the Waffenträger was still regarded as a useful solution to the necessity of mobile heavy anti-tank weaponry late in the war, and as such can be said to have inspired multiple Soviet self-propelled guns of similar design in the immediate postwar period such as the SU-100P, SU-152G, and SU-152P.

Specifications

waffentragerstatcard

Dimensions:

Height: 2.40 m
Width: 2.44 m
Length: 5.43 m

Images

Historical:
waffentrager6
waffentrager3
waffentrager4
waffentrager9
waffentrager8

Present:





In-Game

As you may know, there happens to already be a Waffenträger in the game, that being the one made by Steyr and Krupp. Because of this, and the presence of the Nashorn its foldered under, there isn’t really any space left in the tree for another lightly armored PaK 43 carrier. As such I believe that despite being the only Waffenträger that actually saw combat, the Ardelt-Krupp design would fit best as an event reward, perhaps in a future battle pass.

The addition of this vehicle will also warrant a name change for the current Waffenträger, to differentiate the two. Due to the Waffenträger program only ever intending to produce one finalized design, there was never any need to give each contender a unique designation. I propose that we simply rename the in-game machine to Waffenträger (Steyr-Krupp), to align with the name I gave to the Ardelt-Krupp vehicle in this suggestion.

Sources

Thanks for reading my suggestion, being that it’s my first please do let me know if there’s anything I should add or change!

2 Likes

Cool, you did the technical help, just like in the game

1 Like

If you mean the statcard then yeah, I figured most of the relevant specs besides vehicle dimensions could be found on one.

shame we dont get vehicles like these instead of another copy paste cold war trash

2 Likes

How come even the lightest German WW2 vehicles end up being underpowered.

With slightly improved mobility and much better gun traverse angles over the front it should go to 6.0.

Been waiting for this to be suggested. Massive support +10

1 Like