Saurer Nahkampfkanone II, The swiss first assault gun.

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caid’s suggestion #55

I would like to suggest a rather unique tank, the Swiss Nahkampfkanone II or NK-II


The Development of the NK-II started during WW2. developed by the Swiss company Adolf Saurer AB. The conceptual design started in March 1943 and the official work started in January 1944. by this time, the NK-II was a bit behind the modern tanks but wasn’t yet obsolete. the NK-II was designed as a tank destroyer that was adapted to the alpine terrain. this means 3 things

  1. have good elevation and depression for the gun
  2. have the capacity to move in tight road
  3. resistant to the coldness.

the NK-II was not the best tank destroyer in the world but it was the most adapted for the Swiss Alps. the prototype was ready in January 1946 which was a bit late considering that the other nations already mounted much more powerful guns on their assault gun. but most armoured targets were still vulnerable to the 75mm it carried. the NK-II was armed with a 75mm Panzerabwehrkanone 44 L/49 which was comparable to the German 75mm Pak 40. the purpose of this tank was purely defensive but was still capable of offensive tactics. the tank was intended to engage the enemy from mountainous terrain where they would take pop-shots on the enemy at long and close range. the name meant “mele gun” which mostly meant it was going to be in the front line and using direct fire (and not necessarily ramming the enemy). the tank features good mobility and good protection. the test lasted 2 years and was overwhelmingly successful. the tank proved to be fit for services and meeting all requirements. besides the good performance, it was also capable of carrying 90mm and 105mm guns for different roles or upgrades. but it was never put into production. the reason is purely economical. as the Czech was offering the Swiss army a much cheaper option, the Jagdpanzer 39(t) Hetzer which was modified to the Swiss requirement. this Czech tank was not as good as the NK-II but was already in production and much cheaper. the NK-II was preserved in Thun Museum which happens to be the military base (before it became the museum) where it was tested in the first place.



the main armament of this tank is a 75mm Panzerabwehrkanone 44 L/49. this gun was a Swiss-made gun which is assumed to be comparable to the German 75mm Pak 40. this gun was an anti-tank version of the 7.5 cm Flab Kan 38 L / 49 anti-aircraft gun which was by itself a licensed copy of the French Canon de 75 CA modèle 1940 Schneider which makes it a cousin to the 75mm SA 44 used by the French ARL-44 ACL-1 but the performance would be completely different. the Swiss gun would have a penetration approximate to 140 to 155 mm at a short distance depending of the shells type. the shell may also have a bit of HE filler or could also be capped but it’s not known. there are a lot of details that are missing, but I know enough to estimate the minimal performance of the round which is what I will put in the table below. the minimal performance remains decent for a mid-WW2 tank. but what is good about this gun is the elevation. the NK-II is designed to be an alpine tank. for this reason, the gun has a very good vertical and horizontal arc. this was made to make the tank well-adapted to the alpine terrain. this will also make the player more comfortable tracking the enemy with the guns without the need to orient the tank too often.


The NK-II was said to have good mobility. however, the tank had a bit weak engine for vehicles from his time. with 24 tonnes, it is powered by a Saurer CV1DL of 300 hp. This gives a power-weight of around 12.35 hp-tonnes which is not bad but not the best. it still allows the tank to reach 50 km/h which is good by itself. in the game, the mobility would seem fairly average and allow the player to do what he needs to do without too much trouble but will not allow it to easily outmanoeuvre the enemy.


the NK-II was built as a proper assault gun. As such, it had good frontal protection and was capable of taking some hits. with 70mm on the front, it would be capable of taking small and medium calibre hits. with some distance and angle, it might even take a 75mm hit (from the Sherman or the T-34-76) but the armour is made from cast making it less effective. it would be about equivalent to 60mm of RhA which is still good. the front armour has a fairly good slope but remains with the face having nearly no angle which makes it possible to find a weak spot. the side and rear armour is unknown, but given the weight and size, it can be estimated to be around 40mm on average. but due to the design, I assume a large part of the tank side still has 70mm on the side. this allows us to believe that in less vulnerable parts such as behind the track or the rear, the tank has about 25mm of armour. this is guesswork but can always be confirmed with the real tank which is still in the museum. the crew of 5 men is pretty good and allows a good chance of surviving a first hit. but the tank does not have much of anything else to survive.


Primary (comparison of the NKK II and the German WW2 tank destroyer)





Blob! +1

I think it’s an upturned Fondue caquelon actually…