SdKfz 135 Marder I
|Primary Role||Tank Destroyer|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAt the time of the German invasion of France in 1940, the French Army operated 480 or 490 37L tracked carriers, more than 300 of which would fall into German control at the end of that campaign. The quantity of such tracked vehicles, in addition to the German Army's need for artillery pieces of keep up with the fast moving front line tanks, combined to form the basis of Marder I self-propelled guns. In Jul and Aug 1942, 170 of the captured 37L tractor carriers were mated with the 7.5-centimeter guns to create the 7.5 cm PaK40/1 auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) self-propelled anti-tank guns; a small number of captured Polish armored vehicles were also mated with that particular gun type to create Marder I vehicles. Shortly after, 94 of the captured 37L tracted carriers were mated with 15-centimeter guns to create the 15 cm sFH13/1 (Sf) auf Gesch├╝tzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) self-propelled howitzers, 24 of them with 10.5-centimeter guns to create the 10.5 cm leFH18(Sf) auf Gesch├╝tzwagen Lorraine Schlepper (f) self-propelled howitzers, and 30 of them were converted into the Beobachtungswagen auf Lorraine Schlepper (f) artillery observation vehicles. After the war with the Soviet Union began, one 37L tracked carrier was mated with a captured Soviet 122-millimeter gun to create the 12.2 cm Kanone (r) auf Gesch├╝tzwagen Lorraine (f) self-propelled howitzer. They were sent to the front lines against the Soviet Union immediately, followed by deployment to France. When the Western Allies landed on the beaches of Normandie, France, Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 155 of German Army 21st Panzer Division operated 24 examples of those with 10.5-centimeter guns and 12 examples with 15-centimeter guns; these 37L-based self-propelled howitzers saw action from the earliest days of the campaign through the Battle of Caen, with the final few not being destroyed until the Falaise Pocket debacle in Aug 1944. By Dec 1944, nearly all Marder I vehicles had been destroyed or withdrawn from service.
Last Major Revision: Dec 2011
|Machinery||One Delahaye 103TT engine rated at 69hp|
|Armament||1x7.5cm PaK 40 gun|
|Speed||18 km/h off-road; 38 km/h on-road|
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