History: The Wespe was designed by Alkett early in 1942, and was chosen as the most practical self-propelled mount for the leFH18 over the Pz Kpfw III and Pz Kpfw IV. As an interim measure, the Wespe proved a great success and in February 1943, all further Pz Kpfw II chassis were ordered to be used for its production. The initial order for 1,000 was cut back to 835 late in 1943. This total included 159 (without leFH18/2) designated Munitions-Sf auf Fgst Pz Kpfw II (Ammunition-SP on chassis (of) AFV II) which carried 90 rounds with a crew of three.
Specific features: The Wespe was built on a modified Pz Kpfw II chassis with the hull slightly lengthened, the engine moved forward, the glacis extended and the cooling-system louvres completely redesigned. The suspension was altered slightly by reducing the number of return rollers from four to three, and by adding spring bumper stops for the road wheels to absorb the recoil loadings. The driver occupied a small compartment forward, next to the transmission, and separated from the remainder of the crew who were located in the rear fighting compartment which was built up from sloping plates. The design of the Munitions-Sf version still allowed the installation of the leFH18/2 by Field Maintenance as replacement for unserviceable Wespe.
Combat service: The Wespe was issued to SP detachments of the Panzerartillerie regiments in Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions. Its first major action was at Kursk in Russia, and it saw active service in the east, west and south-west until the end of the war.
|In service||1943 - 1945|
|Used by||Nazi Germany|
|Wars||World War II|
|Produced||1943 - 1944|
|Weight||11 tonnes (24,250 lb)|
|Length||4.81 m (15 ft 9 in)|
|Width||2.28 m (7 ft 6 in)|
|Height||2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)|
|Crew||5 (commander, driver, three gunners)|
|Armor||5 - 30 mm (.19 - 1.18 in)|
|1x 10.5 cm leFH 18/2 L/28
with 40 rounds
|Engine||6-cyl petrol Maybach HL 62 TR
140 PS (138 hp, 103 kW)
|220 km (137 mi)|
|Speed||40 km/h (25 mph)|