02 - References for the Bergepanther Ausf.D from s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653
The idea emerged in 1943, due to problems in recovering heavy and medium tanks with usual methods. Previous recovery vehicles (like the Sd.Kfz.9) were rarely able to salvage a Panther or a Tiger. Plus, it was strictly forbidden for a Tiger to attempt salvaging another one, due to the risk of loosing both in breakdowns. The development was carried out by MAN. After the Tiger was seen as not meeting the desired requirements, the Panther was chosen instead. First Bergepanthers were completed on Panther Ausf.D chassis, in which only the turret was removed by the manufacturer.
By the end of 1944, the more reliable Ausf.Gs were used for these conversions. The crew consisted of at least three soldiers, the towing apparatus was operated by two soldiers in the vehicle. They sat in the central tower, a square wooden and metal structure, with longitudinal tensile reinforcements for 40 tons embedded in the chassis. A large earth spade at the rear served to support traction. In addition, the simple crane boom had a 1.5 t
Nice and useful set of photos Rafael. I particularly like photo 5 with the Panzernest mobile MG bunkers on the flat-bed trucks behind the Ausf. D. - now there's a diorama possibility worth considering. Source of the plans (photos 14 & 15) might be useful to know as well. Thanks for sharing.
Great Derek! don't forget to tag me in the future diorama so i can see it then!