German One-Man "Tanks".

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
Vilkata
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German One-Man "Tanks".

Post by Vilkata » 15 Oct 2006 04:51

I have been trying to compile a comprehensive list of One-Man Tanks Of The World, either of built vehicles or paper projects.

Being more of a WWI and 20's and 30's armor buff myself, I had failed to realise that the Germans had built a number of one-man demolition charge carriers in WWII. Namely, the Borgward IV Ausf A, B, and C, and the Sd.Kfz. 304 'Springer'. Yes, I know, both these vehicles were meant to deliver their charges under remote control, and the Springer had an integral charge, making it an expendable vehicla like the Goliath. But, under the definition of "One Man Tank" I have been using for my research, a one-man tank is "A tracked, armored, fighting vehicle manned by one person." As such, the Borgward IVs, and the Springers, were tracked, armored, and were certainly a manner of fighting vehicle, and were manned by only one person. So, it is a stretch, but for my research I think it fits.

I have read that both the Borgward IV and the Springer were contemplated for use as weapons carriers towards the end of WWII when the Germans were endeavoring to find anything and everything to throw weapons on and in turn throw at the Russians. The Springer was an option for the light panzerjager "Wanze" project, where it would mount a 105mm recoiless gun. The "Wanze" was eventually built on the Borgward IV chassis by giving it a six-tube PanzerShreck launcher and accomodation for a gunner in addition to the driver. The Springer was an incredibly tiny war vehicle, and how could the 105mm recoiless gun have actually fit on it? The gun would have been nearly as long as the vehicle itself, and ammunition storage would have been nil. Of course, this is why the Springer wasn't used for the Wanze poject, but still.

I was wondering, were any Borgward IVs or Springers modified with weapons and used in combat, effectively turning them into "true" One-Man Tankettes?

Secondly, were the B IVs and Springers the only "One-Man Tanks" Germany used? Furthermore, did any other axis countrys use anything coming close to a One-Man tank?

Thanks in advance! I asked if there were any Axis one-man tanks on this forum months ago, and got no replies - Obviously those posters knew of these vehicles, but just didnt classify them as a "one man tank", I know my definition is a little iffy, but I think it works.

---Vil.

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tigre
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Re: German One-Man "Tanks".

Post by tigre » 25 Dec 2014 21:47

Hello to all :); a little complement.................

The Panzerabteilung (Fkl) 301 in Citadel.

Three independent radio-controlled companies were used in the sector of the 9. AOK in the attack south of Orel from 5 to 8 July 1943. Two were attached to the Schweres-Panzerjäger-Regiment 656 and one to the Pz. Abt. 505. The subunits were engaged as a whole under the command of their leaders. The combat missions were basically the same for all of them: aggressive combat reconnaissance, detection of minefields and open lanes through them, destruction of difficult obstacles such as antitank positions and hostile heavy tanks. The Pz-Kp 314 (Fkl) under Hauptmann Braam was employed with the 1. / Schw. Pz-Jäg. Reg 656 (Schw. Pz-Jäg. Abt. 653); Pz-Kp 313 (Fkl) under Oberleutnant Fritschken with the II. / Schw. Pz-Jäg. Reg. 656 (Schw. Pz-Jäg. Abt. 654) and Pz-Kp 312 (Fkl) with Pz. Abt. 505.

Results: the barren terrain was heavily mined and the Radio controlled demolition vehicles could not fulfill their mission successfully. Excessive weight of the Ferdinand restricted the momentum of the attack in the radio controlled units; control tanks moved quickly forward but had to wait too long for the Ferdinand and suffered casualties from enemy defensive fire. On the other hand the powerful effect of hostile artillery fire made the job much more difficult for the attackers. Both radio controlled companies (with Schw. Pz-Jäg. Reg.) quickly lost combat power and due shortage of reserves could not cover their losses. The Pz-Kp 313 (Fkl) and 314 (Fkl) advanced on a wide front ahead of the heavy regiment astride the Orel-Kursk railway against a position echeloned in depth and heavily mined.

Sources: The Combat History of German Heavy Anti-Tank Unit 653 in World War II. Escrito por Karlheinz Munch.
http://www.rusmed-forever.ru/forum/inde ... st&id=2579

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Navidad - Feliz Natal - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël - Merry Christmas - Wesołych Świąt!. :D
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tigre
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Re: German One-Man "Tanks".

Post by tigre » 07 Mar 2020 15:40

Hello to all :); a little more.................

The Panzerabteilung (Fkl) 301 in Citadel.

Sources: Fotos Weltkrieg Fotoalbum WK2 Panzer Rußland Soldat Nachlaß Dachbodenfund.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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