By 1943, the complaints of the infantry anti-tank units at the front that it was almost impossible to move their guns using trucks at daylight under enemy fire, leading to enormous losses of equipment when an emergency relocation (at the time more of a euphemism for withdrawal) was necessary found their way to the top. This led OKW to consider an older proposition to fit the 7.5 cm PaK 40/1 anti-tank gun -by then the standard Pak- on top of a RSO chassis and Hitler after seeing the blueprints ordered a limited production run for combat testing even before the test vehicles were completed. The project was carried out by Steyr. The suspension of the RSO remained unchanged, but the front driver's compartment was replaced with a low, lightly armoured superstructure. The result was a lightweight, cheap to produce and highly mobile infantry anti-tank weapon though more exposed compared to the conventional panzerjagers of which construction cost many times an RSO/PaK 40. Despite that the vehicle was intended to be used by the infantry anti-tank units, all pre-production vehicles were finally issued to armoured units (Panzer Jager Abteilungen 743 and 744, and 18th Panzergrenadier Division) due to the urgent need for replacements, where their low speed and light armour inevitably gave problems of cooperation with the other fighting vehicles in use by these units. Although badly used they gave a good account of action and the German Army Group South where the units issued for combat testing declared the vehicle useful and consequently large scale production was authorised. In the event and despite a decision taken for Steyr to shift its entire production line into RSO/Pak 40, no specific order ever reached industry and only the approximately 60 pre-production vehicles were ever manufactured. While the first vehicles were rolled out from the production line, Steyr started testing an improved version incorporating wider chassis and tracks which further improved cross-country performance and lowered the center of gravity, an issue in a vehicle of such a high ground clearance. None of the improved version ever reached the front and in October 1943 Steyr was ordered by the Ministry of Munitions to totally cease production of any type of tracked vehicles. By then a new up-gunned version of the widened chassis had been designed and was planned to enter production in 1944 using its more powerful and less noisy V8 petrol engine to carry the 88mm Pak 43 L70 gun, by far the most powerful anti-tank weapon of its era designated PzJag K43, but it is doubtful if any had been constructed by the end of the war.
IN FLAMES OF WAR
|Equipment and Notes|
|PaK 40 Auf RSO |
7.5cm PaK 40 gun
|Slow tank |
MANEUVER AND FIRE
VETERAN TANK HUNTER RULES (see pg 49 of Hammer and Sickle)
*At the start of the game choose a single piece of Concealing Area Terrain or Linear Obstacle that provides concealment.
*The feature must be at last partially in your deployment zone.
*As long as the whole platoon remains Concealed within or behind the selected terrain feature, they may shoot using their full ROF when they move as if they had not moved. If the platoon elaves the selected terrain feature, or is no longer Concealed from enemy teams other than aircraft, they lose the benefit of the Maneuver and Fire special rule for the remainder of the game.
SHOOT AND SCOOT
*Veteran tnak-hunter Platoons stormtrooper on a roll of 2+