Self-propelled artillery

German Wespe 105 mm self-propelled artillery vehicle

German Wespe 105 mm self-propelled artillery vehicle

A self-propelled gun, or self-propelled artillery, is a vehicle that gives mobility to artillery. With high mobility thanks to its tracks, it can accommodate a howitzer, cannon, mortar or a lance-missile/roquette. The motor is often used for a series of indirect fire support on the battlefield.

In the past, self-propelled artillery included direct fire vehicles such as assault gun or tank destroyer. These were armored vehicles, the former providing close fire support, the second being an anti-tank specialist.

Today, self-propelled artillery superficially resemble tanks but are lightly armored, too little to survive a fire fight live. Their armor is designed to protect their crew s shrapnel and small arms. Many are equipped with machine gun s to defend against enemy infantry.



World War I

The first self-propelled artillery is the Gun Carrier Mark I in 1917. Developed during World War II, it is based on the Mark I tank.


At the beginning of World War II, almost all the artillery was still moved by vehicles or horses. However the German Blitzkrieg doctrine of using the combination of weapons for action brought a fire support units moving by using Stuka dive hunters (who played the role played in practice before the artillery). Mortars followed conventional units on the ground.

As to the conduct of the war, most nations have developed a self-propelled artillery. The first tests were nothing more than a field gun mounted on a truck, a technique known in the British Army under the term. These guns were mobile, but offered no protection to the servers. The next step was to mount these guns on a protected frame (often obsolete or outdated char) which provided an armored structure to protect the gun and its servants.

For English

Most of the early models were improvised and experience then allowed better designs. For example, the first British howitzer, the “Bishop” was equipped with the 25 pounder howitzer, but in an assembly that severely limited performance. He was replaced later by Sexton, much more efficient.

For the Germans

Wespe, Hummel, Grille

For the Soviets

The Soviets, who had already experienced the construction of self-propelled gun, both based on the basis of truck tank, produced early in the war some Komsomoletz based on a Zis-2 57mm gun mounted on tractor chassis. In 1943, they produced the SU-85 and the end of 1944, the SU-100, which combined a powerful gun on a modern chassis providing complete shielding. He had the advantage of being relatively cheap to produce and have a little more powerful than that fitted to the tank which he derived cannon, which gave the Russians flexibility.

Assault guns

The assault guns were heavily protected designed to bring the infantry direct fire support during the assault on enemy defensive positions. Although they are similar to tank destroyers, they carried a gun with a larger caliber with a smaller screen, but they could shoot projectiles fragmentation. The German and Soviet StuH 42 ISU-152 are good examples of this type of self-propelled artillery.

Propelled guns

All great nations have developed a self-propelled artillery that could provide indirect support that is to say, not by pulling on the target, but by providing fire support against targets beyond the battlefield. It was often lightly armored vehicles on the sides as the U.S. M7 Priest, Sexton (25 pdr) British and German Wespe. The Soviets took a different path because they have not developed a specialized artillery in support of indirect fire, but remained in the tradition of artillery two goals, made a series of assault guns versatile able to provide indirect support (such as ISU-152). But the most important breakthrough was the development of the famous Katyusha rocket propelled launcher consists of a standard unshielded truck with a rack to rocket into the dumpster. It was a very cheap and incredibly effective weapon.

After the Second World War, assault guns are obsolete. By artillery against indirect support is still significant and continues to develop the idea of ​​a canon of land for any purpose.

Modern motor



•Faw Al-propelled artillery system

Propelled gun

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