Military Review

Self-propelled artillery installation Stormartillerivagn m / 43 (Sweden)

During the Second World War, Sweden remained neutral, but the situation in the world did not allow it to stop the development of the armed forces. Both on the eve of the war and after it began, the defense industry of neutral Sweden worked on new projects of armored combat vehicles. Some samples of this kind, created at this time, for many years determined the appearance of the fleet of armored vehicles of the Swedish army. For example, the Stormartillerivagn m / 43 self-propelled artillery mounts remained in service for the next several decades.

History self-propelled guns Stormartillerivagn m / 43 began in September 1941, when the command of the Swedish army demanded the creation of a promising model of armored vehicles that could increase the striking power of the ground forces. In accordance with the terms of reference, the troops needed a self-propelled artillery mount capable of operating in the same battle formations as the existing ones. tanks and infantry. It was especially noted that such a sample should be adapted to the Swedish landscapes and weather conditions. Self-propelled guns of a new type should have been able to fire both direct fire and from closed positions.

SAU Stormartillerivagn m / 43 in the original configuration with 75-mm gun. Photo

The simplest way to create an armored vehicle with the required characteristics was to equip a ready-made serial chassis with a gun in service. However, the search for suitable components for such an ACS proved to be quite difficult. By that time, Sweden had several tanks with suitable characteristics, each of which could be considered as the basis for a new self-propelled gun. In this regard, for some time, research and additional tests were conducted, the purpose of which was to select the optimal chassis.

Also, at a certain stage, there were problems with the choice of weapons and layout. It turned out that the guns with long trunks do not correspond to the landscapes, and besides, they conflict with the legislation. A relatively long trunk could touch trees while driving in the forest. Also, in such conditions, the trees could prevent the rapid transfer of fire to a large angle. Finally, the rules of the time forbade the operation of vehicles, certain elements of which stand for the frontal part of the body.

Self-propelled artillery installation Stormartillerivagn m / 43 (Sweden)
Reconstruction of the appearance of ACS of the first version. Figure

According to the results of fairly complex comparative tests and the mass of theoretical studies, an optimal image of a promising ACS was formed. The most successful for use in the new project was considered the chassis of the serial light tank Stridsvagn m / 41. The main weapons were considered Bofors m / 02 and Bofors m / 44, which differed in caliber from each other, but had rather short barrels. To install the proposed guns on the existing chassis required to rework the existing armored corps. Other elements of the chassis could remain unchanged.

The development of a new project was entrusted to Scania-Vabis. This company has already managed to establish a serial production of the Strv m / 41 light tank, and therefore in the future it could master the construction of self-propelled guns without any problems.

The design and construction of the first prototype of a new technology was completed in 1943 year. In this regard, as well as taking into account the role on the battlefield, the new model of armored vehicles received the official designation Pansarartillerivagn m / 43 (“Armored artillery vehicle Model 1943 r.”) Or Pav m / 43. However, this name did not have time to gain a foothold for the entire project. All subsequent SAUs were designated as Stormartillerivagn m / 43 (“Assault Artillery Machine Model 1943”) or Sav m / 43. It is under this name that new type self-propelled guns remained in the history of the Swedish army. It should be noted that this name was applied to all versions of equipment, regardless of the features of its design and weapons.

Upgraded Sav m / 43, equipped with 105-mm howitzers. Photo

Light tank Strv m / 41 was a licensed copy of the Czechoslovak machine LT vz.38 and did not differ from it in terms of design. For use in the new project Pav m / 43 / Sav m / 43, the existing car had to be significantly improved. The base tank lost the tower and the podbashennoy box, instead of which it was necessary to mount the wheelhouse with a new combat compartment. Also required to recycle the lower parts of the body. The power plant and chassis and remained without any changes. All this allowed to solve the tasks without significant complication of the project.

The revised case retained the box-shaped frontal assembly, the front of which consisted of several inclined parts. Vertical armor plates also remained in their places. Instead of a turret box behind the upper frontal part, a large sheet with the embrasure of the gun was now placed. On the sides of it were inclined zygomatic sheets, connected to the sides which were piled inwards. Behind the cabin was protected by a pair of sheets at an angle to each other. A complex angular roof was used, consisting of several inclined parts. The hull feed without changes was borrowed from the basic design.

General view of the armored vehicle of the second version. Photo

The light tank of the base model had armor up to 25 mm thick. The Pav m / 43 project proposed a sharp increase in protection. The forehead and logs now had a thickness of 55 mm. On the side, the crew covered the 30-mm hull and cabin sheets. The roof should have been made from 10 mm thick sheets. Other elements of the case were borrowed from the Strv m / 43 and their thickness did not change.

The layout of the hull was redesigned in accordance with the use of new weapons. The frontal unit, as before, had to accommodate transmission devices. Directly behind it was placed a single habitable volume with the jobs of all crew members. The feed was given under the engine and some related systems.

It was offered to equip perspective SAU with gasoline engines Scania-Vabis 1664 with power 142 hp With the help of a cardan shaft, passing along the body, the engine was connected with a mechanical transmission of the front location. Transmission associated with the front drive wheels.

Reconstruction of ACS with enhanced weapons. Figure

Like the base model tanks, the new Swedish self-propelled gun was supposed to have a chassis built on the basis of four road wheels on each side. Large diameter rollers were blocked in pairs and mounted on a spring suspension. Large drive wheels located in the front of the hull. The stern provided for the installation of guide wheels of smaller diameter. Above the intervals between the front support rollers were placed two pairs of supporting rollers. The design of the tracks in the new project has not changed.

In accordance with the original plans, the new-type self-propelled guns were to receive advanced artillery pieces with a caliber 105 mm. Nevertheless, Bofors was unable to complete the development of such weapons on time, which is why the first prototype of the Pav m / 43 and several production vehicles received less powerful weapons. The gun mount, however, was created taking into account the installation of the initially required system. As a result, two variants of self-propelled guns, differing in weapons, had some external similarity.

Serial Sav m / 43 in the military. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

The first version of the combat vehicle received a rifled gun Bofors m / 02 caliber 75 mm and barrel length 50 caliber. The gun was mounted on a universal unit and was taken out of the cutting area with a large round embrasure, covered with a hemispherical mask. Together with the barrel, a guide beam protruded beyond the combat compartment, holding the barrel in the desired position. In the future, the mask was redesigned to take into account other dimensions and design of a larger gun. The design of the gun mount allowed the gun to be aimed vertically and horizontally within limited sectors.

75-mm guns had to use unitary shots with projectiles of different types and for various purposes. Ammunition of several dozen shells was placed on the racks of the fighting compartment. Recharging was carried out manually. For guidance, the crew could use telescopic and panoramic sights.

Interior habitable compartment. Photo

The Pansarartillerivagn m / 43 / Stormartillerivagn m / 43 project did not provide for the use of standard auxiliary weapons. In case of an emergency, the crew could have a personal weaponfrom which it would be possible to shoot through the hatches of the combat compartment. The machine gun was missing.

The self-propelled crew consisted of four people who were placed in a single combat compartment. To the right of the gun installation in the front of the hull was the driver. He could follow the road with a rectangular flap in the frontal sheet, covered by a flap with a slit. To the left of the gun there was a gunner, at whose disposal there were sights and drives of guidance systems. The commander and loader were supposed to work in the chopping room. Inspection hatches were cut in the sides next to them. Access inside the habitable compartment was provided by a large hatch at the rear of the roof. The cover of this hatch, which had a complex polygonal shape, was actually a section of the roof of the cabin.

The total length of the new ACS was 5,05 m, width - 2,14 m, height - 2,3 m. The combat weight was determined in 12 t. It is noteworthy that, despite the small length of the barrel, its muzzle protruded beyond the projection of the hull. However, this feature of the design is not considered a disadvantage. Specific power at the level of 11,8 HP per ton yielded acceptable mobility scores. The maximum speed on the highway was 45 km / h. Power reserve - 180 km. In terms of maneuverability and overcoming obstacles, the Pav m / 43 self-propelled gun did not differ from the base Strv m / 41 tank.

Self-propelled artillery on exercises. Photo

The first prototype self-propelled self-propelled gun, designated Pansarartillerivagn m / 43, was built in the middle of the 1943 year and was submitted for tests, in which representatives of the Swedish military participated. Despite the use of a reduced-caliber gun, an experienced armored vehicle showed itself well and confirmed the possibility of solving all the assigned combat missions. Depending on the situation on the battlefield, the self-propelled gun could fire at direct fire or fire at targets from closed positions, raising the barrel to a high angle of elevation.

In March, 1944, after the successful completion of all tests, the new self-propelled artillery mount was put into service under the designation Stormartillerivagn m / 43 or Sav m / 43. In addition, Scania-Vabis has received an order for the production of 18 serial armored vehicles. It was assumed that the required equipment will be made within a few months, and will soon arrive in parts. However, the assembly of armored vehicles was a bit delayed. Because of this, the first batch of SAU entered the troops only in January 1945 of the year. Over the next few weeks, the army received the remaining self-propelled guns.

Serial Stormartillerivagn m / 43 on the landfill. Photo

The Sav m / 18 43 vehicles were transferred to two assault artillery divisions, each consisting of three batteries. The battery, respectively, included three self-propelled guns. Already in February, 1945, two new divisions were brought to participate in maneuvers. During the exercises, the crews coped with the tasks. Guns received the highest rating. Shortly thereafter, to eliminate possible unpleasant incidents, six batteries of the two divisions were transferred to one of the sections of the Swedish-Norwegian border. There, these compounds remained until the end of the war in Europe.

Only in the middle of 1945, the Bofors company was able to expand the production of new X / NNMX m / 44 howitzers, which made it possible to fulfill the initial requirements of the Pav m / 105 / Sav m / 43 project. These guns were equipped with a barrel length 43 calibers and had a developed muzzle brake. Larger caliber provided a noticeable increase in the main combat characteristics, and also allowed to deal with different objectives with greater efficiency. The appearance of a ready-to-manufacture tool with a greater power had a positive effect on the fleet of available equipment.

One of the surviving museum self-propelled guns. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

Already in 1945, Scania-Vabis and Bofors began upgrading Sav m / 43 self-propelled cash guns. All 18 armored vehicles lost their existing 75-mm guns and got more powerful weapons. Together with a new howitzer, they received a larger gun mask. In addition, according to the operating experience of the existing machines, the existing cutting was modified. The implemented changes affected the sighting equipment complex, as well as improved the ergonomics of the combat compartment.

Large-caliber gun with a developed recoil device has received a new mask. In the embrasure was placed hemispherical unit with a protruding cylinder cover brake rollback. Under it there was a hole for the withdrawal of the trunk. Despite the use of the new mask, the capabilities of the gun set in terms of pointing angles have not changed.

Crews of SAU were hardly satisfied with the need to land through a single sunroof. To solve this problem over the place of the driver appeared his own hatch. A new sight, designed for use with a more powerful weapon, had to be placed in the cabin roof; the head of the sight protruding above it received a cast box-like casing with a hinged front cover. On the frontal and zygomatic sheets, it was proposed to transport spare tracks for caterpillars, which to a certain extent increased the level of protection.

Museum exhibit with a disguise. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

After the modernization of the self-propelled guns was completed, an order appeared to build another 18 of Stormartillerivagn m / 43 armored vehicles armed with a powerful 105-mm howitzer. This assembly continued until the end of 1947. Following the two orders, the Swedish army had 36 howitzer self-propelled guns with relatively powerful weapons. This technique was distributed between four divisions, 9 machines each.

Until the early fifties, self-propelled guns served as part of artillery. In 1951, units armed with such equipment were transferred to armored forces. Subsequently, their affiliation did not change. In its original form, SAU Sav m / 43 were operated until the end of the fifties. After that, it was decided to upgrade, taking into account the experience of updating other armored vehicles. By this time, a certain number of Strv m / 41 tanks with the updated powerplant had already been released. Similar 160-powerful engines to the early sixties were installed on the Stormartillerivagn m / 43. Also modernized means of communication.

SAU in the Swedish Museum Arsenalen. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

For a long time, Sweden is neutral and does not participate in armed conflicts. In this regard, its army has the opportunity to use its equipment only during various combat training exercises. As a result, all serial Sav m / 43 fired only at the landfills and only for training purposes. They, like many other models of armored vehicles of Swedish production, have never been able to participate in a real war.

For obvious reasons, the Swedish self-propelled guns quickly lost their potential in the context of the fight with enemy armored vehicles. Nevertheless, they could still be used as a means of fire support for the troops. Sufficiently powerful weapons and upgraded power plants made it possible to keep the SAU Sav m / 43 in service for a long time. The issue of writing off such machines was resolved only in the early seventies. The last self-propelled gun was removed from service and written off only in the 1973 year, when the army had to do more new cars of similar purpose.

Sav m / 43 from the collection of the Kristianstad Artillery Museum. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

All built serial Stormartillerivagn m / 43 were sent to storage. Subsequently, most of the machines went for recycling, although a significant amount of such equipment was able to survive. Seven self-propelled guns are currently in museums and private collections in Sweden. Two more samples in one way or another hit the museums of Great Britain. One similar exhibit is stored in Germany, France and the Czech Republic. The surviving ACSs are in a different state, some of them are still on the move.

The goal of the Pansarartillerivagn m / 43 or Stormartillerivagn m / 43 project was to create a promising self-propelled artillery mount capable of attacking targets on the battlefield or at tactical depth. It was planned to adapt the car to the difficult conditions of Sweden, as well as to make it as cheap as possible. All these tasks, in general, have been successfully solved. The army received a significant number of new armored vehicles, distinguished by sufficiently high firepower. The specific terrain conditions, the military-political situation in the region, technical characteristics and other factors allowed the self-propelled guns, created in accordance with the concepts of the Second World War, to remain in service for almost three decades.

On the materials of the sites:

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Type 63
    Type 63 14 August 2017 17: 53
    Thank you for the article. I feel great sympathy for the Swedish armored vehicles, I read with pleasure.
  2. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 15 August 2017 07: 22
    Thank. A very detailed article. Informative and affordable.