Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hummel (Howitzer)

The Howitzer "Hummel" was a self-propelled gun with a 150-mm howitzer . It was created by the German Wehrmacht in World War II used from 1943 until the end of the war.

Howitzer Hummel
Main Features
6 men
7,17 m
2,97 m
2,81 m
24,4 t
Armor and armament
10–30 mm
Main armament
1 × 150 mm heavy field howitzer sFH 18/1 L/30 with 18 rounds of ammunition
Secondary armament
MG 34 or MG 42
Maybach HL 120 TRM V12
300 PS (221 ​​kW)
Leaf spring
Top speed
42 km / h
Power / weight
13 HP / T
215/130 km (road / road)


Development and Production

Even before the war got the later Colonel-General Heinz Guderian , who developed the armored force for independent branch of service, the demand for motorized and under armor protection artillery, the armored units into the battle to follow, and they should provide the necessary artillery support. These plans could be realized due to the initial low production capacity of the tank industry until the 1942nd After it was recognized that an initially planned special design of self-propelled guns with Rundumfeuerung was responsible to no longer due to the war, attempts were made ​​to use existing chassis and weapons .

In 1942, developed vehicle-based, just like the Panzerjäger rhinoceros , on the gun carriage III / IV. This was a chassis of the Panzer IV to the drive train of a Panzer III , the engine was moved to the front to the rear to create a large space battle. As a weapon, the 150-mm howitzer was sFH 18 used a side directional field of 15 ° on both sides and had a 43-pound projectile a firing range of 13 km. Since the car was not designed for direct combat, protected only light armor against rifle fire and shrapnel. Then the structure had only one round of 10 mm armor. The development took place at Alkett and assembly in the German iron works in Duisburg. The official designation was "heavy howitzer 15 cm 18/1 on chassis Panzer III / IV (Sf)" (Sd.Kfz. 165). The "Bumblebee" came in May 1943 to the front until the summer were 85 pieces with the troops.

By the end of the year, 227 pieces delivered. Total of 724 howitzers were produced, ten of which came from conversions.  On 27February 1944 was accounted for by transfer of Adolf Hitler used the previously suggestive name "Bumblebee". In early 1945, the production of "Bumblebee" set. At this time, there were 335 "bumblebees", of which the majority was on the Eastern Front and suffered from the lack of fuel and ammunition.


The Howitzer "Hummel" was the organization of an armored artillery regiment Armored Division assumed. A regiment had three departments , with only one department was equipped with self-propelled guns. A Department consisted of three batteries . The first two batteries were with the howitzer "wasp" feature, and the third battery is standard with six "bumblebees" and two ammunition carriers. Although the vehicles were of a high lift and had no way to Rundumfeuerung, they proved themselves at the front. For a direct contact with the enemy was fighting enemy tanks in the direct aiming the gun possible, but this should be due to the low armor in the only emergency . done From autumn 1944, the First Department officially only an armored artillery regiment was equipped with self-propelled guns. Here too was the target features of the 3rd Battery six "bumblebees", where there were numerous differences due to the war, as the production could not keep pace with the losses. So they went alone in 1944 on the Eastern Front 240 howitzers "Hummel" lost.

Ammunition carrier "Bumble Bee"

Since the Howitzer "Hummel" with 18 shots had only a limited amount of ammunition, and this is not sustainable over time sufficient fire support, even 157 ammo carrier "Bumble Bee" were built. This was around the same type of vehicle, which was used during the installation of the main weapon. Inside the still open-topped fighting compartment, additional ammunition brackets attached and closed conditional by the absence of major weapon gap in the frontal armor of the structure by an additional armor plate. The ammunition carrier could carry 90 grenades and cartridges.Although the vehicles were in its purchase relatively expensive, but placed them on the logistics of the heavy artillery units a considerable relief represents Thus the ammunition carrier same terrain as the howitzer, were better protected than those normally used in the replenishment scale Opel Blitz and it was not additional spare parts required. The conversion of such ammunition carrier to a howitzer "Bumblebee" was also possible. This had only opened a locked gun mantlet armor plate and a gun - that came for example from another damaged "Bumblebee" - can be installed.