Anti-Tank Combat in the Desert


2.8cm sPzB 41 light anti-tank gun
2.8cm sPzB 41 with road wheels deinstalled to lower visible height
2.8cm sPzB 41 with rear visor armour protection installed
2.8cm sPzB 41 (on trailer) prior to departure from home...
... and on training after arrival in Africa
In the back: SdKfz.10 Demag D7 1-ton halftrack
Muzzle brake cover still installed
In the plain desert, sandbags and rocks used whenever available
2.8cm sPzB 41 installed onto SdAh.32/2 trailer for better transport
2.8cm sPzB 41 in British...
...and Australian hands
Slightly camouflaged Horch 901 towing the sPzB 41
sPzB 41 installed on a captured 1.5-ton Chevy rear
sPzB 41 on SdAh.32/2 under British inspection

3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun
3.7cm PAK 36 with lowered front shield to decrease total height Horch 108 Typ 40 Horch 901 Horch 901 towing the 3.7cm PAK 36
Unloading the 3.7cm PAK 36 from a Ju52 plane
Sd.Kfz.10 Demag D7 Halftrack

4.7cm Pak(t) auf PzKpfw.I Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.101 ohne Turm "Panzerjäger I"
4.7 cm Pak(t) auf Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.101 ohne Turm "Panzerjäger I"
SP AT gun of 2nd Company 605th Panzerjäger Abteilung
Always screening the endless desert for enemy targets...
Note water-can rack on rear trackguard as typical desert modification
Screening again, this time on a cold day...
... with a Sd.Kfz.223 recon(naissance) vehicle nearby
Note extra stowage bin, spare wheel and roof canvas
"Pz.Jg.I" on 10t Recovery Trailer Sd.Anh.115
Captured "Pz.Jg.I" on 7.5-ton Cranes Trailer

5 cm Pak 38 anti-tank gun
Sd.Kfz.10 DEMAG D7 1-ton Halftrack towing the 5cm PAK 38

7.62 cm F.K. 296(r) field gun
Dug-in and well camouflaged, awaiting whatever armour is about to appear...
(Still) unmodified version of the Russian F-22 Field Gun
Capable of dealing with every allied tank in service in 1942
Note late disc-style wheels in contrast to original spoke wheels
Sd.Kfz.10 DEMAG D7 1-ton Halftrack towing the 7.62 cm F.K. 296(r) field gun
Huge muzzle cloud unmasking the gun location
Pz.III passing
Spoke wheeled gun behind Opel Blitz 3-ton (my guess)
Captured enemy weapons always attractive

7.62cm F.K.296(r) auf gp. Sfl.(Sd.Kfz.6/3) "Diana"
One of just nine "Diana"s arrived at the Pz.Jg.Abt.605 in early 1942
Transparency showing the installation of the Russian 7.62cm F.K.

8.8cm Flak 18 AA gun
8.8cm Flak 18 of 1./Flak Rgt.33 of the DAK, Sollum by Tobruk, North Africa, July, 1941
Unteroffizier Reinhard Melzer(left) and his battery commander Oberleutnant Theo Schwabach of 1./Flak Rgt.33 awarded the knight's cross for destroying 34 British tanks at the battle of Sollum ("Operation Battleaxe"), June 15-17, 1941
"In the time period 15.-17.06.1941, during the tank battle at Sollum, Oberleutnant Schwabach's Flak Battery accounted for 34 British tanks destroyed. This can be largely credited to its commander’s drive and aggression, wherein he would even advance with his Batterie ahead of own armoured forces in order to seek out and destroy the opponent. In this way his troops were even able to capture a British 15-cm [6in.] howitzer battery. For his successes in this battle Schwabach was awarded the Knight's Cross."
Unteroffizier Melzer as a gun commander has been responsible for the destruction of at least 13 enemy tanks.
Award Certificate of the Knight’s Cross
Melzer(left) and Schwabach in front of the destroyed Matilda "Gangster" of 7RTR
Rocks, Sandbags, Bushes for protecting and concealing the position
Dust clouds revealing the own position and concealing the enemy's
Blind trust and understanding...

8.8cm Flak 18 w/out front shield, thus decreasing visible height
Note "Flak-Zielfernrohr ZF.20E" (sticking out to the right gun side) used for engaging ground targets

The Sonderanhänger "SdAh.201"
Flak 18 w/shield on trailer "SdAh.201"
Flak 18 w/out shield on trailer "SdAh.201"
Two-part Flak 18 trailer "SdAh.201"
Winching the cross lafette to the SdAh.201 front bogie
Changing wheel at the SdAh.201 rear bogie

Shooting from the trailer
Emergency engagement of ground targets while still on trailer

Sd.Kfz.7 - trailing the "Acht-Acht" aka "Eighty-Eight"
Sd.Kfz.7, Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t, Krauss Maffei Typ KM m 11, of Luftwaffe Flak unit
Contrast of VW and KM
Still not overloaded yet...

RAF perspective...

Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7,62 cm Pak36 (Sd.Kfz. 139) “Marder III”
Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7,62 cm Pak36 with barrel support installed
Resting and refitting under palm trees...
Both seats installed during travel
White "III/1" or "III/2" in movement
Both seats uninstalled for combat readiness
Unavoidable losses
Plymouth utility van (my guess)
Losses again
Installed Tarpaulin and ammo trailer
Under Australian inspection
U.S.45-ton M20 trailer in R.A.S.C service

Pz.Sfl.II 7.5cm L/41 auf Sd.Kfz.6
Only two Pz.Sfl. delivered in early 1942 and deployed to "Kampfstaffel PzAOK Afrika"
One Pz.Sfl. captured and the other destroyed by June 1942

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Last Updated: Jan 21, 2022