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Grille file photo (Ausf H) [7871]

SdKfz 138/1 Grille

Primary RoleSelf-Propelled Gun


ww2dbaseThe Grille self-propelled guns were produced by mating 15-centimeter infantry guns with the hulls of Czech-built Panzer 38(t) light tanks. One prototype and 90 production examples of the Ausf H variant design were built by the BMM factory in Prague, Czechoslovakia between Feb and Apr 1943, and 402 (120 of which were without guns; used as ammunition carriers that could be mounted with guns in the field) of the Ausf M variant design were built between Apr and Jun 1943 and then again between Oct 1943 to Sep 1944.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2009


Ausf. H
MachineryOne Praga AC 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 147hp
SuspensionLeaf spring
Armament1x15 cm schweres Infanteriegeschütz 33 gun (15 rounds), 1x7.92mm MG 34 machine gun
Armor50mm hull front, 25mm superstructure front
Length4.95 m
Width2.15 m
Height2.47 m
Weight11.5 t
Speed35 km/h
Range190 km


German Waffen-SS troops operating a Grille self-propelled gun in Russia, Jul 1943, photo 1 of 2German Waffen-SS troops operating a Grille self-propelled gun in Russia, Jul 1943, photo 2 of 2
See all 5 photographs of SdKfz 138/1 Grille Self-Propelled Gun

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
30 Oct 2009 05:24:57 PM

Photographs show the Bison Heavy Infantry Gun
Sd.Kfz 138/1. This vehicle was built on the
chassis of the reliable Panzer 38(t). The Bison Ausf.H mounted the 5.9 inch (15cm)
heavy infantry gun.
The vehicles were not intended as tank destroyers, but designed to provide mobile artillery support.

Another version of the Bison, also known as
the(Grille or Cricket), self-propelled howitzer.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Oct 2009 03:18:48 PM

So what is the self-propelled Howitzer, and
its definition:
A howitzer is a short cannon with medium muzzle velocity and a curved trajectory.
The higher the angle of fire and referred to
as indirect fire,allows the weapon to reach
targets hidden by hills, and other obstacles that can not be seen,and different from flat trajectory weapons called direct fire guns that are able to see targets in line of sight.
Howitzers fire high-explosive HE projectile
and not armor-piercing AP projectile also fire other specialised rounds.
Batteries of self-propelled howitzers, are
fire support for Infantry divisions, as in
most armies, the Artillery Bttalion has its
supply of headquators and service batteries
this is again organized into seperate gun
batteries that have four or six guns to a battery,along with its own support batteries.
In most armies, howitzer batteries are supported by units of armor, infantry and
engineers. Fire support missions are called
by a forward observer assigned with the
infantry, or other unit.

Definitions to remember:
Battery: Group of four or six guns with its
own command,communications and support etc.

Howitzer: Lower velocity weapon firing its
projectile with a relatively high trajectory
to plunge onto a target.

Breech: Rear end of the barrel or tube into
which the propellent and projectile are

Direct fire: The target is visible from the
gun position.

Indirect fire: Targets are out of sight, and
must be directed and corrected by the forward
observer, or trained personnel.

Fixed ammunition: Ammunition in which the
projectile is attached at the front of a
brass case containing the propellent, some
artillery ammunition within the brass case
have power bags that can be removed and cut, so that a larger or smaller charge can be used.
The fuse device fitted to the shell to initiate detonation of the explosive at the desired moment before impact(air burst),on ground impact or after ground impact.

Semi-fixed: Larger artillery ammunition,that
contain the power bags, shell and fuse to be
installed, like the fixed ammunition, the
power bags can be cut so that a larger or smaller charge can be used. The fuse can be fitted to the shell to initate the detonation of the explosive filling at the desired moment before impact (air burst) on ground impact, or after ground impact.

Calibre: Diameter of the bore or barrel and
also used to express in terms of length.
So you have, for example 75mm,105mm,152mm, 155mm,175mm and the 8inch/203mm howitzer.

Self-Propelled Howitzer: As described able
to move under its own power.

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SdKfz 138/1 Grille Self-Propelled Gun Photo Gallery
German Waffen-SS troops operating a Grille self-propelled gun in Russia, Jul 1943, photo 1 of 2German Waffen-SS troops operating a Grille self-propelled gun in Russia, Jul 1943, photo 2 of 2
See all 5 photographs of SdKfz 138/1 Grille Self-Propelled Gun

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