Mareșal tank destroyer

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Mareșal tank destroyer
Mareșal tank destroyer.jpg
The M-05 prototype.
Type Tank destroyer
Place of origin Kingdom of Romania
Service history
In service 1943—44
Used by Romania
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Comandamentul Trupelor Motomecanizate
Designed 1942—43
Manufacturer Rogifer
Produced 1943-1944
No. built 7 prototypes (1 unfinished) + uncompleted Series 0 vehicles (?)
Specifications (M-05 prototype)
Weight 10 tonnes (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons)
Length 5.8 m (19 ft 0 in)
Width 2.44 m (8 ft 0 in)
Height 1.54 m (5 ft 1 in)
Crew 2 (3 for future versions)

Armor 10–20 millimetres (0.39–0.79 in)
Main
armament
1 x 75 mm DT-UDR or 122 mm howitzer M1910/30
Secondary
armament
1 x 7.92 mm ZB-53 machine gun
Engine Hotchkiss H-39
120 horsepower (89 kW)
Speed On road: 45 km/h (28 mph)
Off road: 25 km/h (16 mph)

The Mareșal was a tank destroyer produced in limited numbers during the Second World War by the Kingdom of Romania. It's believed that the vehicle is the inspiration for the German Hetzer tank destroyer. [1][2][3]

Name[edit]

The vehicle was named after Ion Antonescu, who at that time was the marshal (mareșal) of Romania. The vehicle was also called Carul M (the "M-tank"). This designation was probably used before the idea of calling the vehicle Mareșal. [4]

History[edit]

The Vânătorul de Care Mareșal was the most ambitious Romanian tank effort of the Second World War. The first prototype was built in the summer of 1943, mounting a Soviet 122 mm howitzer on a T-60 light tank chassis in a completely enclosed casemate. The new vehicle proved successful enough that two more prototypes were built by October 1943. Although the Romanians developed a shaped-charge anti-tank round for the 122 mm howitzer, it was eventually decided to replace the Soviet gun with the Romanian Reșița 75 mm anti-tank gun. When the Romanians approached the Germans about the supply of a thousand Hotchkiss tank engines, the Germans found out about the project and were impressed with the overall layout of the Mareșal. The fourth prototype, M-04, was completed in February 1944, and was armed with the aforementioned 75 mm anti-tank gun. There were plans to create 32 anti-tank battalions, each with 30 Mareșal tank destroyers. After the Hotchkiss plant in France was overrun by the Allies in the summer of 1944, the Germans agreed to provide the 160 hp Praga engine. The last prototypes, M-05 and M-06, moved towards the incorporation of more Czech-built parts, as these could still be acquired.

Variants[edit]

  • M-00 prototype

First prototype. It was based on a Soviet T-60 chassis armed with the Putilov 122mm M1904/30 howitzer. [5]

  • M-01 prototype

Second prototype, was based on a reinforced T-60 chassis, same armament.[6]

  • M-02 prototype

The M-02 was based on a reinforced and slightly larger T-60 chassis (designed by the company Rogifer), same armament.[7]

  • M-03 prototype

The fourth prototype and last one to use the 122 mm howitzer. It was based on a lengthened and widened T-60 chassis.[8]

  • M-04 prototype

The fifth and first prototype to use the 75 mm gun. It was also based on a modified T-60 chassis.[9]

  • M-05 prototype

The major prototype, armed with the 75 mm gun and built on a Romanian-made chassis, unlike the previous vehicles. It used the Panzer 38(t) suspension.[10]

  • M-06 prototype

An unfinished and very unknown prototype. It was different from the previous ones and had a crew of 3.[11]

  • Series 0 vehicles

It is believed that the first series of vehicles, Series 0, was started and partially completed. When the Soviets came in, they confiscated these vehicles together with the prototypes and plans related to the project.

  • Flakpanzer Mareșal

German plan to buy the vehicle and arm it with two (twin) 37 mm anti-aircraft guns. Nothing else is known about this plan. [12][13]

  • Self-propelled howitzer variant

Talks between German generals of giving the Mareșal different guns in case not enough 75 mm Reșiţa AT guns could have been delivered. Planned guns were 122 mm and 150 mm howitzers, or a 75 mm Vickers anti-aircraft gun, mounted as an AT gun (possibly referring to the Vickers Model 1931). [14]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Scafes, p.47-48
  2. ^ Axworthy, p.229
  3. ^ Steven J. Zaloga, Tanks of Hitler’s Eastern Allies 1941–45, p. 31
  4. ^ Artileria română în date şi imagini by Adrian Stroea, Gheorghe Bajenaru, p. 105
  5. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu[page needed]
  6. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu[page needed]
  7. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu[page needed]
  8. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu[page needed]
  9. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu[page needed]
  10. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu[page needed]
  11. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu[page needed]
  12. ^ Steven J. Zaloga, Tanks of Hitler’s Eastern Allies 1941–45, p. 31
  13. ^ Axworthy, Scafes and Craciunoiu pp. 228-235.
  14. ^ https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=70126&start=45
  • Axworthy, Mark; Scafes, Cornel; Craciunoiu, Cristian, Third Axis Fourth Ally: Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941-1945