Panzersturmmörser (Tiger-Mörser)

By Christian Ankerstjerne

Introduction

In March 1943, Krupp proposed the construction of a heavy assault mortar. In May, they presented a design called Bär (bear). The Bär mounted a 305 mm gun, capable of firing high-explosive and concrete-piercing ammunition, and used elements from the Panther and Tiger I.

On 27 May 1943, Alkett presented a design which mounted a 380 mm mortar on a Tiger I chassis. On this design, the superstructure was mounted at the rear, as on the Ferdinand. It was decided to pursue Alkett's design, rather than Krupp's.

Development

The rear-mounted superstructure, which would have required that the engine be moved to the front of the vehicle, was quickly abandoned. The simpler design of the Panzersturmmörser (armored assault mortar) was presented on 20 October 1943. The original intention was the build Tiger I chassis specifically for the Panzersturmmörser. Due to delays, however, it was decided to use existing Tiger I chassis sent back from the front for field repairs.

A modified 380 mm anti-submarine rocket launcher, the 38 cm Raketenwerfer 61 L/5,4, was used for the Panzersturmmörser. It fired a fin-stabilized 345 kg rocket at a speed of 300 meters per second.

The first three vehicles were not completed until August 1944, with a further ten built in September 1944, and the final five in December 1944.

Operational History

The Panzersturmmörsers were organized in special Sturm-Mörser-Kompanien (assault mortar companies). The first unit, Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1000, was sendt to Warsaw with two Panzersturmmörsers during the Warsaw uprising. Two more units, Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1001 and Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1002, were created, with an authorized strength of four Panzersturmmörsers each. Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1000 and Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1001 fought against the Western Allies in the Ardennes in December 1944.

There is anecdotal evidence of Panzersturmmörsers fighting Allied tanks. One story reports how three Medium Tank, M4's were destroyed by a single rocket. In another instance, a former US soldier recalls how a Panzersturmmörser destroyed several Medium Tank, M4's, leaving holes in the ground the size of the vehicle itself. While the Panzersturmmörser was well-armored, it was in no way suited for fighting tanks, given its excessive weight and slow loading time.

Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie Organization

Item Strength Organization Chart
Manpower 79
Organization chart of a Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie.
Panzersturmmörser 4
Light machine guns 5
Trucks 11
Prime movers 4
Panzerfaust 20

Issue History

Unit Number Assigned Shipped Notes
Panzer-Ersatz-Abteilung 500 1 - - Cast iron
Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1000 1 - - Fgst. 250 091
1 - - Fgst. 250 230
2 26 October 1944 1 December 1944
  • Fgst. 250 327
  • Fgst. 251 168
Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1001 4 - 11 October 1944
  • Fgst. 250 043
  • Fgst. 250 051
  • Fgst. 250 103
  • Fgst. 250 471
Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1002 2 8 December 1944 11 December 1944 Fgst. 250 237
2 13 December 1944 13 December 1944
  • Fgst. 251 174
  • From Panzer-Ersatz-Abteilung 500

Unit Strength

Unit Date Combat ready Maintenance
Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1000 30 December 1944 4 0
15 February 1945 3 1
Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1001 30 December 1944 4 0
15 February 1945 4 0
Ersatzheer 1 March 1945 0 0

Technical Information

Panzersturmmörser (Tiger-Mörser)
Crew
Crew
  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Radio operator
Physical Characteristics
Weight 65 t
Length 6.28 m
Width 3.57 m
Height 2.85 m
Firing height 2.00 m
Ground clearance 0.47 m
Ground pressure 1.24 kg/cm²
Armor
Hull, front 100-150 mm
Hull, sides and rear 60-80 mm
Hull, top 25-40 mm
Hull, bottom 25 mm
Performance
Maximum speed 37.5 km/h
Road speed 30 km/h
Cross-country speed 20-25 km/h
Maximum grade 35°
Trench crossing 2.30 m
Vertical obstacle 79 cm
Fording depth 170 cm
Fuel capacity 540 l
Mileage (road) 4.50 l/km
Mileage (cross-country) 6.35 l/km
Cruising range 120 km
Cross-country range 85 km
Engine
Make and model Maybach HL 230 P 45
Type Water cooled
Cylinders 12
Displacement 23 000 cc
Fuel Gasoline
Max. governed speed 2500 rpm
Net h.p. 650
Armament
Main weapon 38 cm Stu M
Secondary weapon
  • MG 34
  • MG 42
Auxillary weapon 9 mm MP (2)
Ammunition Storage
Main weapon 14
Secondary weapon 2550
Auxillary weapon 384

Additional Reading

Pz Kpfw Tiger Ausf. E
Information about the Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E.
Sturmpanzer
Information abuot the Sturmpanzer.

Sources

  1. . Gliederung der Hauptarten der fechtenden Heerestruppen (nur Anhalt). Berlin : Oberkommando des Heeres, 1945. 15 p. Generalstab des Heeres/Org. Abt. Nr. I/100/45 g.Kdos..
  2. BÜHLER & SÖRENSEN. Unterlüss Report No. 295 Part XI : Raketen-Abschußgeräte. Unterlüss : Work Center Unterlüss, 1948. p. .
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  5. Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen. Panzerlage vom 1.2.45. Berlin : Oberkommando des Heeres, 1945. 11 p. .
  6. Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen. Panzer-Bestand im Ersatzheer : Stand: 1.3.1945. Berlin : Oberkommando des Heeres, 1945. p. .
  7. JENTZ, Thomas L. & DOYLE, Hilary L. Panzer Tracts No. 20-1 - Paper Panzers : Panzerkampfwagen, Sturmgeschuetz, and Jagdpanzer. Boyds, MD : Panzer Tracts, 2001. 60 p. ISBN 0-9708407-3-X.
  8. JENTZ, Thomas L. & DOYLE, Hilary Louis. Panzer Tracts No. 8 - Sturmgeschuetz : s.Pak to Sturmmoerser. Darlington, MD : Darlington Productions, 1999. 60 p. ISBN 1-892448-04-X.
  9. PAWLAS, Karl R. Waffen-Revue W 127 - Datenblätter für Heeres-Waffen, -Fahrzeuge und Gerät. Nurnberg : Publizistisches Archiv für Militär- und Waffenwessen, 1976. 248 p. ISBN 3-88088-213-4.