Raupenschlepper, Ost Artillery tractor.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by davebender, May 22, 2012.

  1. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Germany produced this inexpensive artillery tractor like hot rolls. About 25,000 total during 1942 to 1945. During the same time frame Germany produced 16,733 10.5cm artillery pieces. Each light howitzer should have had a prime mover with thousands remaining for AT guns, Nebelwerfer etc. Why isn't the Steyr RSO mentioned in popular histories of the war?

    Some nice pictures of a restored Steyr RSO.
    Restored Steyr RSO - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums
    CIMG0050.jpg
     
  2. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLh4V_d5n7c

    DAVE, you can drive to Kursk. I prefer to walk and keep my hearing. Sweet Jeezuz.

    Steyr is an Austrian company ... part of the industrial booty the Nazis picked up with their early war effort .... same as Skoda in Czech ... making Panzers.

    In contrast, a better yet different vehicle: 57,000 built by war's end, 29,000 of which were built by Ford Canada in Windsor, ON. Your neighbors, :), remember.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISQa-Ok6FdM

    MM
     
  3. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    If you are assigned to a WWII era artillery battery then your hearing is probably already gone. :cry:

    Morris C8 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Looks like the wheeled Morris C8 was Britains equivalent to the Steyr RSO. About 10,000 produced. I'm surprised they didn't use a variant of the tracked Bren carrier as a tow tractor. That wheeled vehicle must have gotten stuck a lot in the mud/snow/soft sand.
     
  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Always had a soft spot for these RSO's! 8)
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Reasonably effective and inexpensive to mass produce. Just like the 10.5 cm leFH 18/40 howitzer it towed. That's what it takes to equip over 200 combat divisions.

    I'm surprised Germany didn't adopt this solution during the late 1930s rather then marching into Poland and France with horse drawn artillery.
     
  8. model299

    model299 Member

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    I'm thinking that the enclosed cabin and heater (I'm assuming it had one) were VERY much appreciated by the operators during winter months on the Eastern Front.
     
  9. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing because horses don't drink gasoline...
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    They may have been just a little busy trying to make regular trucks. The road networks in Poland and France don't require fully tracked vehicles for the majority of the year.

    While horse don't drink any gasoline a tracked vehicle will drink TWICE the gasoline a wheel vehicle will. Mr. Bender wants to stretch German gas supplies. Using tracked supply vehicles/tractors on good roads in good weather does the opposite.
     
  11. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #11 michaelmaltby, May 24, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
    Influenced by the British Morris gun prime mover, about 800,000 (all versions) of these CMP's were built by GMC Canada and Ford Canada. Not all of those were short wheelbase quads, but all were 4x4. After the war many quads were used in the bush as log-skidders until parts were no longer available. Powered by Ford flat head v8 or GM straight 6. I've seen 'em in Madagascar fitted with Massey Ferguson diesel engines and in the Ottawa Valley, cut in half and articulated with hydraulic steering pistons like a front end loader -- used as snow plow.

    At the end of WW2 the Canadian Army was the most mechanized army in Europe, IIRC :)

    Better prime mover than the Styer - but still noisey :)


    CMP Field Artillery Tractor

    http://www.mapleleafup.net/vehicles/cmparmour/c15ta.html
     

    Attached Files:

  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Austria and Germany had similiar vehicles going all the way back to 1905. So did most other nations. The Soviet Union and France mass produced simple tracked artillery tractors during the 1930s. 1942 Germany made a similiar decision.

    Why did WWII Britain swim against contemporary opinion by adopting a wheeled artillery tractor?


    Artilleriezugauto M 17
    Artilleriezugauto M 17
    Artillerie_Zugauto_M_17.jpg

    Radschlepper Ost
    Radschlepper Ost
    Radschlepper_Ost_WH-1387084.jpg
     
  13. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... a tracked vehicle will drink TWICE the gasoline a wheel vehicle will. Mr. Bender ...."

    Wheeled may have issues in mud, but my Grand Dad and Uncle were artillerymen at Paschendale .... the horses needed help ... no different in WW2

    MM
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Actually there is. WWII era artillery pieces typically had longer range and better suspension that allowed towing at higher speed. There's no such thing as a free lunch. WWII artillery pieces typically also weighed more.

    German example.
    10.5cm leFH 16.
    1,525 kg. 9,225 meters max range. Horse towed.

    10.5 cm leFH 18/40.
    1,955 kg. 12,325 meters max range. Torsion bar suspension to allow towing by motor vehicles.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It is not only the suspension but the wheels and brakes.

    It might also help comparisons if Mr. Bender actually compared Like to Like. The split trail carriage of the 10.5 cm leFH 18 added several hundred Kg over the box trail carriage of the 10.5cm leFH 16 even if both were horse drawn. The Split trail carriage did offer much wider traverse though.

    The British didn't "swim against contemporary opinion by adopting a wheeled artillery tractor" as few other countries actually had any real number of those specialized wheeled tractors or tracked tractors. The vast majority of artillery that was pulled by motor vehicles in ALL armies was pulled by trucks.
    The British had also built and tested a number of tracked artillery tractors and actually built about 26,000 of the Loyd carrier.

    Loyd_intro.jpg

    Despite appearances it was NOT armored and was a transport vehicle.

    For an earlier item along these lines see:

    weapon_qf45inhowitzer8.jpg

    In 1933.
     
  16. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    The Ost was also terribly slow, having a top speed of about 10 mph. As a cargo carrier, it would take a LONG time to cover any substantial amount of distance at 10 mph.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    RSO Ost was an inexpensive replacement for horse teams. It was not a replacement for proper artillery tractors such as the Sd.Kfz.11.
    untitled.png
     
  18. model299

    model299 Member

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    You know though, it still has a cool, utilitarian look to it. Like I said before, I'm betting that enclosed cab with a heater was a favorite location for troops during the winter months.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    1918 Germany made plans to produce an inexpensive tractor to replace artillery horse teams. I would have expected Germany to order such a vehicle into production as part of the March 1935 rearmament plan.

    Apparently OHL forget this WWI lesson and had to learn anew after invading Russia.
     
  20. model299

    model299 Member

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    Indeed. Man!

    Looks like there was only room for 2 in the cab.

    Barely.

    Keyed ignition as well. Wonder if that's stock or added by the owner to prevent drive off theft?
     
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