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Schwere Ladungsträger (Sd Kfz 301)


Schwere Ladungsträger Ausf. C, model by John Robinson


During offsensive operations, it is often necessary to destroy enemy pillboxes and other fortifications. The Ladungsträger was developed to perform in that role.

During the campaign in France in 1940, modified Panzerkampfwagen I were used to deliver heavy charges to destroy minefields, pillboxes, and other fortifications. The results were favorable, therefore Borgward were order to develop a special-purpose vehicle in October, 1941. The resulting vehicle was based on their Munitionsschlepper VK301, and was equipped with a radio control-feature.

The Ladungsträger was armed with a 500kg Sprengladung (demolition charge). The vehicle drove up to the placement zone, and released the charge through means of explosive bolts. Once in place, the vehicle would move to a safe distance and remotely detonate the charge. Alternately, the entire vehicle could be remotely piloted to a location and detonated.

Three different models of the Ladungsträger were produced, the Ausführung A, B, and C. 616 Ausf. A were produced from May 1942 until June of 1943. Ausf. B production started in July 1943 and continued until November 1943 at which time 260 had been produced. During the production run of the Ausf. B, the armor thickness on the side and rear was increased to match the 10mm of the driving compartment. Dry pin track was also added during this run. The Ausf. C was produced from December of 1943 until the following September with a total of 305 rolling off of the assembly line. Features of the Ausf. C included simplified construction and much thicker armor: 15mm to 20mm over much of the surface. An experimental version of the Ausf. C added a front-mounted TV camera to improve visibility, but the project was eventually abandoned. Numerous Ladungsträger were ultimately converted to self-propelled guns or rocket launchers in the later stages of the war.


Schwere Ladungsträger Ausf. C, model by John Robinson

It is interesting to not that the 301st Panzerabteilung was issued 21 Tiger Ausf. E in August-September of 1944. These were used to control their Ladungsträger (also known as sonderschlepper B IV, or just B IV). Each Tiger controlled three B IV. This fact could have relevance to the Bergetiger discussion.


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