Historical Information for Wespe
The SdKfz 124 Wespe ( German for wasp) or (Leichte Feldhaubitze 18 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II) was a German self propelled artilery vehicle developed and used during the Second World War. It was based on the Panzer II tank.
In 1940, during the battle of France, it was apparent that the main tank of the German forces, the Panzer II, was unsuitable as a direct combat vehicle; though mechanically sound, it was both under-gunned and under-armoured. Thus, when the need arose for a self-propelled artillery vehicle, the Panzer II was a natural choice, removing the vehicles from front line service and extending their usable lifespan.
The design for the Wespe was produced by Alkett, and was based on the Panzer II Ausf. F chassis. Production of the vehicles was carried out at various plants, mainly in Poland. The conversion process itself proved relatively simple, involving the replacement of the Panzer II turret with a 105 mm howitzer and gun-shield.
The Wespe first saw combat in 1943 on the Eastern front, and proved so successful that Hitler ordered all Panzer II production to be reserved for the Wespe alone, dropping other projects such as the Marder II.
The Wespe stayed in production from February 1943 until mid- 1944, when Soviet forces captured the German factories in today's Poland. By that time 662 had been produced, with an additional 158 as weaponless ammunition carriers
Technical Information Wespe