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Greg Heuer Karl Morser Collection
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1/35 scale 60cm Turned Al. Barrel
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Gerät 040 and Gerät 041 - History

Munitionsschlepper for Karlgerät
In October 1939, the Rheinmetall-Borsig project to design a Munitionsschlepper was authorized. The Munitionsschlepper with the electrically driven Wippkran was to deliver the shells with associated charges and cartridge casings to firing position. The chassis, obtained from the Pz.Kpfw.IV production series, carried the superstructure with electric Wippkran, ammunition box for four shells, with crew seats mounted at the rear. Electrical power for the Wippkran was provided by the same 2-cylinder gasoline motor/generator set used in a normal Pz.Kpfw.IV to drive the electrical motor for turret traverse. The longest reach of the Wippkran arm was selected, so that a shell could directed transferred from the Munitionsschlepper to the loading tray on the Gerät 040 while in its firing position. The shell were picked up by a special shell gripper which was stowed on the right front of the Munitionsschlepper. During rail transport or when driving under low overhead clearance, the Wippkran arm ws stowed across the top of the ammunition box.
loading rounds

Another extract from the book : Panzer Tract No.17
Gepanzerte Nachschub Fahrzeuge (Armored Supply/Ammunition Vehicles)
VK3.01 to schwere Wehrmacht-Schlepper
Created by Thomas L.Jentz/Hilary Louis Doyle
ISBN : 0-9744862-4-8
Page 17-30 to 17-36

Munitionsschlepper auf Panzer IV
Pz.Kpfw. IV Fgst. AUsf D, E, and F

Munitionsschlepper description from the manual dated 15 April 1941 : The Munitionsschlepper with the electric Wippktran is intended to transport the shells with the associated charges and cartridge cases to the firing position. The chassis supports the superstructure with the electric Wippkran, the Munitionskasten (ammunition bin) with crew seat, and the charges for four shells. Inside the vehicle are four holders for the charges and four cartridge cases. The longest reach of the Wippkran was chosen so that shells could be loaded onto to the mortar's loading carriage directly from the munitionsschlepper at the firing position. The shells are clamped in a special Geschossgreifer (Shell gripper) that is stowed on the right front of the vehicle. A sail cloth cover protects the Geschossgreifer from dust and dirt.

The series produced normal Pz.Kpfw. IV Fahrgestell is utilized as the chassis for the munitionsschlepper. In the roof of the superstructure is an opening for the driver's hatch and beside it an opening for access to the charge holders. Two adjustable vision posts are located on the front and left side for the driver to see out.
Radiators and cooling air fans are suspended from the rear engine deck and can be removed and installed through hatches located on the rear deck. Special openings in the deck are intended for refilling cooling water and fuel for the DKW-Motor. A foot rest for the crew is located on the rear wall.
The highest load capacity for the Wippkran is 2500 kg at the longest boom extension of 3.4 meters. The DKW-Motor/Generator set supplies electrical power for the Wippkran.
The munitionskasten (ammunition bin) protects the shells. The forward wall can be removed for easier access to manipulate the shells into place. The Munitionskasten consists of a rear bin with hinged lid, a removable front wall, a four part hinged top, and two hinged side walls with limited opening. Two spacing pipes with fasteners connect the front wall to the rear bin. Four fastening bands hold the shells in their beds. A crew seat for three men and a travel lock for the Wippkran boom are located on the rear wall.

This 25 metric ton Munitionsschlepper was manned by a crew of four; two Fahrer (drivers) and 2 Begleiter (assistants). By 1942, a second lighter shell has been produced for the 60cm Karl Geraet requiring a different Greifer uer leichtes Geschoss which was transported on a truck. Later in 1944, two additional shell grippers (one Greifer fuer leichter Geschoss and one Greifer fuer schwerer Geschoss) were needed for the 54cm shells produced for the Geraet 041 (refer to Bertha 's Big Brother, Karl Geraet (60cm) & (54cm) from Panzer Tracts). Also, the ammunition stowage on the Munitionsschlepper had to be modified to transport 54cm shells for the Geraet 041.

A total of 13 Munitionsschlepper were produced on Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf D, E and F chassis which has been acquired from the normal Pz.Kpfw. IV production run as reported in May 1941. There were two Munitionsschlepper for each of the six Geraet 040 Nr. I to VI and one for the experimental Geraet Nr. VII. The status of the Munitionsschlepper was reported on 29 September 1944 as 13 available of which six were with Batterie 428 and 638, two for the Waffenamt (configured for 040), two converted for 041, and two ready for issue.

Munitionspanzerwagen IV für 54 u. 61.5 cm
Mörser "Karl und Thor"
Carrier based on PzKpfw IV Ausf. D
Munitionsschlepper for Karl Gerät, 
based on PzKpfw IV Ausf. D. chassis

After being captured by American Forces, t
his Munitionsschlepper (Nr.2) on a Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F chassis was sent to Aberdeen Proving Ground and subsequently scrapped.
(APG / T.L.Jentz)
carrier based on PzKpfw IV Ausf. F
carrier based on PzKpfw IV Ausf. F
Rail transportation for Karlgerät
Cutaway view of the 60cm mortar as it appears for rail transportation, carried as a single unit on two five-axle pivoting trucks. The gun was suspended between the two cars with the aid of telescoping jacks. When it wasn't feasible to move the gun under its own power, such as over longer distances or over bridges which couldn't support the gun's weight, it was broken down into four separate loads and moved on Culemeyer transporters : a barrel transporter at 42 tons, a transporter for the upper carriage and cradle at 41.8 tons, platform and loading assembly carrier at 21.6 tons, and the self-propelled chassis transporter at 82.3 tons.
Rail transportation photo 1
The massive ensemble of the Karl Mörser and its two transport carriages on the moves during the year 1944.
(Courtesy from MAI No.8)
mai_photo2s.jpg (11838 bytes)
One Mörser waiting for its transport towards the Russian front in 1942.
(Courtesy from MAI No.8)

The real end (with two ladders and brackets for stowing tools) of Gerät Nr. I or Nr.II suspended from the special rail transporter with hydraulic lifters extended. During rail transport the side guard rails would be removed and slide platforms would be folded up.
(APG / T.L.Jentz)

The front end (with one ladder and hatches to the engine compartment) of Gerät Nr. I or Nr.II suspended from the special rail transporter with hydraulic lifters retracted.
(APG / T.L.Jentz)
Karl's rail tramsportation system - side view

Karl's rail transportation system - front view

Karl's rail transportation system - plan view

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