Sd Kfz 304 Mittlerer Ladungsträger (E1951.48)

Sd Kfz 304 Mittlerer Ladungsträger
Sd Kfz 304 Mittlerer Ladungsträger
Sd Kfz 304 Mittlerer Ladungsträger
vehicle info
Precise Name
Sd Kfz 304 Mittlerer Ladungsträger
Other Name
NSU Springer, Gerät 680
Main Utility Type
Demolition
Country of Use
Germany
production
Manufactured
1944, NSU, Germany
Era
World War 2
Nationality
German
location in the museum
Russian Front
A mobile bomb on tracks. Expendable tracked demolition charge vehicle.
Built by the NSU Company, the Springer was powered by an Opel Olympia car engine and used many components from the Kettenkrad half-track motorcycle. It was intended to replace earlier designs such as the Goliath although none of these models had proved very effective.

The Springer contained 330 kilograms of explosive. It would be driven as close to the target as possible, after which the driver dismounted, folded down the armour plates around his seat, and the machine continued under radio control to the point where it would be detonated by the same means.

Springers were organised into special companies which included Sturmgeschutz 40 armoured control vehicles, each of which controlled three Springers. In fact only 50 Springers were built and they did not see very much use.

Germans developed several remote controlled demolition vehicles (funklenpanzer). Intended for attacking strong points, demolition of obstacles or mine detection and clearance. The effective range of control was about 2Km.

Precise Name: Mittlere Ladungstrager

Other Name: SdKfz 304, Springer, Gerat 680

DESCRIPTION

The German Army developed several remotely controlled demolition vehicles during World War II. Some of these were wire guided, like the Leichte Ladungstrager Goliath (See E1951.42). Others, called Funklenpanzer, relied on radio guidance. The Springer was one of these.

Radio guidance was potentially more reliable than wire guidance: wires could catch on an obstacle on the battlefield or could be cut by shell fire, while the range of a wire guided vehicle was necessarily limited to a few hundred metres by the length of cable that it could carry.

The Springer was developed during 1943 – 44 as a replacement for the wire guided Goliath and the larger radio controlled BIV. The Goliath had proved to be fairly ineffective while the heavy BIV was expensive and was due to go out of production during 1944.

Effectively a self-propelled bomb on tracks, the Springer was produced by the NSU Company and employed many of the components of the Kettenkrad ‘motorcycle’ half-track (see E1952.37). It was taken as close to the target as possible by a driver who was protected by a lightly armoured cupola made of folding steel plates. The driver dismounted and folded the cupola down to protect the radio set used for remote control. The Springer continued, directed by radio from a specially equipped Sturmgeschutze 40 assault gun (see E1990.64). When the target was reached the 330kg explosive charge was detonated by radio. The control system had a maximum range of about two kilometres.

The Springer was issued to Radio Control Armoured Companies. Each company consisted of a command Sturmgeschutze plus three more Sturmgeschutze. Each of the latter three controlled three Springer, giving a total company strength of nine. The Springer wasn’t especially effective and only about 50 were manufactured between October 1944 and February 1945.

There was an abortive project to use the Springer chassis as the basis of a light tank, the Kleinpanzer Wanze. This was to mount a 10.5cm recoilless gun.

Summary text by Mike Garth V1.0
VEHICLES Features
Full Tracked
Tracks/Wheels
Demolition Charge - 330 kg Explosive Charge (Sprengstoff)
Armament - Main Weapon Type
Remote Controlled
Additional Features
Opel Olympia 1.5 ltr
Engine
Torsion bar
Suspension
Vehicle Statistics
1
Number (Crew)
2.4tons
Weight (Overall)
42kph
Maximum (Speed - Road)
10.00mm
Maximum (Armour Thickness)
37bhp
Power (Engine Output)
Volume (Fuel)
200km
Radius (Range)
Petrol
Type (Fuel)
3.17m
Length (Overall)
1.43m
Width (Overall)
1.45m
Height (Overall)