Germany created a wide number of self-propelled howitzers (SPH) during WWII, these typically being converted from existing tank chassis. Indeed, some were even field-improvised conversions, and this is certainly the case with Dragon’s newest German kit. It represents a 15cm s.IG.33 auf Fahrgestell Pz.III which, as its name suggests, mated a 15cm field howitzer with a Panzer III chassis. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was seeking heavy artillery mounted on tracked chassis because horse-drawn or truck-drawn howitzers were impractical in the desert. This SPH was used by the Deutsches Afrika Korps, specifically the 90 leichte Infanterie-Division, in North Africa. It first saw action in September 1942.
Just like its forbear in the desert of North Africa in WWII, it combines the Panzer III and s.IG.33 howitzer, both already high-quality items from Dragon’s range. However, it’s far more than just an amalgamation of two kits, because many new components were required to make this vehicle a reality. The front armored shield and the armor plates protecting the sides and rear of the fighting compartment. The installation of the 15cm howitzer in this compartment also required new parts. Furthermore, there’s a new stowage rack mounted on the rear of the engine deck. Not only is this a unique addition to the Panzer III range, but this novel SPH gives fans of DAK subjects something new to sink their teeth into!