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43M Zrinyi II

Description

In 1942, inspired by the success of the German Sturmgeschütz III, the Hungarian general staff decided to build an assault gun. The design was based on the 40M Turan I chassis, replacing the turret with a fixed gun in an armoured superstructure. Two designs were made; the 44M Zrinyi I and the 43M Zrinyi II. The Zrinyi I was designed as a tank destroyer, armed with a long-barrelled 75 mm gun, but only a single prototype was made. The Zrinyi II, armed with a 105 mm howitzer, was designed for infantry support. A total of 60 Zrinyi II were build.

In keeping with the German strategy, eight independent assault gun battalions were set up. Because of production delays, not all were equipped with the Zrinyi II. In stead, Hungary purchased Sturmgeschütz III's and Jagdpanzer 38's from Germany to fill the ranks. Despite the small number of Zrinyi II's built, they did fare reasonably well against Russian tanks. During the battle of Torda in Galicia, 18 T-34's were reported destroyed, at a loss of six Zrinyi II's.

Technical Details

43M Zrinyi II
Crew
Crew 4
Physical Characteristics
Weight 21.6 t
Length 5.5 m
Width 2.9 m
Height 1.9 m
Armour
Armour (range) 15-75 mm
Performance
Speed (max) 43 km/h
Engine
Engine Manfred Weiss-Z
Net h.p. 260
Cylinders 8
Armament
Primary weapon M40/43 105 mm (1)

Images

Black and white photograph of a 43M Zrinyi II.
Front end of the 43M Zrinyi II.

Further Reading