Back in my days as a recce officer for an amphibious engineer troop, the concept of a piece of signature equipment was drilled into us. In my case, it was a Ferret armoured car with a huge cargo rack on the back and an Avon inflatable dinghy perched precariously on top. See one of those lurking on a river bank and it was a fair bet that come dusk, a corps level bridge would be floating there. My driver was good at hiding his Ferret in big bushes whilst his boss swam or rowed over the river towing a piece of string to measure the gap!
The SIG 33 was one such signature piece in the DAK . Twelve? made it to North Africa:
“All vehicles were grouped into 707th and 708th sIG Kp (Sfl.) – heavy infantry gun companies and were shipped to Libya, North Africa from February to April of 1942. They proved to be prone to constant mechanical breakdowns and only few were operational by using other ones as sources for spare parts. Eight were lost by December 2nd of 1942, while other six served with DAK – Deutsches Afrika Korps until spring of 1943 when last of them was eliminated (abandoned).”
For real afficionados of esoteria, apparently one PzIII chassis was converted in the field into a sIG 15cm. See plan 9 below or go ahead and build one. You know you want to!
The Panzerjäger I 4.7cm served in 605 Battalion at Korps Level:
“Twenty-seven Panzerjäger Is equipped Anti-tank Battalion 605 in North Africa. It arrived in Tripoli, Libya between 18 and 21 March 1941. Five replacements were sent in September 1941, but only three arrived on 2 October as the others had been sunk on board the freighter Castellon. At the start of the British Operation Crusader the battalion was at full strength, but lost thirteen vehicles during the battles. Four more replacements were sent in January 1942 so that it mustered seventeen at the beginning of the Battle of Gazala. Despite the shipment of another three vehicles in September/October 1942 the battalion only had eleven by the beginning of the Second Battle of El Alamein. The last two replacements received by the battalion were in November 1942.”
Another signature piece, the Lorraine Schlepper 15cm (SdKfz 351) was issued to 15th (10) and 21st (11) Panzer divisions in time for ALAMEIN, so wargamers (including me!) want to see them on the table as a signature piece of equipment. Given that the total guns (21) are only two strength points (s2), split between two divisions, how can this be achieved?
The Author’s FoW Lorraine Schlepper 15cm (SdKfz 351), purchased before all the commoner British equipment, naturally! An SdKfzW 250 stands in as a limber
Plan A: Just substitute a Schlepper for the divisional 105mm gun – 155th Artillery Regiment from 21st Panzer division – (Lorraine Schlepper 15cm (s3) may be substituted for the 105mm), Sdkfz 10 Limber (s3), 50mm Pak (s3)
Plan B: Substitute a sIG 33 (s1) for the Regimental 15cm guns in 707/708 infantry gun companies from 90th Light division and lump it in with one of the regiments.
Plan C: Add the Schleppers as an (s2) and sIG 33 (s1) Korps level unit in with the PanzerJaeger I of 605 Bn. Reduce each 105mm divisional strength to (s2) and (s1) to compensate (This would be my normal preferred option, but not in this case).
Plan 9 from outer Space: The number of hulls is insignificant. Ignore them. (I didn’t say that Plan 9 was a good plan!)