The lessons learned from fighting early in World War Two proved the combat value of self-propelled/assault artillery, writes Péter Mujzer
After failing to purchase German assault guns a few years into World War Two, Hungary’s military leadership commissioned the Weiss Manfred factory to design and manufacture a new self-propelled artillery vehicle. It was built using available parts from the Turán tank, 40M 105mm howitzer and the 43M 75mm long-barrelled gun and became known as the Zrínyi assault gun.
According to unconfirmed sources, Hungarian experts had first visited Italy sometime in 1941-42 and were shown around a factory where Semovente assault guns were produced for the Italian Army. The Italian Semovente selfpropelled gun was designed on the Italian M13/40 medium tank in 1941. Although there is no hard evidence on whether the Hungarians were influenced by their Italian colleagues, the concept of the Italian and Hungarian designs was very similar.