Skirt Armour

While adding extra protection, the fitting of Schürzen skirt armour also presented several challenges for German tank crews, writes Craig Moore

The Jagdpanzer 38 lower side hull armour was vulnerable to attack from Soviet anti-tank rifles. It had factory fitted Schürzen metal plate skirt armour that covered the exposed space from the top of the large road wheels to the bottom of the side super superstructure
ARSENALEN SWEDISH TANK MUSEUM; words Craig Moore pictures as credited

Dutch military historian Herbert Ackermann recently came across a 20 Panzer-Division report dated May 27, 1943, while searching through German archives. It detailed the problems five tank crews equipped with Schürzen skirt armour experienced on exercise during World War Two.

Schürzen skirt armour was increasingly used during the conflict with the plates fitted to protect the sides of tank hulls from Soviet 14.5-mm anti-tank rifles. The report shed some light on testing and the additional challenges the plates presented to tank crews.

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