10,5cm K18 Pz.Sfl.IVa Dicker Max

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General info

The Dicker Max in the garage.

The Dicker Max (officially 10,5 cm K18 gepanzerte Selbstfahrlafette ("10,5 cm gun on armoured self-propelled mount")) is a Rank III German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB) and 4.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.57 "Battle March".

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

As with any open-topped SPGs (such as the Marder IIIs), this is not a vehicle to charge the opponent with. However, one that can very effective at long ranges and from behind cover. An alternative play style for these vehicle in a closer range is supporting standard tanks by watching their flanks. It is NOT a fast vehicle, especially in realistic and simulator battles, but once it finds a place to stop and take aim, its gun is a very, very efficient anti-tank weapon, comparable to that of the mighty KV-2 turreted assault gun. Its most notable feature is its extreme gun depression, over -15° to +10°, which allows this tank to take advantage of great hull-down positions behind hills, becoming near-invisible in RB and SB at distance. Its weakness however, is rather obvious: the crew compartment is thinly armoured, which means basically anything can penetrate it can cause havoc for the tank commander and his crew. Combined with its slow acceleration, this is a vehicle to be used in a tactical manner in both offensive or usually, defensive combat.

Vehicle characteristics

The Dicker Max is a open-topped SPG with a 105 mm (10.5 cm), based on the Pz.IV E chassis. The 10.5 cm artillery gun is not only more effective than the StuH's 10.5 cm howitzer, but it is very consistent in terms of the results: one-shot kills that usually devastate the enemy. Its 14 second reload is not bad either, for a gun of its size, 4 seconds faster than the StuH, and over twice as fast as the KV-2's. The 105 mm HE round can also be effective on many lightly armoured vehicles like the M18 Hellcat.

The Dicker Max has -15° degrees of gun depression, this SPG can sit behind hills or aim down from a higher position in hull down positions which can make it very hard to find or hit once spotted.

Tactics

The Dicker Max is a long-range sniper vehicle. There are records of the vehicle able to hit out to 1 kilometer away. As a stationary anti-tank gun, this vehicle will exceed all others.

Specific enemies worth noting

With only 50 mm of armour at a battle rating of 4.3, the Dicker Max can be defeated frontally by any vehicle of its rank, even at some range. It is particularly vulnerable to SPAAs with a high rate of fire (heavy machine guns can penetrate the rear, or shoot down into the cabin should the opportunity present itself) and large-caliber shells. Airplanes are also devastating, especially if they are full of guns. Artillery is also worth noting.

Counter-tactics

The enemies are very likely to use this vehicle by exploiting the gun's extreme gun depression. Stationed behind a small hill, the enemies will present a very small target that is able to snipe a long distance. The 10.5 cm cannon allows the vehicle to be able to knock any tank out in one shot. Best to take them out from the air or flank them.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 105 mm shells have excellent armour penetration.
  • Gun is very accurate, even when stock.
  • Somewhat fast reload for it's caliber.
  • Excellent post penetration damage.
  • 5 crew member.
  • Nigh invincible from the front when hulled down behind a hill.
  • Absurdly excellent gun depression.
  • The Pzgr.rot shell is a huge boost to it's already lethal gun, with penetration comparable to the 122mm guns of the IS-2.
  • Somewhat low profile.
  • Very good in maps with lots of open grounds.
  • Has no trouble when getting uptiered with the Pzgr.rot equipped.
  • With the Pzgr.rot shells equipped, it can reliably penetrate the Panther's upper glacier, a feat that few guns in its rank could do.
  • Introduced a new play style in the German TD tech tree that can be employed with great effectiveness with later vehicles on the tree.

Cons:

  • Stock shells are inadequate when getting uptiered.
  • With thin armour and a open top, Dicker Max is extremely vulnerable to artillery, HE shells, heavy machine gun fire, SPAAs, and air strikes
  • With a top speed of 20 mph and a slow acceleration, this SPG will not get to places very quickly.
  • Bad in maps with urban environment.
  • Vehicle turns at a slow rate, which can be a death sentence in any situation.
  • Very slow at scaling cliffs and obstacles.
  • Underwhelming performance of HE shells.
  • Rear section of the fighting compartment sides are littered with ammo, shots there are often lethal.
  • Reverse speed is abysmal.
  • No coaxial or mounted MGs.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armament

1 x 105 mm K.18 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 26 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -15°
  • Gun Elevation: 10°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 7.1°/s (Stock), 9.9°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 16.9s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 105 mm K.18 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 26 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -15°
  • Gun Elevation: 10°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 7.1°/s (Stock), 8.4°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 16.9s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 105 mm K.18 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 26 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -15°
  • Gun Elevation: 10°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 7.1°/s (Stock), 8.4°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 16.9s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)

Ammunition

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
PzGr 144 142 129 112 99 86 APHE 822 14 0.8 28 343.2 -1° 43° 30° 25°
Gr.19 23 23 23 23 23 23 HE 835 15 0.1 0.5 1,850 +0° 11° 10°
Pzgr.rot 202 200 191 177 167 158 APCBC 822 16 0.8 28 300.3 +4° 42° 27° 19°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the "Dicker Max".
Full
ammo
Ammo
Part
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
26 Projectiles
Propellants
14 (+12)
14 (+12)
(+25)
(+25)
Keep full Yes

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Assistant Driver

Total: 5 Crew members

Armour

Armour Type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides (Slope angle) Rear (Slope angle) Roof
Hull 12 mm (77°) Front glacis
50 mm (20°) Lower glacis
50 mm (14°) Driver ports
20 mm 20 mm (9°) 12 mm
Superstructure 30 mm (14°) Front
50 mm (16°) Gun mantlet
20 mm (21°) 20 mm (9-17°) 10 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • The roof of the superstructure does not fully cover the top, thus still exposing the crew members.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 21.0 ton

Max Speed: 30 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 256 hp @ 3199 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 12.19 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 3199 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 21.0 ton

Max Speed: 27.8 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 159 hp @ 3199 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 7.57 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 3199 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 21.0 ton

Max Speed: 27.8 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 159 hp @ 3199 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 7.57 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 3199 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°

Modules and improvements

The first upgrades to head for is Parts and FPE for increased survivability. After these two essential upgrades, unlock the Pzgr.rot ammunition, due to its greatly improved penetration and damaging capacity compared to the original PzGr.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The role of the “assault gun” in the German army in World War II gave the infantry an upper hand in assaulting fortification. However, heavy bunkers could withstand large punishment from artillery and closing up to the bunker for a closer shot exposed the assault guns and artilleries to defensive artillery weapon. A weapon was needed to fight bunkers at an extreme range that the bunkers and other defensive weaponry would not be able to return fire, something with a very heavy gun to destroy these bunkers. Krupp began development of such a vehicle in 1939, but such a vehicle soon became unnecessary with the conclusion of the Battle of France. Thus, the project shifted from a heavy “assault gun” to a tank destroyer. Two of these vehicles were built in January 1941 and were presented to Hitler in March 1941. It was hoping that if proved favorable, the vehicle would be able to be put into service and production by Spring 1942.

Design

The vehicle design during its development was called the 10 cm K. (Pz. Sfl. IVa) and the 10.5 cm K (gp.Sfl.). Another name it was called was Dicker Max (Thick or Fat Max). The design took a Panzer IV Ausf. E chassis and removed the turret to add an open-topped superstructure on top to hold the heavy 10.5 cm gun. The design had armour around 50 mm in the front angled at 15 degrees. Armoured compartments were present in the vehicle rear to protect loaders from overhead attacks. The front has a false driver port present on the right side of the vehicle with the real one on the left, whether it was there to deceive enemy fire or simply a design oversight is unknown. The commander, gunner, and loaders all have their own sights available to them to observe the landscape for targets. The engine is the 180 hp Inline-6 Maybach HL66P. Though the prototype vehicles used the Panzer IV as the basis, it is predicted that in production, the vehicle would use the Panzer III instead due to increased mobility of the suspension and running gear.

Combat usage

Trials with the two prototypes Krupp produced were done by Anti-tank Battalion 521. The battalion took the vehicles with them during Operation Barbarossa. One was destroyed due to catching fire and an ammunition explosion, but the other was able to last until the end of 1941.The sole vehicle also saw use in the German offensive Case Blue in Summer 1942, but it was not reported to be operational by the battalion afterwards. Opinion of the vehicle was that it was unsuitable for participation in a frontal assault due to its low armour and maneuverability. The gun was deemed effective in supporting an infantry assault and knocking out tanks, but the heavy muzzle blast caused large dust to obscure the gunner view, requiring an observer to watch where the shots land. No reports were made on engine and transmission problems, but there were issues with the brake system. Due to these issues, the Dicker Max did not see mass production for widespread usage. Thus, only the two prototypes were made before interest in the project dropped.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the Dicker Max from live.warthunder.com.

The "Dicker Max" showing off its amazing gun depression.

Additional information (links)

[Devblog] Pz.Sfl.IVa Dicker Max: 'Fat Max'

References


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germ_pzsfl_IVa_dickermax.png

Icon-country-der.png Dicker Max
Nation Germany
Type Tank destroyer
Rank 3
Battle Rating
4.7
4.3
4.3

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
21,000 kg
46,297 lb
Number of Crew 5
Hull armour thickness
50/20/20/0 mm
1.97/0.79/0.79/0.00 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
256 hp
159 hp
159 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
___ hp
___ hp
___ hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
12.19
12.39
7.57
7.69
7.57
7.69
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
__.__
__.__
__.__
__.__
__.__
__.__
Max speed
30.0 km/h
18.8 mph
27.8 km/h
17.3 mph
27.8 km/h
17.3 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 105 mm K.18 Cannon
Ammo stowage 26 rounds
Vertical guidance -15°/10°
Horizontal guidance -8°/8°
Economy
Required RP 33,000 RP
Vehicle cost 130,000 SL
Crew training cost 36,000 SL
Max repair cost*
2,090 SL
1,360 SL
1,230 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
1d 05h
22h 50m
21h 58m
Free repair time (Upgraded)
9h 53m
7h 36m
7h 19m
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP, and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.75.0.99.