The Lorraine 37L armored cargo carrier began production in 1937 and 387 units were completed by the time of the German invasion of France in 1940. Designated Transporteur de Ravitaillement (Supply and Ammunition Vehicle Tractor) in French service, the Lorraine 37L was designed to provide ammunition and supplies, under fire, to front-line combat units. Initially, the Lorraine carriers were used by the German Army in the same capacity as the French and were designated Lorraine Schlep-per (f) SdKfz 135. In 1941, it was decided to convert a small number of the Lorraine Schleppers by adding a French 4.7-cm anti-tank gun on a pedestal-mount in the rear stowage compartment. The only other modification was the addition of ammunition racks. In May 1942 an order was given to convert most of the remaining Lorraines to self-propelled artillery (Marder I) and Panzerjaegers (tank-hunters). Hitler specifically ordered 40 of the Lorraines to be modified with the addition of the sFH13/1 15-cm howitzer and sent to Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa. A few of the Lorraines were converted to 10.5-cm leFH18 howitzer mounts, but the Panzerjaeger 7.5-cm Pak 40/1 anti-tank gun conversion was the most numerous with 170 units built.
The Lorraine 37L, armed with a 47mm SA37 L/53 AT gun (also designated Chasseur de Chars Lorraine), was designed to be a tracked tank destroyer, to ambush the German armored divisions. Manufacturing started in May 1940 and those that arrived to the front had little impact on the war. Captured units were immediately pressed into the German service as 4,7cm Pak181(f) auf Geschuetzwagen Lorraine.