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Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm), SdKfz 222, Waffenwagen (armored vehicle), armored car

Photos

Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222):
Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222)
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222):
Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222)

Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222) at El Alamein:
Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222) at El Alamein

Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222), Libya 1941:
Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222), Libya 1941

Leichte Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223:
Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Leichte Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223, forward air observer:
Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223

Leichte Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223:
Germany's Leichte Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223

Design

The SdKfz 222 was a modified version of the SdKfz 221 with a larger turret.3,5

Chassis

Based on the Army's requirements a conversion of a commercial chassis wouldn't suffice so a whole new chassis was developed.7

Hull

The hull of the SdKfz 222 had a step down behind the turret.5 The rear shape of the hull was pyramid like.5

Engine

There were 7 series. The 1st 5 series had the sPkw I Horch 801 chassis with the 3.5 liter engine. In May 1942, the sPkw I Type V chassis with the 3.8 liter engine.

Turret

Had a 10 sided turret.4

Early models had an anti-grenade screen on top of the open turret.3,5 Late models had a redesigned turret which allowed the 20 mm and MG to be elevated almost vertically.3

Armament

The 20 mm gun fired a 5.2 oz AP shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,625'/sec.4 The 20 mm KwK 30 was fully automatic and could fire 280 rpm, and the 20 mm KwK 38 480 rpm.4

Crew

The driver was in the center of the front of the SdKfz 222.3

Production

  • Panzerspähwagen SdKfz 222: 9892, 1,000, 1,8011
    • Production: 1936 - 1945, 1936 - June 19432, 19384
    • Manufacturer: Weserhütte2, Schichau2, MNH2, Büssing-NAG2, Horch4
  • Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223: 5502
    • Production: 1935 - January 19442, 19374
    • Manufacturer: Weserhütte2, MNH2, Büssing-NAG2, Horch4

Variants

  • Leichte Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 222): Had 2 cm KwK 30.3
  • Leichte Panzerspähwagen (Fu) SdKfz 223: Was intended to carry the FuG10. There were 6 in the series. In May 1942 then new chassis and larger engine used in the SdKfz 222 was used also. The turret was placed towards the rear. Had a 9 sided turret.4 Radio version (funkkraftwagen) which mounted frame aerial around hull.3,6 The aerial was collapsible when needed.5,6

Usage

SdKfz 222

First appeared in 1938 and was adopted by the German Army as the standard armored car for reconnaissance units.3,7

Was issued to the Panzerspähwagen squadrons of the Aufklärungs battalions.

SdKfz 223

Was issued to the Panzerspähwagen squadrons of light, Panzer, and motorized infantry divisions.

France

The SdKfz 222 was used widely in the invasion of France and was well liked by its crews.3

North Africa

The SdKfz 222 was limited in range, while in North Africa, due to it not being able to carry much fuel.3

Soviet Union

With the lack of range that the SdKfz 222 had, it was replaced by the SdKfz 250/9 half track which was better suited for the large spaces in the Soviet Union.3,7

China

Before 1939 SdKfz 222s were sold to China.3

Specifications

  Panzerspähwagen SdKfz 222
Crew 31,2,3,4,5,6,7
Radio FuG Spr Ger 'a'2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 10,560 lb7, 10,582 lb4
4.7 tons5, 4.72 tons1, 4.8 tons2,3,6
4,800 kg1,7
Length 14' 8.5" 3,7, 15' 6"5, 15' 9"1,4, 16'6
4.8 m1,2,3,7
Height 5' 11"1, 6' 6.75"3,7 , 6' 7"4, 6' 9"5, 6' 10"6
1.8 m1, 2 m2,3,7
Width 6' 4.75"3,7, 6' 4.8"1, 6' 5"4, 6' 6"6, 6' 7"5
1.95 m1,2,3,7
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 7.75", 9"4
25 cm
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 20 mm KwK 30/385
1: 20 mm KwK302,3,7
1: 20 mm1,6
1: 20 mm KwK30, later models KwK384
OR 1: 20 mm KwK38 L/552
1: 20 mm KwK383
1: 2 cm KwK L/556
28 mm1
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.92 mm MG1
1: 7.92 mm MG342,5,7
MG - coaxial 1: 7.92 mm MG343,4
1: 7.92 mm MG6
Side arms 9 mm MP 38 or MP 40 submachinegun4
Quantity  
Main 1802, 2204,6
Secondary  
MG 1,0502, 1,100, 2,0004,6
Side arms 3504
12 hand grenades4
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 14.56, 14.51,5,6, 14.5 - 307
Model - Early 14.53
Model - Late 303
Hull Front, Upper 0.3"@0°4, 8@37°2
Hull Front, Lower 8@36°2
Hull Sides, Upper 0.3"@0°4, 8@35°2
Hull Sides, Lower 8@35°2
Hull Rear 5@31°2 & 8@31°2
Hull Top 5@90°2 & Open2
Hull Bottom None2
Turret Front 0.3"@0°4, 8@35°2
Shield: 8@35°2
Turret Sides 0.3"@0°4, 8@35°2
Turret Rear 8@35°2
Turret Top Open2
Engine (Make / Model) Horch5,
Horch 3.5 or 3.8.2,
Horch/Auto-Union V8-1087,
Horch 1086,
Auto-Union/Horch4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water3,4,7
Cylinders V 84,5,6
Capacity  
Net HP 755, 813,6,7, 81@3,600 rpm6, 854, 906
Power to weight ratio 17 HP/ton6
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Crash type4
5 forward, 1 reverse2,4,6
Steering 2 or 4 wheels4
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4,7
Octane  
Quantity 29 gallons4
Road consumption 7.1 mpg4
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°2,4
Hand2,4
Speed - Road 30 mph4, 46 mph5, 46.6 mph1, 50 mph3,6,7
75 kph1, 80 kph3,7, 85 kph2
Speed - Cross Country 25 mph3
40 kph3
Range - Road 174 miles1, 175 miles4,5,6, 187 miles3,7
280 km1, 300 km2,3,7
Range - Cross Country 110 miles3
180 km3, 200 km
Turning radius Front wheels turning: 46' 4"4
All wheels turning: 26' 3"4
Elevation limits -4° to +87°2
Fording depth 2'3,4,7
0.6 m3,7
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability 20° slope4
Suspension (Type) Independent springing4
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Wheels (Type)  
Wheel arrangement 4 x 44
Tire Size 8.27 x 184
Wheel centers 63"4
Wheel base 110"4
  SdKfz 223
Crew 32,5
Radio FuG102, FuG Spr Ger 'a'2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 9,700 lb4, 9,856 lb
4.3 tons5, 4.4 tons2
Length 15' 6"5, 15' 9"4
4.8 m2
Height 5' 7"4, 6'5
1.75 m2
Width 6' 5"4, 6' 7"5
1.95 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 7.75", 9"4
25 cm
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 7.92 mm MG342,4,5
1: 7.92 mm MG6
Secondary  
MG  
MG - coaxial  
Side arms 9 mm MP 38 or MP 40 submachinegun4
Quantity  
Main 1,0502, 2,0004
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms 3504
Armor Thickness (mm) 14.55
Model - Early  
Model - Late  
Hull Front, Upper 0.3"@0°4, 8@37°2
Hull Front, Lower 8@36°2
Hull Sides, Upper 0.3"@0°4, 8@35°2
Hull Sides, Lower 8@35°2
Hull Rear 5@31°2 & 8@31°2
Hull Top 5@90°2 & Open2
Hull Bottom None2
Turret Front 0.3"@0°4, 8@35°2
Shield: 8@35°2
Turret Sides 0.3"@0°4, 8@35°2
Turret Rear 8@35°2
Turret Top Open2
Engine (Make / Model) Horch5,
Horch 3.5 or 3.8.2,
Auto-Union/Horch4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water4
Cylinders V 84,5
Capacity  
Net HP 755, 854
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Crash type4
5 forward, 1 reverse2,4
Steering 2 or 4 wheels4
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4
Octane  
Quantity 29 gallons4
Road consumption 6.7 mpg4
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°2,4
Hand2,4
Speed - Road 30 mph4, 46 mph5
85 kph2
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 175 miles4,5
300 km2
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius Front wheels turning: 46' 4"4
All wheels turning: 26' 3"4
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability 20° slope4
Suspension (Type) Independent springing4
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Wheels (Type)  
Wheel arrangement 4 x 44
Tire Size 8.27 x 184
Wheel centers 63"4
Wheel base 110"4

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  5. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  6. Profile AFV Weapons #33, German Armoured Cars, Major General N. W. Duncan, 1971
  7. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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