History Podcasts

Sd Kfz 222 Armoured Car, Tripoli, 1941

Sd Kfz 222 Armoured Car, Tripoli, 1941

Sd Kfz 222 Armoured Car, Tripoli, 1941

This picture shows a pair of Sd Kfz 222 Armoured Cars somewhere close to Tripoli early in 1941, soon after the Afrika Korps landed in North Africa (Operation Sonnenblume). These vehicles probably belong to Reconnaissance Battalion III, which arrived in Tripoli on 14-15 February 1941.

World War Photos

SdKfz 261 Winter 2 SdKfz 221 cars SdKfz 222 with sPzB 41 (Panzerbüchse 41) Destroyed SdKfz 222 September 1939
SdKfz 222 Eastern Front 1942 SdKfz 221 of the 17 Panzer Division. Nordlingen 10 June 1941 SdKfz 223 13 Leichter Panzerspähwagen SdKfz 223 1938
SdKfz 222 of Afrika Korps SdKfz 261 SdKfz 261 funkwagen WH-638530 of the Afrika Korps SdKfz 261 near Moscow Winter 1941
SdKfz 223 upper view SdKfz 222 North Africa 1943 SdKfz 222 WH-1312233 rear view SdKfz 222 4
SdKfz 222 Poland, September 1939 Captured Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen SdKfz 261 Italy 1943 SdKfz 222 6 SdKfz 221 moving into Abbeville, France 1940
SdKfz 221 Italy SdKfz 223 Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK SdKfz 223 in Tripoli 23 March 1941 SdKfz 222 1940
SdKfz 223 of the 8 Panzer Division Lithuania June 1941 SdKfz 222 WH100798, 1940 SdKfz 261 of the Nachrichten Fern Aufklarung Kompanie 621 DAK German SdKfz 223 entering Luxembourg 1940
SdKfz 223 14 SdKfz 221 of the Waffen SS, Eastern Front 1941 SdKfz 223 and T-34 in Zolkva June 1941 SdKfz 222 of the Aufkl Abt 3 en-route to Tripoli February 1941
SdKfz 221 1938 SdKfz 222 WH32332 1939 Camouflaged SdKfz 223 3 SdKfz 221 DAK 1943
Column of SdKfz 221 SdKfz 223 armoured radio car Leichter panzerspahwagen SdKfz 221 SdKfz 221 Poland 1939
SdKfz 221 leichter Panzerspahwagen on a typically primitive Polish road SdKfz 260 SdKfz 222 armored car SdKfz 260 in Poland 24 Panzer Division
SdKfz 221 leichter panzerspahwagen /> SdKfz 221 leichter panzerspahwagen 4ࡪ Sd Kfz. 260 and 221 in Poland 24 Panzer Division SdKfz 223 leichter panzerspahwagen funk
destroyed SdKfz 222 SdKfz 222 number 241 Destroyed SdKfz 221 Poland 1939 SdKfz 221 armoured car
SdKfz 260 radio car Sd Kfz 222 Sd.Kfz. 250/9 Rhodos Greece german armoured cars SdKfz 222 17.Panzer division Eastern front
SdKfz 222 leichter panzerspahwagen SdKfz 223 1939 SdKfz 221 waffen ss SdKfz 221 german armored car
SdKfz 221 light armored car sdkfz 221 light armored car sdkfz 223 1942 sdkfz 222 winter
Sd.Kfz. 223 Panzerfunkwagen 6 sdkfz 222 german armored car sdkfz 223 german armored car Sd.Kfz. 223 light armored radio car
SdKfz 221 Leichter Panzerspähwagen sdkfz 223 in winter sdkfz 222 armored car sdkfz 221 leopard
SdKfz 223 light armored radio car 2 SdKfz 222 armored car, Russia SdKfz 223 Panzerfunkwagen sdkfz 223 german armored radio car
sdkfz 223 5 sdkfz 221 and wehrmacht soldiers Leichter Panzerspahwagen Funk SdKfz 223 and crew SdKfz 260 Russia
SdKfz 223 Panzerfunkwagen 4 sdkfz 223 Panzerfunkwagen SdKfz 222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen 8 SdKfz 223 Panzerfunkwagen 9
sdkfz 223 12 sdkfz 222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen sdkfz 223 8 sdkfz 223 crew
sdkfz 221 6 sdkfz 222 destroyed afv sdkfz 222 rail transport

SdKfz 223 (Leichter Panzerspahwagen)

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/01/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The SdKfz 223 was part of a larger family of German light armored cars that began with the SdKfz 221 (detailed elsewhere on this site). Each vehicle playing a specific role on the battlefield for the German Army and was adopted in the hundreds. The SdKfz 223 served as a Command and Communications (CC2) vehicle, distinguished from the other primary models (SdKfz 221, SdKfz 222) by the large collapsible aerial antenna frame affixed above the vehicle's gun emplacement. As with the 221- and 222-series vehicles before it, the SdKfz 223 line benefitted form its dedicated armored car chassis which provided it the necessary strength for military service. Additionally, the same Horch V8 gasoline engine gave the system cross-country travel capabilities required of modern mechanized warfare. Production of SdKfz 223 vehicles totaled 567 vehicles and these were produced from 1936 into January of 1944. Unlike the original SdKfz 221, the SdKfz 223 featured a crew of three (instead of two) made up of the driver, commander, and dedicated machine gunner.

The SdKfz 223's design was closely associated with that of the original SdKfz 221 and not so much the SdKfz 222 series. It could be differentiated by its antenna frame as well as a stepped rear upper hull section - features not found on the SdKfz 221 variant. A tapered hatch also covered the engine compartment unlike the rectangular hatch found on the 221 line.

At its core, the SdKfz 223 series was a 4x4 wheeled armored vehicle with light armor protection intended for the reconnaissance and communications role. It was armed simply with a 7.92mm MG34 standard Army machine gun for local defense though early production saw the MG13 series guns fitted prior to 1938. 1,050 x 7.92mm rounds of ammunition were carried aboard. Specialized communication and radio equipment were fitted aboard the vehicle. Early forms featured a 30-watt Fu 10 radio set while later models replaced this with an 80-watt Fu 12 set. A spare tire was carried along the hull right side for replacement in the event of damage. The left side of the outer hull contained an external stowage box. From 1942 onwards, the SdKfz 223 line was given a more powerful engine for improved performance as well as a more robust chassis (producing the Ausf. B variant). Its armor was improved along the frontal facings to 30mm thickness.

Dimensions included a length of 4.56 meters with a width of 1.95 meters and height of 2 meters. Its listed weight was 4.4 tons. Maximum road speeds reached 46 miles per hour with a range out to 185 miles, less in cross-country travel.

Sd.Kfz. 232 Armored Car

The schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) Sd.Kfz. 232 (8-rad) (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 232) was produced from 1938 to 1943 and carried a Fu.Ger.11 SE 100 medium range and a Fu.Spr.Ger.A short range radio. It was armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon and a coaxial 7.92 mm MG 34 machine gun. It had 8 wheel drive, 8 wheel steering with a driver position on both ends. The front armour was 15 mm of slightly sloped homogeneous steel with 8 mm on the sides, 10 mm on the back, 6 mm on top and 5 mm on the bottom. Its armour only provided protection from small arms fire and HE fragments whereas it was ineffective against heavier weapons. Its operational range was 300 km (186 miles) and the max speed was 85 km/h (53 mph). The Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-rad) was the same as the Sd.Kfz. 232 but without the additional radios and the large antenna and were built from 1937 to 1941. The German Army used theses armoured cars for traditional cavalry missions for reconnaissance throughout the war in many campaigns and theaters.

This Tamyia 1/48 kit has two interesting marking options.


“Seydlitz” WH-230748, 2nd kompanie, Aufklärungs-Abteilung 8, 5th Panzer-Division, Greece, April 1941

This armoured car was named after Prussian cavalry Generalleutnant Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Seydlitz (3 February 1721 to 8 November 1773).

The 5th Panzer Division was sent to Romania and Bulgaria in early 1941 and took part in the invasion of Yugoslavia. After the Yugoslavia campaign, it was transferred from the First Panzer Group to the XL Panzer Corps which composed of the 1st SS LAH Motorized Infanterie Regiment, 73rd Infanterie Division and the 9th Panzer Division. On 15 April 1941 , the 5th Panzer Division started north of the Aliakmon and drove southward through Kalabaka toward the city of Lamia. They encountered road blocks, demolitions, and a number of minor engagements with commonwealth rear guards. On 20 April, Lamia was seized against minor resistance and the allies had withdrew south of Lamia to the Thermopylae line. The German supply situation was improved by the capture of rations and fuel stocks in the Lamia area. By 22 April, a column of the 5th Panzer Division attacked the Thermopylae positions that were defended by rear guard infantry supported by well-camouflaged artillery and individual tanks. After a strong resistance, the commonwealth troops abandoned Thermopylae Pass during the night of April 24-25. By April 30, the last commonwealth troops had either escaped or been taken prisoner and hostilities in Greece had ended.

These films show Seydlitz passing through Lamia.

This Sd.Kfz. 231 is from the same unit. Not able to make out the name on the hull side.

Commonwealth units in Greece 1941

‘W’ Force commanded by Lt Gen Sir Henry Maitland Wilson
– 6th Australian Division
– 2nd New Zealand Division
– British 1st Armoured Brigade
(102 RHA, 2 RHA, 3 RTR and 4 Hussars of the 2nd Armoured Division)
– Number of support units.

This Sd.Kfz. 232 is either from the 5th or 9th Panzer Division. The truck in the foreground is a Canadian Ford F60 L. 4ࡪ Artillery Tractor with markings of the British 2nd Armoured Division (1st Armoured Brigade).


WH-612119, 1st kompanie, Aufklärungs-Abteilung 19, 19th Panzer-Division, Belgorod-Khar’kov, July-August 1943

During Unternehmen Zitadelle (Operation Citadel), the 19th Panzer Division belonged to the III Panzer Corps along with the 168th Infanterie, 6th and 7th Panzer Divisions. The III Panzer corps was positioned on the west bank of the Northern Donets River south of Belgorod with the 6th Panzer Division just south of Belgorod then the 19th and 7th Panzer Divisions. Across the river opposing the 19th PD was the Soviet 78th Guards Rifle Division. On 5 July 1943 (First day of Citadel), the 19th Panzer Division struck the 78th positions between Dalni Peski and DorogoBuzhino. The next three days, the 19th Panzer Division encountered heavy fighting and took heavy losses where it was only able to penetrate the furthest about 9 km (5.5 miles) into the soviet defensive line. The overall German advance slowed down and ultimately created conditions which prevented the timely linkup of the III Panzer Corps with the II SS Panzer Corps in the Prokhorovka area and caused Operation Citadel to fail. On August 3rd, the Soviet launched their strategic summer counter-offensive Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (the Germans called it “The Fourth battle of Kharkov” or the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive) and by the end of August Belgorod and Kharkov (now Kharkiv) were recaptured and the German 4th Panzer Army (which includes the III Panzer Corps) was destroyed. The 36th Guards Heavy Breakthrough Tank Regiment, 18th Tank Corps, 5th Guards Tank Army was formed in March 1943 with some 31 to 35 Lend-lease Churchill IV tanks and was in the second echelon at the Battle of Prokhorovka which was assigned to infantry support. This is probably a 36th Guards Churchill passing the Sd.Kfz. 232. The car was probably disabled by strafing soviet ground-attack planes and abandoned.

This is my close up of the Sd.Kfz. 232 turret. Do not know what the purpose of the horizontal bar mounted on the antenna supports.

This is my close up of the zusatzfrontplatte (“Additional front panel”). Some sources captioned this Sd.Kfz. 232 as belonging to the 7th Panzer Division or the 2nd SS Panzer Division. Note that part of the camouflage pattern on the zusatzfrontplatte does look like a large number 𔄟”. The twin vertical bars is the special Kursk marking used by the 19th Panzer Division during and immediately after Operation Citadel.

Here is a list of the special German Kursk Unit Markings

Another Churchill passing the same Sd.Kfz. 232 and the photo was taken from a slightly different angle.

1st SS Leibstandarte AH 1939-1941

The Leibstandarte Panzerspähzug had four Sd.Kfz. 221s, two Sd.Kfz. 231s and two Sd.Kfz. 232s at the outset of the war. On the very first day of combat (1 September 1939), one each of the 231s and 232s were knocked out in Pabjanice, Poland.

Sd.Kfz. 221: SS-1084, SS-1085, SS-1086, SS-1087
Sd.Kfz. 231: SS-1088 “Körner II”
(replacement for “Körner” lost on the first day of combat in Poland)
Sd.Kfz. 231: SS-1089 “Laforce
(original vehicle from 1937)
Sd.Kfz. 232: SS-1090 “Faust II”
(replacement for “Faust” also lost on the first day of combat in Poland)
Sd.Kfz. 232: SS-1091 “Casella”
(original vehicle from 1937)

“Faust” was totally burnt out after receiving a shot in the petrol tank after it ricocheted off the road and hit the under belly. The vehicle was either replaced or totally refurbished and was renamed “Faust II” which in turn was later knocked out in Russia, 1941.

The 8-rad armoured cars were named after the 16 men who died in Hitler’s failed Beer Hall putsch, 8–9 November 1923.


Here is “Laforce” seen on parade through Prague, Czechoslovakia on 5 October 1939. The center of the Balkenkreuz (crosses) were painted out leaving a white outline which was done during the Polish campaign.

This is “Laforce” in France 1940 about to tow a log.

This is my close up of the nearest license plate which barely shows the number 1089.

This is the front of “Laforce”. The triangular objects on the front fenders were 15 liter Kraftstoff Explosionssicher (explosion-proof fuel containers).

SS-1089 “Laforce” and SS-1091 in Greece April 1941.

SS-1091 in a column in Poland.
Note the white cross on the bow has been painted over the tools.

Rear view of SS-1091 in Poland.
Note the “SS” on the license plates have been painted over.

Front view of SS-1091 in the Balkans 1941 (probably Greece) from a film.

Sd.Kfz. 231, North Africa

March – April 1941
Note the British helmet on the zusatzfrontplatte and the pennant on the antenna.

This field modified Sd.Kfz. 231 had the turret removed and a 5 cm Pak 38 AT gun was mounted.

Sd.Kfz. 231 and Sd.Kfz. 232 of an unknown unit in France 1940.

My guess they have a smoke grenade rack mounted on the front bow. Note the horseshoe mounted next to the driver vision port and the wood bundle stuck in the Kraftstoff Explosionssicher rack on the front fender.

Where did I leave my armored car last night?


48022 is the Engine rear shutter without spare wheel mount conversion set an and 48D14 is their decal set which contains markings for SS-1089 “Laforce” and SS-1091. They incorrectly labeled “Laforce” as belonging to the “Das Reich” SS-Div.

Sd.Kfz. 222 was a light four-wheel drive armoured car. It was became the standard light armoured car in German army service until the defeat of Nazi Germany. Used by the reconnaissance battalions (Aufklärungs-Abteilung) of the Panzer divisions, the type performed well enough in countries with good road networks, like those in Western Europe. However, on the Eastern Front and North Africa, this class of vehicle was hampered by its relatively poor off-road performance.

Sd.Kfz. 222 was armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon and a 7.92 mm MG 13 machine gun. With respect to the previous version, the Sd.Kfz. 221, the crew was increased to three by the addition of a gunner, relieving the commander of that task. In 1938, the MG 13 was replaced by a Maschinengewehr 34, in 1942 the KwK 30 was replaced by the faster firing KwK 38 of the same calibre. Production ran from 1937 to late 1943, with at least 990 vehicles being produced for the army. Its full name was Leichter Panzerspähwagen (2 cm).

'Katrin' is the most famous Sd.Kfz. 222 replica in Europe. 'Katrin' was build in exact measurements like original. The frame used was an old van from which he built the structure. It's a very solid metal build. The vehicle is raised on bogie and axles Savien/Avia 15/30. It has oil engine Savien/Avia 15/30, content 3.359 ccm. Propulsion is on back axle. The vehicle is equip with stop-valve of differential. The electric appointment works with voltage of 12 V, full functional intercom for all vehicle's company works with 24 V.

The facilities of the vehicle is original, full functional fore and back alight Notek, klaxon - Bosch, jack, fuel bunkers and holders for water, original radio station FU 5, and another interior facilities, such as personal belongings of members of vehicle's company, functional place on sides of vehicle, sheet contrary to rain. It has working implement and another external facilities (see the photo). The militant tower is full rotary and is porched by functional upper cage. The rotation iis provided by manual work. Cannon carriage and beds for the machine-gun is fully functional in elevation from - 6 to + 80 degrees.

Its building took 3 years, from 2000 to 2003. 'Katrin' became a very high detailed and correct sized replica. She appeared for the first time at an event in 2003. She has participated in many Hollywood movies and reenactment shows during her 13 years "duty". For these purposes was full reduce its construction and appointment. Outward of the vehicle full corresponds with pattern. Interior of the vehicle was subject to its construction and interior appointment and maximum functionality in fight. 'Katrin' has received two different types of camouflage paint, and dark yellow Feldgrau / Bronwen, throughout its operational life.

In spite of his 13 years of hard battle, 'Katrin' has the perfect patina/optics to look like the real thing! A replica of the original barrel 20mm Flak gun is onboard, as well as a gas firing replica of MG34 gun machine. Current owners, because of a new panzer project, are looking for an enthousiast new owner for 'Katrin'.

British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by James A Pratt III » 19 Jun 2008, 22:09

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by JonS » 19 Jun 2008, 23:55

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by David W » 20 Jun 2008, 00:27

Why not go public with your reply? I'm sure that others would be interested.

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by JonS » 20 Jun 2008, 00:45

I'm sure they would. I'm not being coy just for giggles, as you well know from experience of answers to your own questions, and the edit to my post above illustrates.

My plan is to send James several PDFs (if/when he contacts me), and I'm not inclined to wrestle with trying to do that through the forum.

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by The_Enigma » 20 Jun 2008, 02:05

I dont think it was a general thing i.e. all regiments being rearmed the same time with the same numbers of cars etc

I know that the 11th Hussars turned in the cars they used during Compass before Operation Brevity and in turn were equipped with the Marmon-Herrington Mk II. I have a feeling that i read it was after the retreat to Egypt that they were reequipped and not before hand i.e. March-April ish 1941 (if memory serves).

My source for this, and were you will probably find more specfic information and dates for this regment at least,: The Eleventh at War: Being the Story of the XIth Hussars (Prince Albert's Own) through the Years 1934-1945 by Dudley Clarke. Can probably find it in your nearest centeral libary, well you can at least in Liverpool

I cannot for the life of me remember what cars they had during Compass but i do recall reading they did use some Guy Armoured Cars before getting the South African ones above.

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by Michael Emrys » 20 Jun 2008, 05:31

Okay, all the following comes from Desert Tracks by William E. Platz. He is usually pretty reliable although there are gaps in his information.

For Operation Compass the 11th. Hussars had "About 40 Rolls-Royce & 20 Morris Armoured Cars".

For Rommel's first offensive, March, 1941 the 1st. King's Dragoon Guards had "Approximately 50 Marmon Herrington Mk. IIs.

For Operation Crusader things get a bit more complicated.
6th. SA Armoured Car Regiment had 2 Sqdns. of Marmon Herringtons.
7th. SA Recon. Bn. had 2 Sqdns. of Marmon Herringtons.

King's Dragoon Guards, C Squadron had 30 Marmon Herrington Mk. IIs.

11th. Hussars had "Approximately 50 Humber Mk. II and II A/C".
King's Dragoon Guards A & B Squadrons had "Approximately 50 Marmon Herringtons".
4th. SA had "Approximtely 50 Marmon Herringtons".
3rd. SA Recon. Bn. had Marmon Herringtons (number not mentioned).
6th. SA Armd. Car Regt. A Sqdn. had Marmon Herringtons (number not mentioned).

I will get to the later battles in a second post.

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by David W » 20 Jun 2008, 08:36

I know from the quality of your replies in the past, that your reasons would be valid, and not just coy. I have indeed benefited from your wisdom.
Like Micheal has attempted above, perhaps they could be broken down into "bite-size" chunks by date or Regiment?

All the very best wishes, David.

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by Michael Emrys » 20 Jun 2008, 10:58

To resume, from the same source:

At the start of the Gazala battles:
3rd. SA Recon. Btn. had Marmon Herrington ACs (number not given).
6th. SA Armoured Car Regt. had 40 Marmon Herrington ACs.
7th. SA Recon. Btn. had Marmon Herrington ACs (number not given).

12th. Lancers had approximately 20 Humber ACs.

King's Dragoon Guards had Marmon Herrington ACs (number not given). There is an interesting note appended to this entry: "The KDG's acquired a German Sd. Kfz. 222 armoured car in early May and this was subsequently used by the CO as a command vehicle. Likewise, many of their cars were modified, a few having captured 37mm and 47mm anti-tank guns fitted to them."
4th. SA Armoured Car Regt. had Marmon Herrington ACs (number not given).

Second el Alamein:
4th./6th. SA Armd. Car Regt. had 55 Marmon Herrington Mk. IIIs ACs.
3rd. SA Armd. Car Regt. had 55 Marmon Herrington ACs.

XIII Corps HQ had 13 ACs (type not given).
4th. (Light) Armd. Bde. had 9 ACs (type not given).
Household Cavalry Regt. had 53 ACs (type not given).
11th. Hussars had 61 Humber Mk. III ACs.
2nd. Derbyshire Yeomanry had 50 Humber Mk. III ACs.

12th. Lancers had 55 Humber ACs.
1st. Dragoons (Royals) had 46 ACs (type not given).

The author also mentions that there were an additional 53 ACs of various types assigned to the HQs of formations.

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by The_Enigma » 20 Jun 2008, 12:33

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by David W » 20 Jun 2008, 13:00

1st K.D.G still had one squadron of Dingos at the time of Rommel's first offensive.

1st Royal Dragoons had a mix of Humber MkII & M/H MkIII @ Autumn 1942.

H.C.R have 42x M/H MkIII & 11x Daimler @ 23/10/42.

That's all I can add to Michael's excellent post.

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by James A Pratt III » 26 Jun 2008, 22:15

Re: British Armored Car Regiment equipments

Post by Ironmachine » 28 Jun 2008, 18:51

11th Hussars
By far the most experienced regiment in the theatre, the "Cherrybums" epitomised the informal professionalism of the Desert Rats. The men in this regiment wore reddy-brown berets.
06/40-03/41: Rolls Royce and/or Morris C9 and up to one Guy armoured car per Troop.
03/41-10/41: Marmon Harrington armoured cars with up to 1/3 with captured Breda or Solothurn guns in each Troop.
10/41-02/43: Humber armoured cars. At first MkI and MkII Humbers – before Alamein they get MkIII Humbers.
02/43-05/43: 2 Daimler armoured cars and 1 Dingo scout car in every Troop. One jeep mounted infantry platoon and one White Scout Car mounted infantry platoon in the squadron. Squadron HQ continued to use Humber armoured cars because they were roomier and better suited as a squadron command vehicle.
PRO WO169/220, WO169/1390, WO169/4490, WO169/9320
CLARKE.D.W, The Eleventh at War. Being the story of the XIth Hussars, Prince Albert's Own, through the years 1934-1945, Michael Joseph: London, 1952.

1st Royal Dragoons
Arrived in Egypt in 1941 and trained by 11th Hussars, the "Royals" were a very experienced regiment. The men in this regiment wore grey berets.
05/41-08/42 Marmon Harrington III armoured cars with up to a 1/3 with a captured Breda or Solothurn per Troop.
08/42-02/43 Humber armoured cars and up to one Daimler armoured car per Troop.
02/43-05/43 Humber armoured cars and up to 1 AEC armoured car per Troop.
PRO WO169/1383, WO169/4478, WO169/9310
Pitt-Rivers.J.A, The Story of the Royal Dragoons, 1938-1945. Being the history of the Royal Dragoons in the campaigns of North Africa, the Middle East, Italy and North-West Europe, William Clowes & Sons: London, 1956

12th Lancers
Veterans of the 1940 French campaign, where they played an important part in the fighting. The 12th Lancers had a reputation for being very well connected, and many of their officers enjoyed swift promotion paths. They were usually attached to 1st Armoured Division. In common with most British regular cavalry regiments, men wore side caps and officers wore flat peaked caps rather than RAC black berets.
12/41-02/43 Humber armoured cars.
03/43-05/43: 2 Daimler armoured cars and 1 Daimler Dingo scout car per Troop. Squadron HQ had Humbers.
PRO WO169/4482, WO169/9326
Stewart, P. F, History of the XII Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's), O.U.P., London, 1950

King's Dragoon Guards
More usually called the KDGs or the "Welsh tankies". In common with most British regular cavalry regiments, men wore side caps and officers wore flat peaked caps rather than RAC black berets.
02/41-03/43 Marmon Harrington III armoured cars with up to 1/3 with captured guns per Troop.
06/42-03/43 Up to one Daimler armoured car per Troop.
03/43-05/43 2 Humber armoured cars and 1 AEC armoured car per Troop.
PRO WO169/1384, WO169/4477, WO169/9312
McCorquodale.D, History of the King's Dragoon Guards, 1938-1945, Glasgow 1950

Household Cavalry
The "tin tummies" saw limited action at Alamein.
10/42-12/42: Marmon Harringtons and up to one Daimler armoured car per Troop.
PRO WO169/4476 war diary
WYNDHAM, Everard Humphrey, The Household Cavalry at War: First Household Cavalry Regiment, Gale & Polden: Aldershot, 1952

2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry
The Derbyshire Yeomanry saw limited action at Alamein.
10/42-12/42: Humber armoured cars and up to one Daimler armoured car or up to one AEC armoured car per Troop.
PRO WO169/4493
JONES, Capt.A.J, The Second Derbyshire Yeomanry. An account of the Regiment during the World War 1939-45, White Swan Press: Bristol, 1949

1st Derbyshire Yeomanry
A Yeomanry regiment who fought in Tunisia with First Army. They had an organisation which was very very unusual of three different armoured cars in a Troop!
12/42-05/43: 1 Daimler armoured car (Lieutenant), 1 Humber III and 1 Dingo scout car per Troop (I suggest making up your own "Home Rules" for a squadron from the Derbyshire Yeomanry, with Confident Trained platoons of 1 Daimler, 1 Humber III and 1 Dingo Scout Car.)
PRO WO175/293

4th South African Armoured Car Regiment
The South Africans in their Marmon Harringtons were highly regarded, but I have not been able to find out much about this regiment.
/41-12/42 Marmon Harrington armoured cars, up to 1/3 with captured guns

Régiment de Spahis Marocains, Free French Flying Column
Free French – I am indebted to Simon McBeth for the information on this squadron.
10/42-05/43: Marmon Harrington III armoured cars, some with captured guns.

Squadrons were usually supported by attached AT portees (Deacons were especially effective in Tunisia), RHA, and Motor riflemen. Typically a "Jock Column" had a squadron of armoured cars, a a Troop of AT guns, Troop or Battery of field artillery, and a Motor Company of riflemen in 15-cwt trucks. Jock Columns were widely used in early-mid 1942, when there was something of a mania in Eighth Army for splitting up formations into small combined-arms "penny packets". But while, once Montgomery took over, much tighter control exercised, Jock Columns continued to be used, and columns of armoured cars and riflemen led the pursuit of Rommel across North Africa. No armour should be fielded with a Desert Rats armoured squadron. (In British doctrine, the tanks are for the decisive action against the enemy main force, and not for "swanning about" on recce with armoured cars!) Breda portees equipped 106th Royal Horse Artillery in 1940-41, and some of these were briefly attached to 11th Hussars – but that is the only time Breda portees were used with armoured cars,

Variants [ edit ]

Base model and first production series of light armoured car built on a standardised chassis for military use full designation was Leichter Panzerspähwagen (M.G.) The Sd.Kfz. 221 was armed with a single 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr (MG) 13 machine gun, replaced from 1938 onwards with a Maschinengewehr (MG) 34. It had a two-man crew (driver and commander/gunner), and was equipped with four-wheel drive. Production ran from 1935 to 1940 with at least 339 vehicles produced. It was only produced with Ausf. A chassis and a maximum frontal armour of 14.5 mm. Some Sd. Kfz𧇝 were rearmed with a 2.8 cm sPzB 41 heavy anti-tank rifle in a modified turret.

This version of the vehicle was armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon and one MG 13 machine gun full designation was Leichter Panzerspähwagen (2 cm). The crew was increased to three by the addition of a gunner, relieving the commander of that task. In 1938, the MG 13 was replaced by an MG 34, and in 1942 the KwK 30 was replaced by the faster-firing KwK 38 of the same calibre. Production ran from 1937 to late 1943, with at least 990 vehicles produced.

An armoured car with similar features to the Sd. Kfz. 221, but with the addition of a frame antenna and a 30-watt FuG 10 medium-range radio set full designation was Leichter Panzerspähwagen (Fu). Later versions of the vehicle were equipped with an improved 80-watt FuG 12 radio set. It was originally armed with an MG 13 machine gun, but in 1938 this was changed to an MG 34. The three-man crew consisted of a driver, commander and radio operator. Production ran from 1936 to January 1944, with at least 567 vehicles produced.

Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen Sd. Kfz. 260/261

Unarmed radio car versions with long-range radio equipment and a large "bed-frame" antenna over the vehicle. Generally used for signals use, three were used as armoured cars in Finland. ΐ] The Sd. Kfz𧈄 was equipped with radio sets to communicate with aircraft, and the Sd.Kfz. 261 with radio sets to communicate with other ground units. By 1 September 1940, the manufacturers had orders for 36 Sd.Kfz. 260 and 289 Sd.Kfz. 261. Production ran from April 1941 to April 1943, with 483 vehicles of both types produced.


Base model and first production series of light armoured car built on a standardized chassis for military use. The Sdkfz. 221 was armed with a single 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun, manned by a two man crew, and had 4-wheel drive. Armour protection was originally 8 mm thick, but increased to 14.5 mm later in production.

Armed with a 28 mm sPzB41 "heavy anti-tank rifle" in a modified turret.

This version of the vehicle was armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon and a 7.92 mm MG34 machine gun. Crew increased to three by the addition of a gunner, relieving the commander of that task. Some versions included a 28 mm anti-tank cannon.

SdKfz. 223 Panzerfunkwagen

A radio car version, armed like the 221 with a 7.92 mm MG34 machine gun. Included additional radio equipment, and had a large "bed-frame" antenna over the vehicle. Over 500 of the SdKfz 223 were produced.

Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen SdKfz 260 Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen SdKfz 261

An unarmed radio car version. Included additional radio equipment, and had a large "bed-frame" antenna over the vehicle. Generally used for signals use, three were used as armoured cars in Finland. Ώ]

Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 combat reconnaissance vehicle (Germany)

The light armored personnel carrier Sd.Kfz.1941, delivered to the series in 250, was distinguished by rather high characteristics, which could not but lead to attempts to use it as a base for other equipment. As a result, soon after the start of operation of the basic version of this armored vehicle, work began on the creation of specialized modifications. So, by the middle of 1942, a draft reconnaissance vehicle based on the existing BTR appeared. This technique, which was subsequently built in a rather large series, received the designation Sd.Kfz.250 / 9.

By the time of the attack on the Soviet Union, the main combat vehicle of Nazi German intelligence officers was the Sd.Kfz.222 armored car. This machine was in service with the 1937 year and until a certain time suited the army. However, over time, it was decided to replace this technique with more advanced samples. The fighting on the Eastern Front showed that wheeled armored vehicles are not always able to fully solve the tasks assigned in off-road conditions, as well as in difficult conditions of autumn and winter in the territory of the USSR. Available armored cars required some kind of replacement.

Variants of modernization of the existing machine and the development of a completely new project of such equipment were immediately rejected. The situation did not allow to engage in such work for technical and economic reasons. In addition, there were financial constraints. The only real way out of this situation was the development of a combat reconnaissance vehicle based on one of the existing models of equipment with acceptable characteristics.

The Sd.Kfz.250 armored personnel carrier found a promising and promising basis for the new reconnaissance vehicle. This equipment was already produced in large quantities and was actively used by the troops, which could facilitate the deployment of the assembly of new specialized machines, as well as simplify their operation. In addition, the BTR of the existing model met the requirements for mobility in rough terrain. Thus, the reconnaissance vehicle should be built on the basis of the existing serial equipment.

The new project received the designation leichter Schützenpanzerwagen 2 cm and Sd.Kfz.250 / 9. In addition, the name Gerät 883 was used. The main designations of the project reflected the serial number of the development, as well as the class, purpose and used weapon. As the name implies, a light reconnaissance vehicle with an 20-mm gun was created.

To reduce the time required to develop the project and prepare for mass production, it was decided to abandon the creation of a large number of new components and assemblies. It was proposed to minimally modify the housing of the existing chassis, and then install on it the existing combat module with weapons. This made it possible to solve a number of design and technological problems, and also in the shortest possible time to establish the serial construction of reconnaissance vehicles.

Armored personnel carrier Sd.Kfz.250 Alte. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

Initially, the base for the Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 vehicle was to be a basic version of an armored personnel carrier, which from the 1943 of the year was designated as Alte (“Old”). Then a new modification of the armored car went into the series, which was distinguished by the hull design, powerplant, etc. By changing the body with a reduction in the number of parts from 19 to 9, it was possible to slightly simplify the design, as well as to simplify the manufacture of the technique, called the Neu (“New”). Both versions of the armored personnel carrier were later used in the construction of reconnaissance vehicles.

The Sd.Kfz.250 Alte armored personnel carrier was equipped with an armored body of recognizable shape, consisting of a relatively large number of sheets of different shapes and sizes. The corps provided anti-bullet protection and was divided into two main compartments. In its front part, which had a smaller height, fit the engine compartment. Behind him there was a manned compartment in which all the places for the crew and the landing were located.

The case had front sheets 10-14,5 mm thick, located at different angles to the vertical. Two frontal sheets of small size formed a wedge-shaped front wall of the engine compartment, behind which there was an inclined roof. Behind the roof was provided frontal sheet of small height with viewing devices. 8-mm boards differed unusual design. The upper part of the sides of the engine compartment went into the protection of the habitable compartment. As a result, the sides of the middle and rear parts of the hull had a characteristic shape with the bottom sheets sprawled outward and the top set tilted inwards. Behind the hull was covered with a stern sheet 8 mm thick, in which there was a door for access to the car.

As part of the Sd.Kfz.250 Neu project, it was decided to abandon the complex structure of the hull, reducing the number of armor plates needed. The engine compartment at the front and on top was covered with even sheets of the desired shape, and the complex sides of the hull were transformed into a design with fenced niches, ducts and inclined upper sheets. The design of the stern and bottom remained unchanged.

The “old” armored personnel carrier was equipped with a Maybach HL 42TRKM carburetor engine with 99 horsepower. Through a mechanical transmission with seven forward gears and three rear torque transmitted to the drive wheels caterpillars. In the course of the “New” modernization, the armored vehicle received a Maybach HL 42TUKRM engine with similar power ratings. Transmission remained without significant changes.

The chassis of the two variants of the armored personnel carrier was the same. In front of the hull there was a single wheelbridge. It was equipped with leaf springs and was made manageable. It was proposed to maneuver by turning the wheels, which greatly simplified the design of the transmission. A tracked propulsion unit was placed under the central and aft parts of the hull. He received four road wheels of a chess arrangement with an individual torsion bar on each side. The driving wheels were installed in front of the rollers and guides in the stern. Due to the large diameter of the rollers, the running gear did not need support rollers.

In the basic version of the BTR Sd.Kfz.250 was controlled by a crew of two people and could carry four paratroopers. Access to the car was carried out using the stern door and through the side due to the lack of a roof. There was a set of viewing instruments in front of the habitable compartment. Armament consisted of one or two rifle caliber machine guns. The front machine gun was equipped with an anti-rolls, aft mounted on an open pivot installation.

Reconstruction of the appearance of the BRM Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 chassis Alte. Figure Tanks-encyclopedia.com

The Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 project proposed to subject the body of an armored personnel carrier to minor modifications, as a result of which the vehicle could become the carrier of a new combat compartment with higher power weapons. To do this, the body should be closed at the top, installing an armored roof. In the sheet of the roof, in its central wide part, there was a shoulder strap for installing the tower. In connection with the installation of the roof of the car was deprived of funds for the installation of machine guns and the front armor shield.

During operation on the Eastern Front, it was found that the Sd.Kfz.222 armored cars do not meet the requirements for mobility, but at the same time they have satisfactory firepower. This fact was taken into account when developing the design of the reconnaissance vehicle Sd.Kfz.250 / 9. It was decided to borrow a ready-made turret with a full set of weapons, sighting equipment, etc. from the existing armored vehicles. Using this approach, we were able to significantly speed up the development of the project and get rid of the need to deploy the production of new products.

The Sd.Kfz.222 armored tower was a unit of ten-sided shape, consisting of sheets 8 mm thick. The front and aft parts of the tower had a wedge-shaped shape, the sides were parallel to the longitudinal axis of the product. Between the frontal assemblies and the side sheets there were smaller cheek sheets. The roof of the tower project was not provided. At the same time, the fighting compartment was covered with a double-frame construction in the form of frames with a grid. Using this device, it was proposed to protect the fighting compartment from possible hits of hand grenades.

In the center of the frontal part of the tower there was a slot for the trunk of the main gun. To her right there was a smaller slot for the sight, to the left for the machine gun. The main weapon of the Sd.Kfz.222 armored car and, as a result, the Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 combat reconnaissance vehicle was supposed to be the 30 mm KwK 20 automatic cannon. A rifled gun with a barrel length 55 caliber could fire at a rate of up to 280 shots per minute. Provided acceleration of the projectile to speed 780 m / s. Additional armament consisted of a single MG 34 machine gun coupled to a cannon.

Intelligence machine at the front. Photo Worldwarphotos.info

The armament mounting system was equipped with manual pointing drives and allowed firing in various directions. Circular guidance was provided in a horizontal plane, carried out by turning the entire tower. Elevation angles varied from -10 ° to + 80 °, which allowed attacking both ground and air targets. Depending on the situation, the gunner could synchronize the descent of the gun and the machine gun or use them separately. The ammunition consisted of 180 shells for guns and 2000 cartridges for machine guns. According to other data, in the course of adaptation to the new base machine, the gun ammunition was reduced to 100 shells in 10 stores.

Interestingly, the use of the finished tower with a large range of angles of vertical guidance led to some confusion. Because of this feature, in a number of sources the reconnaissance vehicle Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 is referred to as an anti-aircraft self-propelled unit. Nevertheless, the main task of the new project was to provide new equipment for the intelligence units of the army. The possibility of shooting at air targets, in turn, was a useful and enjoyable addition to the main functions.

The crew of the reconnaissance vehicle leichter Schützenpanzerwagen 2 cm was to consist of three people. The driver was located inside the case in its usual place. In the borrowed tower with units located below the roof level, there were two more crew members responsible for the use of weapons: the commander-gunner and loader. The commander was to the right of the weapon, charging - at the left side. The crew had a set of viewing instruments in the hull and turret, as well as sighting equipment. It was suggested to get into the car through the hull aft door and through the open top of the tower. Other hatches or doors were not provided.

Connection equipped with Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 machines. Photo by Chamberlain P., Doyle H. "Complete German Reference tanks and self-propelled guns of World War II "

After a similar modernization with the installation of a new combat module, the reconnaissance vehicle retained some dimensions, while other parameters changed. The length remained at the level of 4,56 m, width - 1,95 m. Due to the installation of the new turret, the height of the vehicle increased to 2,16 m. . There was a possibility of acceleration to 6,02-55 km / h, the power reserve reached 60 km.

In March, the Wehrmacht 1942 ordered the production of the first batch of new combat reconnaissance vehicles in the number of 30 units. Soon, the first three samples were collected, which after factory testing went to the front. It was proposed to transfer this equipment to the troops for an inspection in a real war. The first conclusions about the front-line operation of the three Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 were made fairly quickly. Half-tracked vehicles quickly showed their advantages over wheeled armored vehicles, which determined their future.

It was decided to prepare and deploy a full-scale mass production of new reconnaissance vehicles on a better chassis. However, for some reason, the start of production was delayed. The first serial leichter Schützenpanzerwagen 2 cm was able to be assembled only by the middle of the 1943 year. Due to the beginning of the release of equipment with higher characteristics, it was decided to abandon the further assembly of Sd.Kfz.222 armored vehicles. The latest cars of this model were released in June 1943. The change of types of manufactured equipment led to a gradual transition of reconnaissance units to new armored vehicles.

Trophy armored vehicle with new identification marks. Photo by Achtungpanzer.com

In its original form, Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 were produced until the fall of 1943. After that, a new version of this technique appeared, distinguished by a base chassis. Now, reconnaissance vehicles were built on the basis of Sd.Kfz.250 Neu armored personnel carriers with a simplified hull structure and a different power plant. Also, a new modification of the turret was soon introduced, featuring a simplified design of six armor plates. The composition of weapons, however, remained the same.

The release of combat reconnaissance vehicles continued until almost the very end of the war and the surrender of Germany. According to reports, 1943 units of such equipment were released during 324, and 1944 was also released in 318. During the first months of 1945, only 154 machines managed to be assembled. Most of this technology managed to go to the troops and participate in hostilities.

The leichter Schützenpanzerwagen 2 cm / Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 reconnaissance vehicle was created in accordance with the requirements of the Eastern Front. As a result, the vast majority of such equipment was sent to war with the Red Army. The operation of these machines was associated with both positive aspects and disadvantages. The relatively high permeability of the semi-tracked chassis made it possible to move along roads and rough terrain. Gun-gun armament allowed to protect against infantry or light equipment, and observation devices and a radio station provided a solution to the main tasks.

However, the reconnaissance units of the German army regularly suffered casualties. As a result, a significant number of reconnaissance vehicles did not survive until the end of the war. According to reports, of the nearly eight hundred Sd.Kfz.250 / 9 built by the spring 1945, just over half remained in the ranks. Part of this technology was soon destroyed or taken as trophies in the last battles of World War II in Europe.

After the capitulation of Germany and the end of the war, the need for the further exploitation of the existing reconnaissance vehicles disappeared. In addition, now their very existence was a reason for doubt. As a result, in the first post-war years almost all leichter Schützenpanzerwagen 2 cm were sent for breaking, since they no longer had any interest in terms of learning German experience or operating existing machines.

Sd Kfz 222 Armoured Car, Tripoli, 1941 - History

Another of the ubiquitous armored cars employed by every military in World War II.

Let’s take a look at a more or less “typical” piece of hardware.

Going back to the early 1930s, one of the first things the Wehrmacht looked at as part of expansion and modernization was armored cars. Of course such vehicles had served broadly in the First World War, and were tank precursors in a way. But armored cars remain popular after the advent of heavier armor both as a speedy choice for recon, and more broadly as cheap armor.
The first mass produced design was derived from the Horch family of trucks. The Sd.Kfz.221 was a two man vehicle with a single light machine gun in a small turret and 4 wheel drive. The Sd.Kfz.222 was an enlargement of that design, especially the turret. It was a three man vehicle, with the commander and gunner functions separated. With a 20 mm cannon and co-axial light machine gun, even the enlarged turret was a little cramped. It was open topped for better visibility, but an anti-grenade cage could be closed up for close quarters fighting.

The 20 mm gun and 7.92 mm machine gun are co-axial mounted in the turret. The clamshell grenade screen can be closed up as a minimal sort of protection for close quarters fighting. Helps against grenades, not against Molotov cocktails…

The Sd.Kfz.222 entered service in 1937 and served everywhere the German Army went to the end of the War. Nearly 1000 were built by 1943. It was a key part of Reconnaissance Units throughout throughout the War, although North Africa and Russia exposed its weakness with a less developed road network.
From 1941 a reconnaissance version of the Sd.Kfz.250 half-track was considered its replacement (with more room and better off road capability), but this was not a high priority and the older model remained in service to the end.

This particular vehicle served with the Afrika Korp in 1941.
It is a Tamiya boxing of an ICM kit. Which was interesting. It was basically all ICM including photo-etch and decals (very unfortunate on the decals!), except one sprue of Tamiya miscellaneous detail parts. It was interesting to look at the difference. Although the ICM kit is well engineered, fit together well, and really looks great I think but the Tamiya parts clearly have better detail and quality of the mold. Its really striking, especially on parts like the jack that are included by both brands. But in some cases the directions have you performing some silly surgery to remove the part of the Tamiya part you need… I generally found it better to just use the ICM part. Clearly the detail sprue was not actually designed for this kit.
Tamiya does this on occasion, they have some marketing agreements with ICM and Italerie (maybe others?). They’re not hiding anything, the box is plainly labeled “parts by ICM”. I imagine it has something to do with distribution networks. But for what its worth I would say check availability of both brands, I strongly suspect if I’d looked harder an ICM boxing would have been available in the US for cheaper.

German Recon Units would have often included both Sd.Kfz.222 and the much heavier Sd.Kfz.232.

Early in the War it was decided to replace the Sd.Kfz.222 with the Sd.Kfz.250 half-track. The half-track was roomier and had better off road capabilities. But complete replacement never happened.

The M8 Greyhound is perhaps a similar American vehicle. Although the Greyhound is more modern (by a couple years) and heavier. And no, it was not used where the roads were lousy.

Watch the video: Τελωνείο Ηγουμενίτσας - Κλεμμένα οχήματα (January 2022).