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SdKfz 234/2
Munster SdKfz234 2 (dark1).jpg
Model of an SdKfz 234/2 Puma
Type Armored car
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Specifications
Weight 10,500 kg (23,148 lb)
Length 6.02 m (19 ft 9 in)
Width 2.36 m (7 ft 9 in)
Height 2.10 m (6 ft 10 in)
Crew 4

Armor 9-30 mm (.35-1.18 in)
Primary
armament
•(Puma) 1x50 mm (2.0 in) L/60 KwK 39/1[2]
•(234/1) 1x20 mm (0.79 in) autocannon
•(234/3) 1x75mm K51
Secondary
armament
1x7.92 mm (0.312 in) machinegun
Engine 14,825 cc (905 in3) Tatra 103[1] V12 diesel
157 kW (210 hp)
Suspension wheeled
Operational
range
1,000 km (625 mi)
Speed 90 km/h (56 mph)

The SdKfz 234 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 234, or special purpose vehicle 234) "Puma" was an eight-wheeled armoured car used by the German Army in the Second World War. It broadly resembles the SdKfz 231 (8 rad).[3]

Design[edit | edit source]

The combat experience of the existing 8-wheeled armoured cars during the German invasions of Poland and France, indicated some deficiencies in the current design. Therefore, in August 1940 an improvement program was started, based on a new set of requirements learned from these combat experiences. The result was the SdKfz 234.[4]

Developed from the Büssing-NAG SdKfz 232, design of the Sd Kfz 234 began in 1940.[5] It was to have a monocoque chassis with eight wheels, like its predecessors, and an aircooled engine for use in North Africa.[5]

Chassis were built by Büssing-NAG in Leipzig-Wahren, while armoured bodies were provided by Deutsche Edelstahlwerke of Krefeld and turrets by Daimler Benz in Berlin-Marienfelde and Schichau of Elbing, with engines from Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG of Nesseldorf.[5]

Service history[edit | edit source]

Protracted engine development meant the desert campaign was over before the 234 arrived, but it nevertheless proved useful on the Eastern and Western Fronts.[5] It was quite formidable, but not many were built before it was replaced by the simpler 234/1, with a 20mm gun, in 1944.[6]

Variants[edit | edit source]

SdKfz 234/3 with 75 mm L/24

234/4 with 75 mm L/46

There were four main variants.

  • 234/1 - 1 x 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon, 1 x MG34 Machinegun. This design featured an open-topped turret. Around 200 were produced.[4]
  • 234/2 "Puma" - 1 x 5 cm KwK 39 L/60, 1 x MG42. Employed a fully enclosed turret originally designed for the VK1602 Leopard light tank. The turret front was protected by 30 mm armor set at an angle of 20° from the vertical. The sides and rear had 10 mm armor set at 25°, and the top plate was 10 mm armor. The gun mantlet was rounded and was 40 to 100 mm thick. 101 were produced between September 1943 and September 1944.[4]
  • 234/3 - 1 x 7.5 cm K51 L/24 in open-topped superstructure replacing the turret. 88 built between June and December, 1944.[1]
  • 234/4 "Pakwagen" - 1 x 7.5 cm PaK 40 L/46 in open-topped superstructure replacing the turret. 89 built between December 1944 and March 1945.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hogg, p.221, "Sd Kfz 234/2".
  2. Hogg, Ian V. Greenhill Armoured Fighting Vehicles Data Book (London: Greenhill Books, 2000), p.221, "SdKfz 234/2".
  3. Hogg, p.221, "SdKfz 234/2".
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Green, Michael. Anderson, Thomas. Schulz, Frank. German Tanks of World War II. Zenith Imprint, 2000.ISBN 9780760306710
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Hogg and Weeks, p.185, "SdKfz 232, 233, and 234 (8 rad) Armoured Cars".
  6. Hogg, p.221, "Sd Kfz 234/2" & "Sd Kfz 234/1".

Sources[edit | edit source]


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