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This article is about the SdKfz 231 with six wheels. You may be looking for the SdKfz 231 with eight wheels.

The SdKfz 231 Leichter Panzerspähwagen, or SdKfz 231 Mittlerer Panzerspähwagen, was a six-wheeled armored car used by Germany during World War II.

Description

The SdKfz 231 had either had a 60 hp, Daimler-Benz M09 engine, a 80 hp, Büssing-NAG L8V/GS engine, or a 65 hp, Magirus 4- engine all of which were powered by gasoline and they could all propel the SdKfz 231 at speeds of around 85 km/h. The weight of the SdKfz 231 was about 5,700 kg and the length was about 5.5 meters. The armament was a 20 mm KwK 30 main gun and an MG 13 mounted next to it in the turret.

The SdKfz 231 also had a crew of four and a carrying capacity of 200 KwK 30 rounds and about 1,500 to 2,000 MG 13 rounds. The armor on the SdKfz 231 ranged between 5 mm thick to 8 mm thick. It also had a 4 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission and the wheels were positioned three on each side of the car. The SdKfz 231 was used up to the early 1940s and then it was superseded by the SdKfz 232 Schwerer Panzerspähwagen.[1]

Variants

The SdKfz 232 was very similar to the SdKfz 231 only it was fitted with advanced radio equipment which meant that some frames were added to the turret. However, the turret could still move around and it kept the 20 mm cannon. The SdKfz 232 is about two feet taller than the SdKfz 231 which stands at about 7' 4" and instead of an MG 13, an MG 34 was mounted in the turret and coaxially.[2]

The SdKfz 232 was also capable of carrying about 1,500 more rounds of ammunition for the machine guns and it had slightly thicker armor. The SdKfz 232 was about 1,000 pounds heavier than the SdKfz 231 and it had a 6 speed forward, 6 speed reverse transmission. The SdKfz 263 had only one machine gun and the turret was fixed. It had a crew of five unlike the previous versions and it was fitted with even more radio equipment. Although the SdKfz 263 was very similar to the SdKfz 232.

History

The SdKfz 231 began production in 1932 and their use in combat lasted until about 1940.[3] Then they were used mainly as training vehicles, but the ones used in combat were mainly used during the Fall of France. There were many different manufacturers of the SdKfz 231 including Daimler-Benz, Keil, and Büssing-NAG. The number of SdKfz 231 made was about 120.

References

  1. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=364
  2. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/armored-cars/sdkfz231-6-rad.asp#p7TPMc1_7
  3. http://www.achtungpanzer.com/schwere-panzersphwagen-sdkfz231-6-rad.htm


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