The SdKfz 7 was a light half-track that was utilized by Germany during WWII. It required only one driver but could carry a total of 11 passengers. It also had a gasoline powered Maybach HL 62 Engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
The SdKfz 7 had a total weight of 11,500 kg and a total length of 6.8 meters. The SdKfz 7 also had a torsion bar suspension system. Due to the fact that the SdKfz 7 chief field purpose is to serve as an artillery tractor or supply vehicle, the SdKfz 7's only defenses was any weapons on board such as rifles.
There was no armor protection for the crew and passengers and the only protection provided against the elements such as rain or snow was a tarp roof that could be place up or packed up for summer conditions. Additionally, the frontal windshield folded down. The SdKfz 7 was capable of towing up to 8,000 kg. The maximum range of the SdKfz 7 was about 250 kilometers maximum.
Sometimes in the field, regular armored vehicles would either be out of supply or would not be enough to fight the enemy. Out of this need arose the SdKfz 7/1 and SdKfz 7/2 variants. These two variants main feature was that they both had artillery mounted on the back rather than passenger space. Furthermore, since they would see more actual combat, they were also given cabin compartments for the driver with up to 8mm of armor. The difference between the two was that the 7/1 had a 20mm FlaK 38 while the 7/2 had a 37mm FlaK 36 mounted. The next variant was the SdKfz 7/5 Artemis mounting a Russian 76mm cannon. The 7/6 had an AA rangefinder while the 7/9 was a command vehicle.
The SdKfz 7 was first developed in the 1920's by Krauss-Maffei but it really got underway in 1934 when the Wehrmacht had issued an order for an eight ton half-track. The SdKfz 7 was from then on used just about until the end of the war by the Axis and Allies if captured. Italy even had the Breda 61 based on the SdKfz 7. The Wehrmacht used them heavily in every front German forces were present and by the end of the war, there was a total of about 12,000 were built.
- ↑ http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/half-tracks/sdkfz-7.asp
- ↑ Bishop. Chris. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of WWII: The Comprehensive Guide to over 1,500 Weapons. Sterling Publishing (2002), Page 78
- ↑ http://www.achtungpanzer.com/mittlerer-zugkraftwagen-8t-sdkfz7.htm
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