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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's SdKfz 7 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half tracks

Photos

SdKfz 7/1 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half track4:
Germany's SdKfz 7/1 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half track
Bundesarchiv, Koblenz

SdKfz 7/2 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half track with 3.7cm Flak 364:
Germany's SdKfz 7/2 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half track with 3.7cm Flak 36
Imperial War Museum - MH8778

SdKfz 7/6 Flakmesstruppenwagen:
Germany's SdKfz 7/6 Flakmesstruppenwagen
Imperial War Museum - STT978

SdKfz 7/2 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half track with 3.7cm Flak 364:
Germany's SdKfz 7/2 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half track with 3.7cm Flak 36
Imperial War Museum - MH9034

Design

The SdKfz 7 was based on designs made by Krauss-Maffei in the late 1920s.2 Then in 1934 the Wehrmacht put out a requirement for an eight ton half track.2,5

From 1934 to 1938 several prototypes were built and the SdKfz 7 was selected.2,5

Artillery Tractor

The SdKfz 7 could tow up to 17,600 lb5 / 17,637 lb2 / 8,000 kg2,5.

It was used to pull the following:

Vehicles were fitted with a winch that could pull 7,606 lb / 3,450 kg.2,5

Production

Built by Krauss-Maffei in Munich, Sauserwerke in Vienna, and Borgward in Bremen.

  • SdKfz 7 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t: 3,2622
    • Production 1938 - 19442
    • Manufacturer: Krauss-Maffei in Munich2, Sauserwerke in Vienna2, Borgward in Bremen2
  • SdKfz 7/1 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t: 3191
    • Production: ? - October 19441
  • SdKfz 7/2 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t: 1231
    • Production: ? - February 19451

Variants

  • SdKfz 7: Artillery tractor.2
  • SdKfz 7/1; Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8(t) mit 2cm Flakvierling 38; Selbstfahrlafette 2cm Flakvierling 38: Development started in 1941.4 20 mm Flak 38 4-gun mounting placed at rear.2,4 800 rpm.4 Ammunition was carried in a trailer. Later models had armor protection for the driver.2,4
  • SdKfz 7/2; mZgkw 8t mit 3.7cm Flak 36 SdKfz 7/2: 37 mm Flak 36.2,4 Ammunition was carried in a trailer. Some models had armored cab for the driver.4
  • Fuerleitpanzer auf Zugkraftwagen 8t: Used as observation and command posts for V-2 rocket launches.2,5
  • Flakmesstruppenwagen, SdKfz 7/6:

Usage

Italy

Italy produced a close copy called the Breda 61.2

United Kingdom

Bedford Motors made a copy of a captured SdKfz 7, intending to produce them but no order was placed.2

Specifications

  SdKfz 7
Crew 122,5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 25,410 lb5, 25,463 lb2
11,550 kg2,5
Weight - Empty 9,750 kg3
Weight - Loaded 11,500 kg3
Length 20' 3"2,5
6.85 m2,3,5
Height 8' 7.1"2,5
2.62 m2,3,5
Width 7' 10.5"2,5
2.4 m2,3,5
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Armament None5
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 85
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 622,3,5
Cylinders 62,5
Net HP 1402,3,5
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type) Gasoline2,5
Octane  
Capacity (gallons)  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand
Speed - Road 31 mph2,5
50 kph2,3,5
Road - Cross Country  
Range - Road 156 miles5
250 km5
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth 1' 7"5
0.5 m5
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle 6' 6.7"5
2 m5
Suspension (Type) Wheels: Trans leaf spring3
Tracks: Longed ditto, Torsion bar3
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  SdKfz 7/1
Crew 101,4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.5 tons4, 11.55 tons1
Weight - Empty  
Weight - Loaded  
Length 6.85 m1
Height 2.62 m1
Width 2.4 m1
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Armament  
Main 2cm Flak 384
20 mm FlaK38 L/112.61
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 1943 on, driver's cab 8 mm1
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL62TUK1
Cylinders 4x2 forward, 1x2 reverse.1
Net HP  
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type)  
Octane  
Capacity (gallons)  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.1
Speed - Road 50 kph1
Road - Cross Country  
Range - Road 250 km1
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -10° to +100°1
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  SdKfz 7/2
Crew 101
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.55 tons1
Weight - Empty  
Weight - Loaded  
Length 6.85 m1
Height 2.62 m1
Width 2.4 m1
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Armament  
Main 3.7cm Flak 364
37 mm FlaK36 L/981
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 1943 on, driver's cab 8 mm1
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL62TUK1
Cylinders 4x2 forward, 1x2 reverse.1
Net HP  
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type)  
Octane  
Capacity (gallons)  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.1
Speed - Road 50 kph1
Road - Cross Country  
Range - Road 250 km1
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -8° to +85°1
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  3. Halbkettenfahrzeuge, German Half-Track Vehicles 1939-1945, J. Williamson, 1972
  4. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
  5. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site