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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's SdKfz 7 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half tracks

Photos

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

SdKfz 7/2 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t half track with 3.7cm Flak 36:
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 36:
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. Then in 1934 the Wehrmacht put out a requirement for an eight ton half track.

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

Artillery Tractor

The SdKfz 7 could tow up to 17,600 lb / 17,637 lb / 8,000 kg.

It was used to pull the following:

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

Production

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

  • SdKfz 7 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t: 3,262
    • Production 1938 - 1944
    • Manufacturer: Krauss-Maffei in Munich, Sauserwerke in Vienna, Borgward in Bremen
  • SdKfz 7/1 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t: 319
    • Production: ? - October 1944
  • SdKfz 7/2 mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t: 123
    • Production: ? - February 1945

Variants

  • SdKfz 7: Artillery tractor.
  • SdKfz 7/1; Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8(t) mit 2cm Flakvierling 38; Selbstfahrlafette 2cm Flakvierling 38: Development started in 1941. 20 mm Flak 38 4-gun mounting placed at rear. 800 rpm. Ammunition was carried in a trailer. Later models had armor protection for the driver.
  • SdKfz 7/2; mZgkw 8t mit 3.7cm Flak 36 SdKfz 7/2: 37 mm Flak 36. Ammunition was carried in a trailer. Some models had armored cab for the driver.
  • Fuerleitpanzer auf Zugkraftwagen 8t: Used as observation and command posts for V-2 rocket launches.
  • Flakmesstruppenwagen, SdKfz 7/6:

Usage

Italy

Italy produced a close copy called the Breda 61.

United Kingdom

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

Specifications

  SdKfz 7
Crew 12
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 25,410 lb, 25,463 lb
11,550 kg
Weight - Empty 9,750 kg
Weight - Loaded 11,500 kg
Length 20' 3"
6.85 m
Height 8' 7.1"
2.62 m
Width 7' 10.5"
2.4 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Armament None
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 8
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 62
Cylinders 6
Net HP 140
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type) Gasoline
Octane  
Capacity (gallons)  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand
Speed - Road 31 mph
50 kph
Road - Cross Country  
Range - Road 156 miles
250 km
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits  
Fording depth 1' 7"
0.5 m
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle 6' 6.7"
2 m
Suspension (Type) Wheels: Trans leaf spring
Tracks: Longed ditto, Torsion bar
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  
  SdKfz 7/1
Crew 10
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.5 tons, 11.55 tons
Weight - Empty  
Weight - Loaded  
Length 6.85 m
Height 2.62 m
Width 2.4 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Armament  
Main 2cm Flak 38
20 mm FlaK38 L/112.6
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 1943 on, driver's cab 8 mm
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL62TUK
Cylinders 4x2 forward, 1x2 reverse.
Net HP  
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type)  
Octane  
Capacity (gallons)  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.
Speed - Road 50 kph
Road - Cross Country  
Range - Road 250 km
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -10° to +100°
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 10
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.55 tons
Weight - Empty  
Weight - Loaded  
Length 6.85 m
Height 2.62 m
Width 2.4 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure (psi)  
Armament  
Main 3.7cm Flak 36
37 mm FlaK36 L/98
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 1943 on, driver's cab 8 mm
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL62TUK
Cylinders 4x2 forward, 1x2 reverse.
Net HP  
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type)  
Octane  
Capacity (gallons)  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.
Speed - Road 50 kph
Road - Cross Country  
Range - Road 250 km
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -8° to +85°
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