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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B light tank

Photos

PzKpfw I Ausf B light tank at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds:
Germany's Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B light tank
Nick Francis

Design

The idler was raised off the ground. Nose was redesigned to accommodate the final reduction gear.13

Crew

The driver sat on the left hand side of the hull.13

Engine

The Ausf B had a Maybach NL 38TR engine installed as the one in the Ausf A was inadequate.11,13 As the engine was larger, the length of the hull was increased by 1' 5" and an additional road wheel and return roller were added.5,7,10,11,13 The height of the compartment was also increased.13

The ZF Aphon FG 31 transmission was installed.

Turret

The turret was offset on the right hand side.13 Turret had internal mantlet.

Armament

The machine guns could fire 550 rounds/minute.9 The bullet weighed 198 grams and had a muzzle velocity of 2,580'/sec.9 It was fed by a 25 round detachable magazine.9

The main armament used a TZF2 sight.6

There was an internal mantlet in the turret.13

Production

Henschel produced most of these with Wegmann assisting.7

  • PzKpfw I Ausf B: 39911, 6753, >8005, 8406, ~1,50013, 2,0008
    • Production: 1935 - 19376,11, 1935 - 1941, August 1935 - June 19373
    • Chassis #s: 10478 - 165003
    • Manufacturers: Henschel5, MAN, Daimler-Benz, Krupp-Gruson, Wegmann3,5; Henschel, MAN, Daimler-Benz, Krupp-Gruson6
      • Chassis: Krupp9
      • Superstructure: Daimler-Benz9

Usage

Issued to all Panzer units from 1935 to 1940.5 Starting in 1941 it was being phased out and only 74 were in combat units at the start of the invasion of Russia.

The PzKpfw I Ausf Bs were used in Poland, France, and the early phase of the German invasion of the Soviet Union.10

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B
Crew Commander, driver
21,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,12,13,14
Radio FuG23,6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 13,230 lb5,7
5.7 tons12, 5.8 tons1,2,3,4,6,10,13,14, 6 tons10,11
5,893 kg1,14, 6,000 kg5,7
Length 14.5'9, 14' 6"1,5,7,8,10,11,12,14, 14' 7"13, 14.7'4
4.42 m1,2,3,5,6,7,10,14, 4.4 m11
Height 5', 5.6'4, 5.65'9, 5' 7"8,12, 5' 7.7"10,11, 5' 8"5,7,13,14, 7.7"1
1.7 m11, 1.72 m1,2,3,5,6,7,10,14
Width 6.75'9, 6.8'4, 6' 9"1,5,7,8,11,12,14, 6' 9.1"10, 6' 10"13
2.0 m6, 2.06 m1,2,3,5,7,10,14, 2.1 m11
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 10", 11.6"9
0.29 m, 0.3 m2
Ground contact length 94.5"9
2.47 m
Ground pressure 6.2 psi9
0.42 (kg/cm2), 0.52 (kg/cm2)2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2: 7.92 mm MG1,5,7,10
2: 7.92 mm MG 133,6
2: 7.92 mm MG 34
2: 7.92 mm / 0.312" MG14
2: MG2,4,12,13
2: 7.9 mm MG 13 (Dreyse light machine guns)9
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1,5255,7,9,10, 2,2502, 3,12513
2,250 Patr SmK3,6
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 0.51"9
7 - 134,6,13, 1310,14, 1512
Hull Front, Upper 132,10, 13@22°3
Hull Front, Lower 13@27°3
Hull Sides, Upper 132,10, 13@22°3
Hull Sides, Lower 13@0°3
Hull Rear 132, 13@0°3 & 13@19°3
Hull Top 52, 610, 6@83-90°3
Hull Bottom 52, 610, 6@90°3
Turret Front 152, 1310, 13@10°3
Mantlet: 13 round3
Turret Sides 132,10, 13@22°3
Turret Rear 132,10, 13@22°3
Turret Top 82, 8@82-90°3
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach NL 38TR1,3,5,6,7,9,10,13,14
Maybach11,12
Maybach-Krupp8
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air8
Water6,9,13
Cylinders I-69, 66,7,10,13,14
Capacity  
Net HP 1007,10,11,12,14
100@3,000 rpm6,9,13
Power to weight ratio 17.2 HP/ton13
Compression ratio 6.7:1
Transmission (Type) ZF Aphon FG 31
5 forward, 1 reverse2,3,6,13
Steering Clutch and brake9,13
Starter Hand and electric9
Electrical system 12-volt9
Ignition Magneto9
Fuel (Type) Gasoline7,9,10,14
Octane  
Quantity 39 gallons (22 gallons in front tank, 17 gallons in rear tank)9
145 liters, 146 liters2 (in 2 tanks)6
Road consumption 2.7 mpg9
103 liters per 100 km of road
Cross country consumption 1.8 mpg9
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand3,6,9
Speed - Road 24.8 mph1, 24.9 mph10,14, 25 mph4,5,7,9,12,13
40 kph1,3,5,7,10,14, 42 kph2, 50 kph6
Speed - Cross Country 7-9 mph
40 kph6
Range - Road 87 miles5,7,10, 90 miles12,13, 95 miles1, 95.1 miles14, 105 miles9, 105.6 miles
140 km5,7,10, 153 km1,14, 170 km2,3, 180 km6
Range - Cross Country 71 miles9, 71.4 miles10
115 km2,10, 130 km6
Turning radius 2.1 m
Elevation limits +18° to -12°3,6
Fording depth 1' 11"5,7, 23.6"9
0.58 m5,7, 0.6 m2, 0.7 m6
Trench crossing 4.6'9, 4' 7"5,7
1.4 m5,7
Vertical obstacle 1' 2"5,7, 14.6"9
0.36 m5,7
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope9
60%7
Suspension (Type) Front road wheel coil spring9
Remaining wheels sprung in pairs with 1/4 elliptic spring per pair9
Wheels each side 52,9,13
Return rollers each side 413
Tracks (Type) Dry pin9
Length  
Width 11"9,10
280 mm2,10
Diameter  
Number of links 009
Pitch 3.6"9
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5.5'9, 65.75"10
1.67 m10

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  3. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. AFV Collection No. 1 Panzer I The Beginning of a Dynasty, Lucas Molina Franco, 2005
  7. Tanks - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
  8. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  9. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  10. Airfix Magazine Guide #8 German Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gande and Peter Chamberlain, 1975
  11. Panzers At War, Michael and Gladys Green, 2005
  12. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  13. AFV #15 Panzerkampfwagen I & II, Major-General N. W. Duncan
  14. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
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