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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Kleine Panzerbefehlswagen, SdKfz 265

Photos

Panzerbefehlswagen I:
Germany' Panzerbefehlwagen I

Aberdeen Tank Museum

Design

The Germans needed command and control vehicles to work with their tanks and keep the commanders up front with the panzers.2,8,9 The commanders would need additional radios and places for maps.2,9

The Panzerbefehlswagen I was a command vehicle that was a box structure on a PzKpfw I chassis.2,5,7,8,9 An early variant had a small turret in the top of the superstructure but was soon discontinued due to it taking up space.2

Radios

The radios had a range of 6 miles for voice and 8 miles for Morse code.

Main Armament

For close support there was a machine gun installed.5,8

The machine gun used a KgZF2 gun sight.4

Production

  • Panzerbefehlswagen I: 1841
    • Production: 1935 - 19371, 19363
    • Manufacturers: Daimler-Benz1; Maschinenfabrik Augsburg - Nurmberg3
  • Panzerbefehlswagen I Ausf B: 190 (6 on PzKpfw I Ausf A chassis)4
    • Production: 1935 - 19374
    • Manufacturer: Daimler-Benz4

Variants

  • Kleiner Panzer Befehlswagen; SdKfz 265; Kl.Pz.Bef.Wg.:
  • Panzerbefehlswagen I kl B:
  • Panzerbefehlswagen 2 kl B:
  • Panzerbefehlswagen 3 kl B:

Usage

These were issued to the headquarters platoons of panzer battalions.6

Poland

The Panzerbefehlswagen was first used in Poland.2,8,9

France

96 were available for the invasion of France in 1940.8

Specifications

  Panzerbefehlswagen I
Crew 31,2,3,7,8,9
Commander, driver, radio operator2
Radio FuG61,4,8, FuG21,4,8
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12,768 lb9
5.65 tons7, 5.8 tons2,3,8, 5.9 tons1
5,800 kg9
Length 14'7, 14' 6"3, 14' 7"2,8,9
4.42 m1, 4.445 m2,9
Height 5' 7.7"2,9, 5' 8"8, 6' 5"7, 6' 6"3
1.72 m2,9, 1.99 m1
Width 6' 9"3,7, 6' 9.9"2,9, 6' 10"8
2.06 m1, 2.08 m2,9
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11.5"3
Ground contact length 95"3
Ground pressure 0.43 (kg/cm2)
Armament  
Main MG7
7.92 mm MG 131
7.92 mm MG2,8,9
7.92 mm MG 343
OR 7.92 mm MG 341
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 900 Patr SmK1
9003,8
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 139, 7 - 308, 15 + 177,8
Hull Front, Upper 0.6+0.6"@0°3
13@23°1
Hull Front, Lower 13@25°1
Hull Sides, Upper 0.6"@0°3
13@23°1
Hull Sides, Lower 13@0°1
Hull Rear 0.6"@0°3
13@20°1
Hull Top 8@90°1 & 9@90°1
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach7
Maybach NL 38TR1,2,8,9
Maybach NL38 TRKM3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water3,8
Cylinders 63,8
Capacity  
Net HP 1002,3,7,9, 100@3,000 rpm8
Power to weight ratio 17.2 HP/ton8
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse1,3,8
Steering Clutch and brake3,8
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2,3,9
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand1
Speed - Road 25 mph2,7,8,9, 32 mph3
40 kph1,2,9
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 87 miles3, 90 miles8, 95 miles7, 180 miles2,9
170 km1, 290 km2,9
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2'3, 2' 10"9
0.85 m9
Trench crossing 4' 7"3, 5' 9"9
1.75 m9
Vertical obstacle 1' 2"3, 1' 5"9
0.42 m9
Climbing ability 30° slope3
Suspension (Type) 5 bogie wheels, the rear 4 connected by a girder, semi elliptic springing, front bogie was independent3
Wheels each side 53
Return rollers each side 43
Tracks (Type) Steel, skeleton, floating dry pin3
Length  
Width 11"3
Diameter  
Number of links 993
Pitch 3 11/16"3
Tire tread Rubber3
Track centers/tread 65"3
  Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen I Ausf B
Crew 34
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.9 tons4
Length 4.42 m4
Height 1.99 m4
Width 2 m4
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 7.92 mm MG134
OR  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 900 Patr. Smk.4
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 7 - 134
Front: +12 on some models4
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach NL38TR4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water4
Cylinders 64
Capacity  
Net HP 100@3,000 rpm4
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse4
Steering  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 146 liters (in 2 tanks)4
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 50 kph4
Speed - Cross Country 40 kph4
Range - Road 180 km4
Range - Cross Country 130 km4
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
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. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  4. AFV Collection No. 1 Panzer I The Beginning of a Dynasty, Lucas Molina Franco, 2005
  5. Airfix Magazine Guide #8 German Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gande and Peter Chamberlain, 1975
  6. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  7. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  8. AFV #15 Panzerkampfwagen I & II, Major-General N. W. Duncan
  9. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site