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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 4/LaS 100; Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf A; PzKpfw II Ausf A light tank

Design

First PzKpfw II model to be mass produced.3,5

Driver

Driver sat on left and had access hatch in the front glacis plate. He had 3 vision ports in the front. Had redesigned visor for the driver.3

Radio operator

Radio operator had seat on floor at rear of fighting compartment and had a vision port in the rear as he faced to the rear.5

Commander

The commander's seat was suspended from the turret wall and rotated with turret.5 Turret roof started with a split hatch then had a cupola with 8 episcopes. Periscopes were installed in the turret.4,9 Turret was hand traversed. The commander had a 2.5 power optical sight and an open sight for far and near targets respectively.5 The commander communicated via voice tubes to the crew.5

Main armament

The 20 mm KwK 30 was fed by a 10 round magazine.5 It was fired in full automatic mode as it couldn't fire single shots.5 A German 1939 training manual stated: "Short bursts of 2 or 3 rounds is the normal method of engaging targets..."5

Armor

Nose plate became welded and angular.4 Flanges were installed at the top and bottom of the gun mantlet to help prevent lead splash.4

In 1940 20 mm plates were bolted to hull and turret, and 15 mm plates to gun mantlet.

Production

  • Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf A: 1,1131, 1,200
    • Production: 1935, March 1937 - April 19401, July 1937 - ?5, 1938 - ?8
    • Manufacturer: MAN1, Daimler-Benz1, Henschel1, Wegmann1, Alkett1, MIAG1, FAMO1

Usage

The PzKpfw II Ausf A was first delivered to the Heere in 1935.7

Usage in Russia

During Russian campaign some had French 37 mm SA 38 installed in place of 20 mm.

Specifications

  Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf A
Crew Commander (gunner), radio operator, driver5
31,2,5,7,9
Radio FuG51
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 16,105 lb, 19,900 lb, 19,621 lb
7,305 kg
7.2 tons6.7, 8 tons5, 8.9 tons1, 9.5 tons9
Length 15' 9"5, 15' 9.25", 16'2
4.8 m5, 4.81 m1
Height 6.75'2, 6' 9"9, 7'5
1.99 m1, 2.23 m5
Width 7.08'2, 7' 6"5, 7' 7"9
2.22 m1, 2.3 m5
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 11.3 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 20 mm KwK 30 L/551
20 mm KwK 305
20 mm2,6,7,9
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG341
MG2,9
MG - coaxial 7.92 mm MG5,6,7
Side arms Smoke candles
Quantity  
Main 1809
Secondary  
MG 1,4259
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 302,9
Front: 155
Hull Front, Upper 14.5, 14.5@9°1
Hull Front, Lower 14.5@9°, 14.5 round1
Hull Sides, Upper 14.5@22°, 14.5@0°1
Hull Sides, Lower 14.5@0°1
Hull Rear 14.5@22°, 14.5@9°1 & 14.5@6°1
Hull Top 10@81-90°1
Hull Bottom 14.5@73-63°1 & 5@90°1
Turret Front 14.5 round1
Turret Sides 14.5@22°1
Turret Rear 14.5@22°1
Turret Top 10@88-90°, 10@86-90°1
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 62 TR1
Maybach HL TR9
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 69
Capacity  
Net HP 1306,7, 140@2,600 rpm9
Power to weight ratio 14.7 HP/ton9
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh9
6 forward, 1 reverse1,9
Steering Epicyclic9
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 45 gallons
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand1,5
Speed - Road 25 mph4,5,9
40 kph1,5
Speed - Cross Country 12 mph
Range - Road 100 miles9, 125 miles5
200 km1,5
Range - Cross Country  
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -9.5° to +20°1
Fording depth 2' 10", 3'
Trench crossing 5' 9", 5' 8"
Vertical obstacle 1' 5"
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Quarter elliptic leaf spring
Leaf springs5
Wheels each side 55
Return rollers each side 45
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
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. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  3. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  4. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  5. Panzers At War, Michael and Gladys Green, 2005
  6. Tanks - Over 250 of the World's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Chris Chant, 2004
  7. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  8. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  9. AFV #15 Panzerkampfwagen I & II, Major-General N. W. Duncan
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site