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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf L, Luchs ("Lynx"), SdKfz 123; Panzerspähwagen II (PzSpWg II) light tank

Design

Daimler-Benz was given the specifications in 1938 to increase the speed of the PzKpfw II.5,13

It had the standard PzKpfw II turret, except it didn't have the cupola or vision ports.4 It did have two periscopes installed in the roof.4 The superstructure extended out over the tracks allowing for a larger turret.4

It had five sets of interleaved bogie wheels.4,5

Last 35 (another source says 314,7) vehicles had 50 mm KwK 39 L/60 gun4.

Prototype

A prototype for a vehicle that emphasized speed was delivered in April 1942. In late 1942 the Germany Army developed a prototype of a fast reconnaissance vehicle, the VK1301.4 It became the PzKpfw II Ausf L, then later called the Luchs.4

A VK1601 design emphasized armor protection.13

A mild steel prototype was ready in 1942.13

Production

An order was placed for 800, but only 131 were constructed between 1943 and January 1944.4

  • V.K. 901: 38, 759
    • Production: 19409
  • PzKpfw II Ausf L, Luchs: 1002,6, 1314,7, 1359 (100 with 20 mm, 35 with 50 mm)9
    • Production: - May 19437, 1942 - May 12,1943, 1943 - 19446, 1943 - January 19444, September 1943 - January 19442
    • Manufacturer: MAN2,6
      • Turret and superstructure: Daimler-Benz4
      • Chassis: MAN4

Variants

  • V.K. 1601, Pzkpfw II, neuer Art, verstärkt (new type uparmored): Designed by Daimler-Benz.8 Overlapping suspension wheels.8 Thicker armor.8 New turret.8 Was not put into production as it was felt a heavy vehicle should be armored with something more than just a 20 mm.8
  • V.K. 901: Constructed by Daimler-Benz and MAN.8 Not produced as was too lightly protected.8
  • VK 1301: Prototype that became the PzKpfw II Ausf L.9
  • VK 1303; V.K. 1303: Prototype that became the PzKpfw II Ausf L.8,9
  • PzKpfw II Ausf L:
  • V.K. 1602 Leopard (leicht): Designed by Daimler-Benz.8 50 mm main armament.8
  • V.K. 1602 Leopard (schwer): Prototype with 7.5 cm KwK 41.8 Weighed 22 tons.8 Was not produced.8

Usage

Saw action in Russia and France. Standard equipment of reconnaissance battalions of panzer divisions until 1945.4

New Classification

In 1943 these light tanks became Aufklängspanzers (armored reconnaissance vehicles).8

Specifications

  VK 901
Crew 39
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 9.2 tons9
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 20 mm KwK 389
Secondary  
MG 1: 7.92 mm MG9
MG - coaxial  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1809
Secondary  
MG 1,4259
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 309
Front: 3013
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 459
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 145@2,800 rpm9
Power to weight ratio 15.7 HP/ton9
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 32 mph9
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 100 miles9
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 59
Return rollers each side 09
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  VK 1301
Crew 49
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12.8 tons9
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
MG - coaxial  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 66P9
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 180@3,200 rpm9
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road  
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
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  
  Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf L, SdKfz 123 "Luchs"
Crew Commander, gunner, radio operator, driver
33, 42,4,6,7,8,9
Radio FuG122, FuG Spr a2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.8 tons3,4,5,7,8,9, 13 tons2,10
13,208 kg10
Length 14' 6"8, 15' 2"4,7, 15.4'3, 15' 5"5,9
4.63 m2,4,7
Height 6' 11.8"7, 7'4,8, 7.08'3, 7' 1"5,9
2.13 m4,7, 2.21 m2
Width 8' 2"4,7,8, 8' 3"3,5,9
2.48 m2, 2.49 m4,7
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 4"
0.34 m
Ground contact length 2.2 m
Ground pressure 0.75 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 20 mm KwK
20 mm KwK 307
20 mm KwK 38 L/552
20 mm3
20 mm KwK 30 L/554
20 mm KwK 386,8,9,10
20 mm (1st 100 produced)5,9
OR 50 mm3
50 mm L/60 (last 35 produced)5,9
Late models: 50 mm L/60
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG7
7.92 mm MG343,10
MG8
MG - coaxial 7.92 mm MG344
MG5
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 3302,4,7
Secondary  
MG 2,2502,4, 2,5507
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 303, 308
Front: 305
Sides: 205
Hull Front, Upper 307, 20@0°, 20@90°4, 30@10°2
Hull Front, Lower 20@90°4, 30@25°, 30@22°2
Hull Sides, Upper 307, 20@0°2, 20-30@85-90°4
Hull Sides, Lower 20@0°2
Hull Rear 20@30°, 20@28°2, 20@60°4
Hull Top 137, 13@90°, 10@86-90°2
Hull Bottom 10@90°2
Turret Front 307, 30@20°, 30@10°2, 30@80°4
Mantlet: 30 round2
Turret Sides 20, 15@20°, 15@70°4, 20@21°2
Turret Rear 20@20°, 20@21°2, 20@70°4
Turret Top 13@80-90°, 12@79-90°2, 13@0-10°4
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach8, Maybach HL 66 P3,7,8
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 65, R-64
Capacity  
Net HP 1788, 1804,5,7
Power to weight ratio 15.2 HP/ton9
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh SSG 469
6 forward, 1 reverse2,9
Steering Differential9
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4
Octane  
Capacity 52 gallons4
236 liters4
Road consumption 95 liters per 100 km
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand2
Speed - Road 37 mph4, 37.3 mph7, 37.5 mph3,6,9, 38 mph5, 40 mph8
60 kph2,4,6,7
Speed - Cross Country 26 mph4, 28 mph
42 kph4
Range - Road 93 miles4, 155 miles7,8,9
150 km4, 250 km7, 290 km2
Range - Cross Country 59 miles4, 93 miles7
95 km4, 150 km7
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -9° to +°2
Fording depth 1.32 m
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion Bar6
Wheels each side 55
Return rollers each side 05
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 2' 2.2"7
0.36 m7
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6' 9.5"7
2.07 m7
  VK 1602
Crew 49
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight  
Length  
Height  
Width  
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 50 mm KwK 39 L/609
Secondary  
MG  
MG - coaxial 1: MG9
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 809
Turret Sides 609
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 5509
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Capacity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 37 mph9
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
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. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  5. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  6. Panzers At War, Michael and Gladys Green, 2005
  7. Airfix Magazine Guide #8 German Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gande and Peter Chamberlain, 1975
  8. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  9. AFV #15 Panzerkampfwagen I & II, Major-General N. W. Duncan
  10. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
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