[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
  [Lone Sentry: Photographs, Documents and Research on World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"German Four-Wheeled Armored Cars" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following military intelligence report on German armored cars in WWII was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 38, November 18, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Four-wheeled armored vehicles used by the German army are of three main types, the Sd. Kfz. (Sonder-Kraftfahrzeug)* 221, 222, and 223. (The eight-wheeled types are described in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 32, p. 8.) Of these the 222 is the most common, the other two models varying slightly in weight, turret arrangement and armament. Model 222 is illustrated in the accompanying sketch. Principal differences between the three types are outlined below:

[German 4-Wheeled Armored Car, Type 222]

(a) Light armored car 222 (leichter Panzerspähwagen)

This carries a 2-cm. gun Kw.K 30 or Kw.K 38 mounted on a central pillar together with a coaxial 7.92-mm M.G. 34 to the left and a telescopic sight for the gunner on the right. The firing mechanism is pedal-operated. Traverse and elevation are controlled by a single handwheel, and elevation is sufficient to permit of antiaircraft use. A submachine gun (M.P. 38 or M.P. 40) may also be carried. The car is equipped with a radio transmitter and receiver with a radius of about 4 1/2 miles. The turret is ten-sided, and its roof is fitted with two hinged frameworks covered with wire mesh which, in the closed position, together form a raised birdcage-cover over the roof of the turret, as a protection against grenades. There is a crew of three: commander-gunner, driver, and radio operator-loader.

(1) Specifications

   Unloaded           8,288 pounds
   Loaded 10,528 pounds
Axle loading
   Front 4,480 pounds
   Rear 8,176 pounds
Armor Rolled armor plated, welded together
   PlateThickness (mm)Angle to vertical
   Driver's plate835°
   Nose plate835°
   Sides (upper)8(30° front 
(35° center
(32° rear  
   Sides (lower)826°
   Engine cover plate672°
Ammunition carried
20 mm100 rounds A.P.
120 rounds H.E.
M.G. 342,000 rounds
Submachine gun
M.P. 38 or 40
up to 12 magazines,
each holding 32 rounds.
Miscellaneous8 smoke candles
8 hand grenades
Sighting arrangements
T.Z.F.** 3 A sighted to 1200 meters.
A.A. course and speed sight (Fliegervisier 38).
Turret traverse
   The turret, being concentric with the gun mounting, is traversed from the mounting through the medium of a linking arm, incorporating a spring shock absorber. It can be traversed through 360°.   
   Length15 ft 7 in
   Width6 ft 6 1/2 in
   Height (to top of turret)5 ft 11 1/2 in
   Wheel track5 ft 5 in
   Wheelbase9 ft 3 in
   Clearance10 in
   Step9 in
   Fording2 ft
   Radius of actionroads: 175 miles
cross-country: 125 miles
   Maker Auto-Union
   TypeHorch V-8, gasoline
   Bore 78-mm
   Stroke 92-mm
   Capacity3.71 quarts
   B.H.P.***75 at 2,000 rpm
Fuel capacity
   Two 11 gallon tanks
   Roads 8 mpg
   Cross-country5 mpg
   Mechanical - cable operated
   Both hand and foot brakes operate on all four wheels
   Type crash
   Ratios5 speed and 1 reverse
   Typeindependent springs -- each assembly consists of two unequal length radius arms and two coil side by side arranged between lower radius arm and chassis frame.
   Typelow pressure, cord reinforced
   Size8.19 x 18 in
   Hullrectangular slotted visor in front plate for driver, hinged at top and opens outward
   Turretvision slit in each side plate. All vision devices have provision for fitting laminated glass blocks.

(b) Type 221

The Sd. Kfz. 221 has no radio, but communicates by flag signals. It mounts only an M.G. 34, although a submachine gun M.P. 38 or 40 is carried as auxiliary armament. It has a crew of two. The turret is seven-sided truncated pyramid with a wire-mesh grid over the fore part only. Vehicle weight is 8,848 pounds. Fuel capacity is 24 gallons. Other specifications are the same as for the Type 222.

(c) Type 223 (Radio)

This, too, mounts an M.G. 34 as main armament, and carries a submachine gun M.P. 38 or 40, like the Sd. Kfz. 221; but it has radio communication and a crew of three. A horizontal rectangular aerial is supported above the car on four uprights which can be folded downwards and backwards, giving the gunner a clear field of fire. In both positions the grid resembles a railing round the top of the car.

(1) Specifications

Specifications are the same as Type 222 except the following particulars:

   Loaded9,632 pounds
Fuel capacity24 gallons
TurretRoofless forepart covered with wire mesh grid.

*Special motor vehicle
**Turmzielfernrohr - turret telescopic sight
***Brake horse-power


[Back] Back to Articles by Subject | Intel Bulletin by Issue | T&TT by Issue | Home Page

Web LoneSentry.com