The Panzer II was the second German tank design to be widely produced with production starting in 1936. Armed with a 2cm gun, the Panzer II was designed to supplement the lighter Panzer I in the panzer divisions. The Panzer II served as a major armor component in the early German campaigns of World War II, and the Panzer II chassis served as a basis for a self-propelled antitank guns and self-propelled artillery variants throughout the war. The Germans also continuously experimented with heavier versions of the Panzer II as reconnaissance tanks, most notably with the Luchs which was produced into early 1944.
- Panzerkampfwagen Versions:
- • Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf a, b, c, A, B, C, and F:
Sd Kfz 121; Primary versions of the Panzer II; Crew of 3: driver, loader/radio operator and gunner/commander; Armed with 2cm KwK 30 L/55 and one 7.92mm machine gun; Weight: 8.9 tons (Ausf C) ; Maximum armor: 14.5mm (Ausf C), 35mm (Ausf F); Approx. 1700 produced from 1936 to 1942.
- • Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf D and E:
Sd Kfz 121; Extensively modified high-speed version of Panzer II for cavalry pursuit and reconnaissance; Suspension changed to four road wheels; Top speed increased to 55 km/hr; Approx. 40 produced in 1938 and 1939.
- • Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf G and H: Further developments with limited production. Approx. 30 produced in 1941 and 1942.
- • Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf L:
Sd Kfz 121, Luchs; Late version of the Panzer II intended as fully-tracked reconnaissance tank; Crew of 4: driver, radio operator, loader, gunner and commander; Armed with 2cm KwK 38 L/55 and one 7.92mm machine gun; Weight: 13 tons; Maximum armor: 30mm; Approx. 100 produced in 1943 and 1944.
- Major Variants:
- • Panzerkampfwagen II Flamm:
Sd Kfz 122; Flamethrower version; Crew: 3; Armed with two flamethrowers and one 7.92mm machine gun; Approx. 155 produced from 1940 to 1942.
- • 15cm sIG33(Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen II: Self-propelled version of 150mm sIG33; Only 12 produced in 1941; Deployed to North Africa.
- • 7.5 cm PaK 40/2 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II:
Sd Kfz 131, Marder II. Self-propelled antitank gun; 7.5cm PaK 40/2 mounted in open top superstructure; Crew: 3; Weight: 10.8 tons; Maximum armor: 35mm; Approx. 650 produced from 1942 to 1944.
- • 7.62 cm PaK 36(r) auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II:
Sd Kfz 132Captured Russian antitank gun mounted on Panzer II Ausf D chassis. Approx. 200 produced in 1942 and 1943.
- • Feldhaubitze 18/2 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II:
Sd Kfz 124, Wespe. Self-propelled 10.5cm leFH18 mounted in open top superstructure; Crew: 4; Weight: 11 tons; Maximum armor: 30mm; Approx. 830 produced from 1943 to 1944 (including ammunition carriers).
- Related Lone Sentry Links:
- • Captured German Panzer II
- • New Guns in the "Insect" Series
- • Obsolete Tanks (TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces)