Panzer II file photo [7373]

PzKpfw II

CountryGermany
Primary RoleLight Tank

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe Panzerkampfwagen II, PzKpfw II, or Panzer II light tanks were developed in 1934 mainly because work on what would later become Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks was experiencing significant delays. Production for limited field test versions (variants Panzer IIa, IIb, and IIc) began in 1935, and the first definitive variant, Panzer IIA, entered production in Jul 1937. They were sent to Spain for actual combat testing during the Spanish Civil War. When the European War began, they were among the first German tanks to enter Polish territory. By the time of the invasion of France they were the standard battle tanks of German armored divisions. In 1941, when the Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks were finally entering service, the lighter Panzer II tanks were quickly moved from combat duties as their 2-cm cannons were too weak to combat Allied tanks seen in North Africa. They were relegated to reconnaissance roles, which they performed very effectively. By 1942, they were largely removed from service. Production of Panzer II tanks ceased in 1943.

ww2dbaseBetween 1935 and 1943, 1,856 Panzer II light tanks were built. They were built by a number of firms including Alkett, FAMO, Daimler-Benz, Henschel, MAN, MIAG, and Wegmann.

ww2dbaseAfter Panzer II light tanks became obsolete, many of them were converted to self-propelled gun vehicles or utility carriers. There were also several limited number production variant designs such as the Panzer IIL reconnaissance tanks (the only variant with overlapping road wheels) and Panzer II Flamm flamethrowers.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Feb 2009

SPECIFICATIONS

A
MachineryMaybach HL 62 TRM 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 140hp
SuspensionLeaf spring
Armament1x2cm KwK 30 L/55 cannon, 1x7.92mm MG34 coaxial machine gun
Armor14mm front, 14mm back, 14mm sides, 10mm top, 10mm bottom
Crew3
Length4.80 m
Width2.20 m
Height2.00 m
Weight7.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range200 km

B
MachineryMaybach HL 62 TRM 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 140hp
SuspensionLeaf spring
Armament1x2cm KwK 30 L/55 cannon, 1x7.92mm MG34 coaxial machine gun
Armor14mm front, 14mm back, 14mm sides, 10mm top, 10mm bottom
Crew3
Length4.80 m
Width2.20 m
Height2.00 m
Weight7.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range200 km

C
MachineryMaybach HL 62 TRM 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 140hp
SuspensionLeaf spring
Armament1x2cm KwK 30 L/55 cannon, 1x7.92mm MG34 coaxial machine gun
Armor14mm front, 14mm back, 14mm sides, 10mm top, 10mm bottom
Crew3
Length4.80 m
Width2.20 m
Height2.00 m
Weight7.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range200 km

D
MachineryMaybach HL 62 TRM 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 140hp
SuspensionChristie
Armament1x2cm KwK 30 L/55 cannon, 1x7.92mm MG34 coaxial machine gun
Armor30mm front, 14mm back, 14mm sides, 10mm top, 10mm bottom
Crew3
Length4.80 m
Width2.20 m
Height2.00 m
Weight7.0 t
Speed55 km/h
Range200 km

F
MachineryMaybach HL 62 TRM 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 140hp
SuspensionLeaf Spring
Armament1x2cm KwK 30 L/55 cannon, 1x7.92mm MG34 coaxial machine gun
Armor35mm front, 14mm back, 20mm sides, 10mm top, 10mm bottom
Crew3
Length4.80 m
Width2.20 m
Height2.00 m
Weight7.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range200 km

J
MachineryMaybach HL 62 TRM 6-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 140hp
SuspensionLeaf Spring
Armament1x2cm KwK 38 L/55 cannon, 1x7.92mm MG34 coaxial machine gun
Armor35mm front, 14mm back, 20mm sides, 10mm top, 10mm bottom
Crew3
Length4.80 m
Width2.20 m
Height2.00 m
Weight7.0 t
Speed40 km/h
Range200 km

Photographs

German Panzer II tank commander waving to Austrian women, Austria, 13 Mar 1938German Panzer I, Panzer II, and SdKfz. 251 vehicles in Poland, circa 3 Sep 1939; the officer in the SdKfz. 251 halftrack vehicle might be Heinz GuderianPanzer I (foreground) and Panzer II (background) tanks of SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Division crossing the Bzura River in Poland, Sep 1939German Panzer II Ausf b light tank, date unknown
See all 11 photographs of PzKpfw II Light Tank



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
30 Oct 2009 06:20:45 PM

The Panzer II was little more,than a stopgap until the Panzers III and IV were ready. The first vehicles were delivered to the Wehrmacht in 1935. Its armament was one 30mm cannon and one 7.92mm MG 34 machine gun, the weapons were considered inadequate, but it remained in service until 1941,and afterward it was used a reconnaissance role. Later in its service life, the vehicle was rebuilt into self-propelled anti-tank, and artillery guns named the Marder and Wespe. A number of PzKpfw II self-propelled guns lost by the Afrika Korps during W.W.II were recovered,repaired and put into service by the Egyptain Army.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Oct 2009 09:52:32 AM

Standard armament of the Panzer II was one turret-mounted 20mm cannon and one coaxial 7.92mm machine gun. The turret was not electrically-powered but was turned by hand using a traverse wheel. Weapons storage: 180 rounds of 20mmm ammunition and 2,550 round of 7.92mm ammunition. During operations, it was not uncommon for crews to carry more ammo,water, food and other supplies. During its service life, the Panzer II was improved in both performance,added armor and weapons, this increased the weight of the vehicle to 9.35 tonns. This resulted in lower vehicle agitity and top speed dropped to 15mph! Some Panzer II's were armed with the 30mm cannon.

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PzKpfw II Light Tank Photo Gallery
German Panzer II tank commander waving to Austrian women, Austria, 13 Mar 1938
See all 11 photographs of PzKpfw II Light Tank




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