Panzer II Ausf c
Type: Light tank.
The final model of the development series of the Panzer II was the Ausf c, which bore the external features that came to be recognized as the standard design for the Pz Kpfw II. The Ausf c retained the 13 mm armor of the Ausf b. Ausf a and b were in fact not more than pre-series produced in greater numbers (75 resp. 25 vehicles).
The Ausf A was the first production series of this main model Ausf. c and was built from July 1937. The Ausf B was produced from December 1937, the Ausf C, from June 1938.
With the Ausf c, the suspension was changed from six small road wheels to five independently sprung larger diameter road wheels, and the number of return rollers was increased from three to four. The track design was changed (which meant that the drive sprockets had to be modified) and wider fenders and idler wheels were installed. The ventilation and cooling of the engine compartment was again improved. The final drives and epicyclic steering system on 25 of the Ausf c were manufactured from an ‘Ersatz (substitute) molybdenum’ steel.
The last major change in the Panzer II series was the introduction of an improved transmission in the Ausf A (sub series of c). There were only minor differences (mainly changes to the vision ports) between the Ausf A, B, C (there were a total of three sub-series of Pz Kpfw II c).
As originally produced, all the Pz Kpfw II Ausf c, A to C had a split hatch on the turret roof for the commander, and a rounded hull front. The Polish anti-tank rifle could easily penetrate the 15 mm armor of the Pz Kpfw II and the troops requested that it be strengthened.
By May 1940, additional 20mm armor plates had been bolted to the front of the turret, superstructure and hull front of approximately 70 per cent of the Pz Kpfw II Ausf c to C, and the armor of the remainder had been increased before the invasion of Russia.
During the campaign in Poland, commanders had complained of limited vision, and had registered the same complaint during the campaign in the West. From October 1940, this defect was remedied by the provision of a kit with eight periscopes for the commander’s cupola.
The first Panzer II (Ausf a) were first issued to Panzer units in the spring of 1936. They retained their main combat tank status in Poland, but were finally relegated to a reconnaissance and exploitation role during the campaign in the West.
When the Russian campaign started, each Panzer Regiment, Detachment and Company had a platoon of Pz Kpfw II assigned for reconnaissance.
In 1942, these platoons were withdrawn from tank companies. The Panzer II was phased out of service with tank regiments late in 1943, but remained in service with various Panzer units on secondary fronts until the end of the war.
Users: Germany, Spain.
Animated 3D model Panzer II
Specifications for Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf A, B, C (SdKfz 121)
|Panzer II A,B,C||Specification|
|Engine||Maybach HL 62 TRM gassoline engine with 140 hp / 2,600 rpm|
|Gearbox||6 forward, 1 reverse|
|Maximum speed||40 km/hr|
|Fuel consumption per 100 Kilometers||110 liters on road; 170 liters cross-country|
|Road radius||150 km (other sources: 200 km)|
|Cross-country radius||100 km|
|Vertical obstacle||0.43 metres|
|Trench crossing||1.72 metres|
|Fording depth||0.91 metres|
|Turning circle||4.85 metres|
|Panzer II A,B,C||mm (original)||mm (upgrades)||angle|
|Hull bottom||14.5||14.5||73-63° (+5mm/90°)|
Armament and Equipment:
|Panzer II A,B,C||Specification|
|Main armament||2 cm KwK30 L/55|
|Traverse||360° (by hand)|
|Elevation||-9.5° to +20°|
|Muzzle velocity Pzgr||780 m/s|
|Muzzle velocity Pzgr40||1,050 m/s|
|Shell weight Pzgr||0.148 kg|
|Shell weight Pzgr40||0.1 kg|
|Secondary armament||1 x 7.92mm MG34 coaxially to gun (2,250 rounds)|
|Radio||FuG5 (2.5 miles range)|
|Telescopic sight||TZF4 (c) 1200 meters; TZF4/36 (A,B) 800 meters; TZF4/38 (C) 1200 meters|
Penetration mm at 30° armour plates of the gun:
|Penetration 100 metres||20 mm||49 mm|
|Penetration 500 metres||14 mm||20 mm|
|Penetration 1000 metres||9 mm||-|
|Penetration 1500 metres||-||-|
|Penetration 2000 metres||-||-|
|Panzer II A,B,C||figures|
|Production||from March 1937 to April 1940|
|Price per tank||RM 52,640 (PzKpfw II b) - RM 49,228 (Ausf F without weapons; 2cm KwK c. RM 3,500) = c. $23,688-22,153|
|Total production figure||1,113 (+ 75 a and 25 b)|
Service statistics of all Panzer II variants:
|Total||-||1,814||1,149 (only Jan 41-Jan 45)|
Video from the action with Panzer II H in video games
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References and literature
Kraftfahrzeuge und Panzer der Reichswehr, Wehrmacht und Bundeswehr (Werner Oswald)
Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two (P.Chamberlain, H.L.Doyle)
Panzer und andere Kampffahrzeuge von 1916 bis heute (Christopher F. Foss, John F. Milsom, Colonel John Stafford Weeks, Captain Georffrey Tillotson, Richard M. Ogorkiewicz)
Krieg der Panzer (Piekalkiewicz)
The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II (Chris Bishop)
Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Orgnaisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation, Volume I – IIIB (Nigel Askey)