Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:49 pm
The Nazis were building tanks at a rapid pace in the interwar period.
At first, they focused on building light and medium tanks.
Then, between 1925 and 1933, the German companies Krupp, Rheinmetall-Borsig and Daimler-Benz built prototypes of a heavy tank, which weighed between 15 1/2 and 18 tons. The Nazis called it the Grosstraktor (big tractor), so that other countries wouldn’t realize that Germany was rearming.
The 24-ton Neubaufahrzeuge (New Construction Vehicle – NbFz) was the next step in German heavy tank design after the Grosstraktor and the first Nazi German heavy tank to see action, during the Invasion of Norway.
Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig built five prototypes of the Neubaufahrzeuge, all of which had two turrets – a secondary turret being placed in front of the primary one.
Krupp’s version was known as Model A. Its main guns were 2.95 inch (7.5cm) and 1.46 inch (3.7cm) coaxial guns.
The version built by Rheinmetall-Borsig was Model B. This model had a 4.13 inch (10.5cm) howitzer as well as a 1.46 (3.7cm) inch coaxial gun as its main gun.
The Neubaufahrzeuge was never put into production, and the prototypes were given to the Putlos panzer (tank) training school.
However, in the beginning of 1940, three of the Neubaufahrzeuge heavy tanks were used during the invasion of Norway.
One of these tanks was destroyed during the invasion. The other two were returned to the training school.
The Neubaufahrzeuge V and VI were supposed to be called the Panzerkampfwagen (armored combat vehicle – PzKpfw) V and VI when they were put into mass production. However, since only prototypes were built, these designations were given to the Panther and Tigers tank later on.
Neubaufahrzeuge V and VI
|Weight:||24 tons (24,385kg)|
|Height:||8ft 11in (2.72m)|
|Weapons:||Main – 2.95in (7.5cm) gun or 4.13in (10.5cm) howitzer, 1.46in (3.7 cm) coaxial gun; Secondary – 3 x 0.312in (7.92mm) machineguns (2x coaxial in second turret)|
|Armor||Maximum – 2.76in (70mm)|
|Engine:||6-cylinder gasoline, 500hp|
|Range:||87 miles (140 km)|