PzKpfw II Light Tank

Last updated on April 10th, 2019 at 05:32 pm

Germany’s PzKpfw Panzer II Light Tank weighed almost 10 tons. It had a 0.79 inch (2cm) cannon, which could fire armor piercing ammunition as well as high explosives, as well as a coaxial MG34 machine gun. It carried three crewmembers.

Production of the PzKpfw II began in 1935.

Different versions of the PzKpfw II were produced, ranging from Ausf A to Ausf L. Ausf A had a periscope on top of the turret, behind the guns.¬† This periscope was removed from later models. Improvements to Ausf B and Ausf C included better vision devices, an additional armor plate that was bolted on, and the addition of a commander’s cupola in the turret.

PzKpfw II Light Tank Ausf C
When Ausf A entered service, its suspension resembled the suspension on the PzKpfw I. By the time Ausf C was built, the suspension consisted of five larger, independently sprung roadwheels and four top rollers.

As the PzKpfw II light tank series continued its development through Ausf L, the superstructure, chassis and automotive systems were constantly upgraded, and the armor was made thicker. The armament did not change, however.

Different variants of the PzKpfw II were created. These included a flamethrower that was called the Flamingo and a Schlepper – a vehicle for transporting weapons and ammunition – which had no turret.

Panzer II group practicing river crossing in 1939 in advance of the real thing a few months later in Sedan

The final version of the PzKpfw II was a reconnaissance tank known as the Panzerspahwagen Light Recce tank or the Luchs (Lynx).This tank weighed 13 tons and was armed with a 0.79 inch (2cm) KwK38 gun and a coaxial MG34 machine gun. It carried a crew of four men.

In late 1943, about 100 of these reconnaissance tanks were built.  During World War II, the Luchs saw action in Europe and in Russia.

Nazi Germany

PzKpfw Panzer II Ausf F Light

Active: 1935 (Aus A), 1941 (Aus F)
Crew: 3
Weight: 9.5 tons (9,650kg)
Length: 15ft 9in (4.81m)
Height: 7ft 0.5in (2.15m)
Width: 7ft 8in (2.28m)
Weapons: Main – 0.79 in (2cm) cannon, Secondary – 0.315in (7.92mm) machinegun
Armor Maximum – 1.38in (35mm)
Engine: Maybach HL6TR 6-cylinder gasoline, 140hp
Speed: 24.9mph (40kph)
Range: 124.3 miles (200 km)