Friday, February 20, 2015

Mittlerer Gepanzerter Beobachtungskraftwagen (Sd Kfz 254)


Wheel-cum-track medium armoured observation post.
SdKfz 254
Type Tracked/wheeled armoured scout car
Place of origin Austria
Service history
Used by Austria, Nazi Germany
Production history
Number built 140
Variants artillery observation vehicle
Specifications
Weight 6.4 tonnes
Length 4.56 m
Width 2.02 m, 2.20 m on wheels
Height 1.88 m

Armor 6 - 15 mm
Main
armament
1 x MG34 7.92 mm machine gun
Engine Saurer CRDv 4cyl, diesel
70hp
Operational
range
500 km on wheels
Speed 60 km/h

From 1936, the RR-7 was developed by Saurer as an artillery tractor for the Austrian Bundesheer (Army). Testing was completed and in 1937, an order was placed for tractors, which were manufactured in 1938. After the incorporation of Austria into the Reich in 1938, the RR-7 chassis was developed by the Wehrmacht as a light troop-carrier, but was subsequently issued as a light armoured observation and radio vehicle from late 1940. Records indicate that a total of 140 RR-7 type vehicles were ordered, so it can be assumed that the Sd Kfz 254 were all newly-constructed for the Wehrmacht.

Armoured superstructure similar to that of the Sd Kfz 253 Ie gep Beob Kw semi-track vehicle, with fully enclosed roof and large rear-opening doors. The frame aerial was for the powerful FuG8 radio. The most unusual feature of the Sd Kfz 254-apart from the unique wheel-cum-track configuration-was the diesel motor.

Served in Russia and Africa with the Panzarartillerie detachments from 1941.

LINK

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