Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen

By Christian Ankerstjerne

History

The Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen (Sd Kfz 265) (Kl Pz Bef Wg) (small armored command vehicle) was based on the Panzerkampfwagen I. Design work began in 1934. To allow the installation of a more powerful generator, necessary to power the radio, the turret was replaced with a fixed superstructure.

Early in the production run, a machine gun was added to the Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen, to provide rudimentary self-defense. The commander's cupola was also improved, so that the commander could overlook the terrain without exposing himself to enemy fire.

Production began in 1936, with a total of 184 vehicle made before production ended in 1937. By this time, captured Czechoslovakian Panzerkampfwagen 35 (t) were available, which were used by the German as command tanks. Despite it's weak armor, the Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen continued to serve well into the Second World War, before being slowly phased out.

Technical Information

Technical details of the Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen
Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen
Crew
Crew
  • Commander
  • Radio operator
  • Driver
Physical Characteristics
Weight 5.88 t
Length 4.42 m
Width 2.06 m
Height 1.99 m
Firing height 1.48 m
Ground pressure 0.52 kg/cm²
Armor
Hull, front 8-14.5 mm
Hull, sides and rear 13-14.5 mm
Hull, top 8-10 mm
Hull, bottom 5 mm
Performance
Maximum speed 40 km/h
Road speed 25 km/h
Cross-country speed 12-15 km/h
Maximum grade 30°
Trench crossing 1.4 m
Vertical obstacle 0.37 m
Fording depth 0.6 m
Fuel capacity 146 l
Mileage (road) 0.86 l/km
Mileage (cross-country) 1.27 l/km
Cruising range 170 km
Cross-country range 115 km
Engine
Make and model Maybach NL 38 Tr
Type Water cooled
Cylinders 6
Displacement 3800 cc
Fuel Gasoline
Max. governed speed 300 rpm
Net h.p. 100
Armament
Main weapon 7,92 mm M G 34
Ammunition Storage
Main weapon 7,92 mm S m K and S m K L'Spur: 900

Additional Reading

Web Links

Books

Sources

  1. JENTZ, Thomas L. & DOYLE, Hilary Louis. Panzer Tracts No. 1-1 - Panzerkampfwagen I : Kleintraktor to Ausf.B. Boyds, MD : Panzer Tracts, 2002. 100 p. ISBN 0-9708407-6-4.