German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery

SdKfz 221

Light four-wheeled armored car




SdKfz 221 was a light armored car based on 4x4 Einheitsfahrgestell I chassis developed by Horch company in 1935. The armored body was also developed by Horch. Maximum thickness of the used armor plates was 14,5 mm.

Vehicle had a small rotating turret on the roof, hosting a single 7,92 mm MG 34 machine gun. The crew consisted of just two men – driver and commander who also manned the machine gun. SdKfz 221 was powered by Horch V8 engine with 3,5 liter swept volume and a power of 75 HP. With the mass of 4 tons it could reach a top speed about 80 km/h. Serial production started in 1935 or 1936 and continued until 1940. In total some 339 copies were built.

Armed with just a single machine gun, the SdKfz 221 was not able to engage any armored opponent. Some of the vehicles were therefore additionally equipped with anti-tank rifles. During 1941 it was the 7,92 mm Panzerbüchse 39 which was installed into the original small turret, to the right of the machine gun. In 1942 some 34 vehicles were fitted with much heavier 28 mm Panzebüsche 41 which could penetrate 50 mm of homogenous armor from 500 meters.