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German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery

SdKfz 234

Heavy eight-wheeled armored car

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FAST FACTS:

Heavy armored car SdKfz 234 existed in four versions, each of them with different armament and setup of the fighting compartment. The vehicle was based on an 8x8 chassis which was newly developed by B├╝ssing NAG company. It was powered by a 210 HP Tatra diesel engine. Although the development started already in 1940, the first serial vehicles were ready not sooner than at the end of 1943.

SdKfz 234/1 had a low rotating turret with automatic 20 mm gun KwK 38 L/55 and coaxial machine gun. This version was capable of fighting both, ground and aerial targets. It had a mass of 11,5 tons and was operated by a crew of four. SdKfz 234/2 is probably the best known of all four versions... but it became famous under combat name Puma. It had a fully enclosed tank-like turret hosting a 50 mm KwK 39 L/60 gun. Puma weighted 11,74 tons and had a respectable top speed of 90 km/h.

SdKfz 234/3 had an open top fighting compartment with 75 mm KwK 51 L/24 installed in its front section. The last generation of this machine was the SdKfz 234/4, which appeared at the end of 1944. Heavy 75 mm anti tank gun PaK 40 was selected for its main weapon. It was installed in an open top cabin together with part of its original gun shield. It had a mass of 11,6 tons. The overall production score of all four versions was somewhere between 477 and 516 copies.