Self propelled guns on SdKfz 7
German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery
SdKfz 7 was a halftrack tractor designed for hauling artillery pieces and other kind of loads up to 8 metric tons. It was developed by Krauss-Maffei company. First production batch appeared probably already in 1934 but the final design vehicles came into production in 1937. There were two official armed modifications of this vehicle.
The first one was the SdKfz 7/1 armed with a set of four 20 mm anti-aircraft guns called 2cm Flakvierling 38. The vehicle was manned by a crew of ten. Six men were needed just for the ammunition handling because the four-barrel set had an admirable cyclic cadence 1800 rounds per minute (4 x 450). Practical rate was "only" around 720 to 800 rpm, but even this is still quite an impressive number. SdKfz 7/1 existed in both armored and non-armored version.
The second combat version of this halftrack was introduced in 1942 as SdKfz 7/2. This vehicle was armed with a 37 mm anti-aircraft gun Flak 36. Nevertheless also more advanced Flak 37 and Flak 43 guns were installed later on. Anti-aircraft SdKfz 7s were used mainly to escort and protect marching tanks and supply columns.