Light tank destroyer
German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery
Marder II (marten) was a stop-gap solution for the eastern front where German army faced surprising number and quality of Soviet tanks. Soldiers desperately needed a powerful self-propelled anti-tank gun which could be delivered fast and in significant quantities. To speed up the development of such new fighting machine, the engineers decided to simply combine elements already in existence.
The first Marders II were built on the chassis of Panzer II Ausf. D or Ausf. E with four large roadwheels. The original tank cabin and turret were eliminated and a brand new superstructure was installed. It was opened from the top and back and partly also from sides. The main weapon was a trophy ex-soviet 76,2 mm gun F-22, which was adapted by Rheinmetall Borsig for standard German 75 mm ammunition. The modified gun was called PaK 36(r). This version of Marder had a mass of 11,5 ton and was operated by a crew of four. Its production started in May 1942 and lasted till 1944. Altogether some 210 vehicles were built.
Another version of Marder II was introduced in June 1942. This time it was based on chassis of Panzer II Ausf. F with typical five smaller roadwheels. The main weapon was a new German 75 mm anti-tank gun PaK 40. Again there was a open top and open back armored cabin. This later Marder II weighted 10,8 tons and had just three-men crew. Production ran from July 1942 till March 1944. There are several different figures to be found in the literature when looking for a total production score, varying from 606 to 1271 copies.