Panzer II

Germany-flagGerman light tank Mark II (Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf c)
History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3D model.

Panzer II of Afrika Korps

Panzer II of Afrika Korps moving through the desert.

Panzer II Ausf c
Type: Light tank.

History:

The final model of the development series of the Panzer II was the Ausf c, which bore the external features that came to be recognized as the standard design for the Pz Kpfw II. The Ausf c retained the 13mm armour of the Ausf b. Ausf a and b were in fact not more than pre-series produced in greater numbers (75 resp. 25 vehicles).
The Ausf A was the first production series of this main model Ausf. c and was built from July 1937. The Ausf B was produced from December 1937, the Ausf C, from June 1938.

With the Ausf c, the suspension was changed from six small road wheels to five independently sprung larger dia­meter road wheels, and the number of return rollers was increased from three to four. The track design was changed (which meant that the drive sprockets had to be modified) and wider fenders and idler wheels were installed. The ventilation and cooling of the engine compartment was again improved. The final drives and epicyclic steer­ing system on 25 of the Ausf c were manufactured from an ‘Ersatz (substitute) molybdenum’ steel.

The last major change in the Panzer II series was the introduction of an improved transmission in the Ausf A (sub series of c). There were only minor differences (mainly changes to the vision ports) between the Ausf A, B, C (there were a total of three sub-series of Pz Kpfw II c).
As originally produced, all the Pz Kpfw II Ausf c, A to C had a split hatch on the turret roof for the commander, and a rounded hull front. The Polish anti-tank rifle could easily penetrate the 15mm armour of the Pz Kpfw II and the troops requested that it be strengthened.

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Washing Panzer II

Washing Panzer II c in a stream. The first vehicle has additional armour plate bolted to the hull front. The second vehicle is an Ausf A, with different driver’s visor and vision ports.

By May 1940, additional 20mm armour plates had been bolted to the front of the turret, superstructure and hull front of approximately 70 per cent of the Pz Kpfw II Ausf c to C, and the armour of the remainder had been increased before the invasion of Russia.

During the campaign in Poland, commanders had complained of limited vision, and had registered the same complaint during the campaign in the West. From October 1940, this defect was remedied by the provision of a kit with eight periscopes for the commander’s cupola.

The first Panzer II (Ausf a) were first issued to Panzer units in the spring of 1936. They retained their main combat tank status in Poland, but were finally relegated to a reconnaissance and exploitation role during the campaign in the West.
When the Russian campaign started, each Panzer Regiment, Detachment and Company had a platoon of Pz Kpfw II assigned for reconnaissance.
In 1942, these platoons were withdrawn from tank companies. The Panzer II was phased out of service with tank regiments late in 1943, but remained in service with various Panzer units on secondary fronts until the end of the war.

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Animated 3D model Panzer II


Specifications for Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf A, B, C (SdKfz 121)

Specifications
Panzer II A,B,C Specification
Type Light tank
Engine Maybach HL 62 TRM gassoline engine with 140 hp / 2,600 rpm
Gearbox 6 forward, 1 reverse
Crew 3
Turret crew 2
Length 4.81 meters
Width 2.22 meters
Height 1.99 meters
Weight 8.9 tons
Maximum speed 40 km/hr
Cross-country speed ?
Fuel consumption per 100 Kilometers 110 liters on road; 170 liters cross-country
Fuel 170 liters
Road radius 150 km (other sources: 200 km)
Cross-country radius 100 km
Vertical obstacle 0.43 metres
Trench crossing 1.72 metres
Fording depth 0.91 metres
Turning circle 4.85 metres
Climbing power 50°
Armour
Panzer II A,B,C mm (original) mm (upgrades) angle
Turret front 14.5 30 round
Turret side 14.5 14.5 22°
Turret rear 14.5 14.5 22°
Turret top 10 10 86-90°
Superstructure front 14.5 30
Superstructure side 14.5 14.5
Superstructure rear 14.5 14.5
Superstructure top 10 10 81-90°
Hull front 14.5 30 round
Hull side 14.5 14.5 90°
Hull rear 14.5 14.5
Hull bottom 14.5 14.5 73-63° (+5mm/90°)
Gun mantlet 16 16 round
Armament and Equipment
Panzer II A,B,C Specification
Main armament 2 cm KwK30 L/55
Rounds 180
Traverse 360° (by hand)
Elevation -9.5° to +20°
Muzzle velocity Pzgr 780 m/s
Muzzle velocity Pzgr40 1,050 m/s
Shell weight Pzgr 0.148 kg
Shell weight Pzgr40 0.1 kg
Secondary armament 1 x 7.92mm MG34 coaxially to gun (2,250 rounds)
Radio FuG5 (2.5 miles range)
Telescopic sight TZF4 (c) 1200 meters; TZF4/36 (A,B) 800 meters; TZF4/38 (C) 1200 meters
Penetration mm at 30° armour plates of the gun
Range Pzgr Pzgr40
Penetration 100 metres 20 mm 49 mm
Penetration 500 metres 14 mm 20 mm
Penetration 1000 metres 9 mm
Penetration 1500 metres -
Penetration 2000 metres
Production
Panzer II A,B,C data
Production from March 1937 to April 1940
Price per tank RM 52,640 (PzKpfw II b) – RM 49,228 (Ausf F without weapons; 2cm KwK c. RM 3,500) = c. $23,688-22,153
Total production figure 1,113 (+ 75 a and 25 b)
Service statistics of all Panzer II variants
Year Available Production Losses
before 1939 1,001
1939 1,223 (1.9.) 246 ?
1940 ? 9 ?
1941 1,072 (1.6.) 236 393
1942 837 (1.1.) 322 287
1943 997 (1.1.) 408
1944 399 (1.1.) 61
1945 - -
Total - 1,814 1,149 (only Jan 41-Jan 45)

Video from the action with Panzer II H in video games

Mission with Panzer II H and Panzer III N at a ‘Realistic Ground Battle’ of the free2play game War Thunder:

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