Leichter Panzerspahwagen Tp 4 (Prototyp)

The Leichter Panzerspahwagen Tp 4 was a design for a light armoured car to replace the Sd.KFz 221 family, but although it reached the prototype stage it wasn’t placed into production

Work on the new design began in July 1941. The Waffenamt wanted a new four wheel armoured car to replace the unsatisfactory leichter Panzerspahwagen Sd Kfz 222, an up-gunned version of the Sd.Kfz 221, which suffered from poor cross country mobility.

The new vehicle was to be powered by a 125hp Tatra air-cooled 6-cylinder air cooled diesel engine. It would be armed with a 5cm KwK 39/1 gun and MG 42. Frontal armour would be 30mm thick, and the vehicle would weigh 7 tons. Ideally it would use as many components as possible from the new eight wheeled heavy armoured car then under development, and which would enter service as the Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd.Kfz 234.

The resulting vehicle was only 50cm shorter than the eight-wheeler, but several tons lighter. It had similar sloped armour to the eight-wheeler, and a front mounted turret carrying the guns. A third set of wheels were placed half way along the chassis, but lifted off the ground. The turret was hexagonal and open topped and would have had a screen that could be lowered across the top to deflect grenades. The turret guns were able to reach higher elevation than on earlier vehicles, allowing them to be used as AA guns.

By July 1942 two prototypes were under construction and were expected to be complete early in 1943. Production was to begin in October 1943 and an order for 1,000 vehicles was placed. Production was to rise to 80 vehicles per month, so would continue in 1945. The two prototypes were completed early in 1943.However the fighting on the Eastern Front in 1942 suggested that four wheeled armour cars weren’t able to cope with the difficult terrain, so the entire project was cancelled.

Hull Length: 5330mm
Hull Width: -
Height: 2150mm
Crew: 4
Weight: 7 tonnes
Engine: 125hp Tatra air-cooled 6-cylinder diesel engine
Max Speed: 85km/ hr (road)
Max Range:
Armament: One 2cm KwK 38 and one 7.92mm MG 42
Armour: 30mm max

German Half-Tracks and Wheeled Vehicles 1939-1945, Alexander Lüdeke. Looks at the armoured cars and half-tracks used by the German Army before and during the Second World War, focusing on the development and technical descriptions of each type and its major variants. Each type gets one or two pages, supported by photos of the vehicle. A useful short reference book on these essential vehicles, covering both the many types developed in Germany and the smaller number of captured vehicles pressed into service. [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 May 2023), Leichter Panzerspahwagen Tp 4 (Prototyp) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_leichter_panzerspahwagen_tp4.html

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