Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 234/3 (7.5 cm)

The Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd.Kfz 234/3 (7.5 cm) was an eight wheeled heavy armoured car that served with eight divisions of the German Army and Waffen SS from the summer of 1944 onwards, giving their reconnaissance units the ability to take on lighter tanks. 

The first versions of the Sd.Kfz 234 to be developed both carried their guns in a turret. The Sd.Kfz 234/1 was armed with a 20mm cannon and the Sd.Kfz 234/2 with a 50cm gun. Although work on the /1 began first, the /2 was the first to enter production and to enter combat.

Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 234/3 (7.5 cm) from the front right
Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 234/3 (7.5 cm) from the front right

The Sd.Kfz 234/3 was designed to give the reconnaissance units more firepower. The turret of the /1 and /2 was removed and replaced with an open topped fighting compartment, protected by a low shield of 14.5mm armour. The 7.5cm Kanone 51 (L/24) could traverse 20 degrees to the left or right, and from -10 to +16 degrees vertically. There was no coaxial gun, but instead it was equipped with a MG.42 on an anti-aircraft mount. There was space for 50 rounds of 7.5cm ammo and 1,950 rounds of machine gun ammo.

Unlike the /1 and /2 it didn’t have an intercom, but instead had speaking tubes. It also carried the short range FuSpr.F radio for communicating with nearby units. 

Production plans for the Sd.Kfz 234 kept changing. In November 1943 it was decided to produce 100 Sd.Kfz 234/2s first. Production would then be split equally between the Sd.Kfz 234/1 and the Sd.Kfz 234/3.

Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 234/3 (7.5 cm) from the left
Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 234/3 (7.5 cm) from the left

Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 233 (8-rad) from the right
Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 233 (8-rad) from the right

In March 1944 this was changed to a ration of thirteen Sd.Kfz 234/1s for every three Sd.Kfz 234/3s.

The first Sd.Kfz 234/1s and Sd.Kfz 234/3s were delivered in June 1944, when sixth of the two types were completed.

In October the ratio was changed to nine /1s for every seven /3s.

Production of the /3 ended in December 1944, after about ninety had been completed. Work them moved onto the Sd.Kfz 234/4.

The 7.5cm armed Sd.Kfz 234/3 entered service from June 1944. They were issued to the Stab and Stabskompanie of the Panzer-Aufklaerung-Abteilung of eight divisions – Panzer Lehr, two SS Panzer Divisions and five Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions. Each company was to get 13 Sd.Kfz 234/1s and three Sd.Kfz 234/3s.

Hull Length: 6m
Hull Width: 2330mm
Height: 2210mm
Crew: 4
Weight: 11,500kg
Engine: 220hp Tatra V-12 diesel engine
Max Speed: 90km/ hr (road)
Max Range: 900km/ hr (road), 600km (terrain)
Armament: One 7.5cm KwK 51 L/24 and one 7.92mm MG 42
Armour: 5-30mm

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 (20 March 2023), Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 234/3 (7.5 cm) ,

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