SdKfz 250

The leichter Schützenpanzerwagen Sd.Kfz 250 was an armoured, half-tracked vehicle employed by the Wehrmacht during World War II. Designed and developed by the German firm Demag, it entered service in 1941 as it first saw combat action on the Eastern Front at the end of that year. By April 1945, more than 6,000 Sd.Kfz 250s had been built and used on every front of the war. SdKfz stands for the German word Sonderkraftfahrzeug (special vehicle or truck).

The Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250 “Aufklärung” (reconnaissance vehicle)

SdKfz-250_AusfA

The leichter Schützenpanzerwagen Sd.Kfz 250 was used by both the mechanized infantry and armoured divisions of the German Army as a standard personnel carrier, reconnaissance, and fire support vehicle. In the reconnaissance role, it was armed with a 7.92mm machine gun (MG-34/42). For fire support missions, the Sd.Kfz 250 could be either fitted out with one 20mm gun (2cm KwK 38), mounted in a rotating turret, or one short-barreled, 75mm gun (7.5cm KwK 37 L/24), which was the same gun employed on the Panzer IV Ausf A / C. The crew was protected by 14.5-mm-thick armour on the front and 5.5-mm on the sides.

Specifications

Length: 4.56 m

Width: 1.94 m

Height: 1.66 m

Weight: 5.8 tons

Power plant: one Maybach, 6-cylinder, water-cooled, gasoline engine, generating 100 hp

Maximum speed: 76 km/h

Range: 200 km

Below: the Sd.Kfz 250/9 Ausf B, mounting a 20mm gun

SdKfz-250_20cm

Below: the Sd.Kfz 250/8 Ausf B, featuring a 75mm gun

SdKfz-250_KwK75

Panhard 178

The Panhard 178 was the first armoured reconnaissance vehicle in service with the French Army, being introduced in early 1937. Designed and manufactured by the French firm Panhard, it was used in combat in the Battle of France, in 1940, by the French 6th Armoured Cavalry Regiment (6e Cuirassier), and from 1941 onwards by the Wehrmacht, which adapted it to be used also on railroad tracks as part of the German armoured trains. More than 1,200 units were made in two versions: Panhard 178A and 178B. This reconnaissance vehicle was also employed to provide fire support to infantry units.

General Characteristics

The Panhard 178 was a light, 4×4, wheeled vehicle armed with a 25-mm-caliber, SA35 cannon and a 7.5-mm Reibel machine gun. The 4-man crew was protected against enemy rifle projectiles and grenade shrapnel by 20-mm-thick armour. Both the hull and the rotating turret were made of riveted steel plates. Its power plant consisted of a Panhard SK gasoline engine, which generated 105 hp. The wheels had leaf springs. All in all, the Panhard 178 was an advanced, fast, and versatile armoured military vehicle.

Panhard-178

Specifications

Type: armoured reconnaissance vehicle
Crew: 4
Weight: 8.2 tons
Length: 4.79 m
Width: 2 m
Height:2.31 m
Speed: 72 km/h
Range: 400 km

Below: the Panhard 178 on rails as used by the Wehrmacht

Panhard-178-onRails

Ratel ZT3

The Ratel ZT3 is an anti-tank, combat vehicle in service with the South African National Defense Force. It first saw combat action on September 10, 1987, during the Angolan Bush War. Originally developed by the former defense contractor Sandock Austral, it is manufactured by Land System OMC. The ZT3 was developed from the Ratel 20, which was the first variant of the Ratel IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). Other variants are Ratel 60, 81, and 90.

The ZT3 is a wheeled, 6×6, armored vehicle powered by one 315-hp, ADE 407TI, turbocharged, diesel engine. To transform the Ratel into an anti-tank vehicle, a new turret was fitted on top, with three Ingwe, anti-tank missiles. In the Angolan Bush War, the Ratel ZT3 destroyed more than 15 Soviet-made T-55 tanks. It is also armed with one 7.62mm machine gun.

Specifications

Weight: 19.5 tons

Length: 7.2 m

Width: 2.7 m

Height: 2.4 m

Maximum speed: 65 mph (105 km/h)

Ratel-ZT3

Wolf Turbo

The Wolf Turbo is a mine-protected APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) developed and manufactured by Windhoeker Maschinenfabrik of Namibia. It was first used in combat by South African police and army’s special units in the South African Border War in the early 1980s.

The Wolf Turbo is a wheeled, 4×4 infantry vehicle, which features an armored V-shaped hull, protecting the crew and the troops against mine blasts. It is powered by a 350 hp, turbo diesel engine. It is armed with a .50 (12.7mm) M2 Browning and a 7.62mm MAG machine guns mounted on the roof.

Wolfturbo

K200 KIFV

The K200 is a tracked infantry fighting vehicle used by the South Korean Army. Designed by the Agency Defense Development, it is manufactured by Daewoo Heavy Industries, with more than 2,300 K200s built in several variants, such as the K216 and K242, with the first one being introduced in 1986. Lacking a gun and a rotating turret on top of the chassis, it looks like an armored personnel carrier rather than an IFV, being able to transport up to 9 well-equipped infantry soldiers.

The K200 series vehicles are powered by one MAN-Doosan D-2848T diesel engine, which generates 350 hp. Its armor consists of welded aluminum alloy, capable of stopping 7.62mm and 12.7mm-caliber rounds. It has an Allison transmission system and torsion bar suspension, with 5 road wheels and two sprocket wheels.

Weapons

The K200 is armed with one .50 (12.7mm) Browning machine gun and one 7.62mm machine gun. The K242 is fitted with one 107mm mortar for fire support, while the K263 Cheongoong is equipped with one 20mm AA gun. The K216 version, which is used for reconnaissance missions, also carries two machine guns (12.7mm and 7.62mm).

Specifications

Weight: 13.2 tons

Hull length: 5.5 m

Width: 2.8 m

Height: 2.5 m

Crew: 3, plus 9 infantry

k200

K200-kifv

Casspir APC

The Casspir is an armored personnel carrier in service with the South African Army and police since 1979. Protected against mine blasts, it has been used in combat in the Angolan Bush War and other armed conflicts in Africa as it was also acquired by Egypt, Namibia, Burundi, and Uganda, as well as by other countries outside this continent such as India and Peru. Originally developed for the South African police force, the Casspir has also been employed in the patrol and reconnaissance roles.

The Casspir is heavier, stronger, and better protected than the Buffel, which it replaced. It is a 4×4, wheeled infantry vehicle, featuring a V-shaped armored hull and chassis, which is raised high above the ground to protect the crew and infantry troops it carries against landmine explosions (up to 17 kg of TNT). The Casspir Mk 3 variant is powered by a 170-hp, Atlantis turbo-diesel engine, which is a Mercedes-Benz OM352 made in South Africa under license.

Weapons

To provide fire support, the Casspir mounts a twin MG-4 7.62mm machine gun and/or a 14.5mm HMG gun.

Specifications

Length: 6.9 m

Width: 2.45 m

Height: 2.85 m

Weight: 11 tons

Maximum speed: 95 km/h

Range: 770 km

Builder: TFM – Land System OMC

Casspir-APC

Casspir_mk2

Casspir APC in action (video)