The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

German weapons, vehicles and equipment 1919-1945.

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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:56 pm

I never said there weren't any pictures in Tech Intell, I was wondering what the sources of your pictures were. My position is plain, I think this was a field modification and the reasons I do are because of the lack of documentary or pictorial evidence otherwise.

So, I asked what pictures you knew of. If you're saying that you only know of pictures from Tech Intell, then we are talking about pictures of one vehicle and I've made my point.

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David
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by phylo_roadking » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:05 pm

then we are talking about pictures of one vehicle and I've made my point.
...which I made about six posts ABOVE that comment, when I said
I know of at least four, admittedly of the same vehicle at Pilsen
But until someone gets to check Panzerwrecks 4...we won't know what THEIR source is...COULD be a different set of pics...although it's supposed to show a set of assorted 234s "surrendering in Czechoslovakia".
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:12 pm

I know of at least four, admittedly of the same vehicle at Pilsen
Well, that puts you two photos up on Tech Intell so where did they come from?

And again, what is your source for the information on the Schwebelafette? I note on page 8 of this discussion that you posted a photo that mis-identified a 20mm mount on a 251 chassis as a "251/17 schwebelafette". This leads me to seriously question your sources.

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David
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Tom Houlihan » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:24 pm

Hey, I thought this was the 234 thread? How did these errant Marders and 251s get in here?

Is there any Bundeswehr office that might have historical information on this variant that could help?

I have to admit, I had my fingers crossed for Martin to pull yet another rabbit out of his hat, and weigh in on this. The near complete lack of information on this vehicle is really starting to make me think that this is a field mod. Take the mount out of a disabled 251/17, and weld it into an operable 234 with no weapon, and we're off!

Hell, it wouldn't be the first time a company made a model of a one-off, and people started thinking there were hundreds of 'em rolling around!
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:45 pm

Tom, I thought that Martin Block's post really settled this issue and I'm willing to leave it at that. I've only seen two pictures of one vehicle. Period.

Let's get back to the 234 series.

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David
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Tom Houlihan » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:06 pm

Imagine my chagrin, when I read your post, David, and had to backtrack. I'm not sure how I missed Martin's post. My apologies, Herr Block!
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:13 am

Well, that puts you two photos up on Tech Intell so where did they come from?
David, I told you back up the thread where from. They're on missing-lunx.com but I can't see the actual pics, they're x'd out. I said I KNEW of them, not that I had seen them.
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Hans Weber » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:59 am

Hello

Seemingly I can't edit my old post on the Puma allocations anymore. So I will make a repost here with the additional information I could gather in the last two years. I think I'm pretty close to truth now.


Allocation list of Sd.Kfz 234/2

The following list is made from the allocation reports found at the BAMA at Freiburg under the signature number RH 10/349 (43-44) and RH 10/350 (1945) and the files of the OKH, Waffenamt, T 78 Rolls 168, 169, 413

A total of 101 Sd.Kfz. 234/2 were produced and all were issued to troops via Inspektion 6 and its Zeugämter (arsenals), additionally, 6 repaired Sdkfz 234/2 were reissued.


The records of OKH Waffenamt have entries on Fertigungsvorschau (expected production), Abnahme Wa A (the assembled products accepted by the Abnahmediensstellen des Heereswaffenamtes), the Zugang In 6, ie. the number of items going into the arsenals. Here the records differ between newly produced items and repaired items. The most important entry is the number of items leaving the arsenal as these can be compared with the Zuführungslisten kept by Gen. Insp.d.Pz.Trp. Usually, the differ between supply, issues to units refreshing (Auffrischung), newly raised units (Neuaufstellungen), Ersatzheer, Wa A (in case items in arsenal stocks have to go back to be repaired), and “Stellen ausserhalb des Heeres”, ie the Luftwaffe and the Waffen SS and some special units. We then have entries on the stocks in the arsenal, the losses on the frontline (not very reliable) or due to items given away or sold to other states, usually, if items go to the Luftwaffe, they are marked there, too, which helps differing between deliveries to the Luftwaffe and the Waffen SS in the entry “Stellen ausserhalb des Heeres”. Sometimes additional remarks explain reasons for shortages etc.

Below, I only repeat four entries, the first one is the estimated production, the second one what goes into the arsenals (Zugang), the third one what goes out, and the last one the stocks in the arsenals.

1943


Sept. 15/1/1/0
Oct. 15/1/1//0-
Nov. 15/0/0/0
Dec. 4/1/0/1

1944

Jan. 15/5/5/0, reason for not meeting production goal: delayed arrival of armoured castings for turret
Feb. 15/12/12/0 reason for not meeting production goal: delayed arrival of armoured castings for turret
Mar. 25/22/18/4
Apr. 25/30/23/11
May 25/19/29/1, reason for not meeting production goal: delays in mounting ammo racks on twenty items.
June --/7/6/2, the estimated production was 30, but as production switched to the 234/1 and 234/3, there is no use to repeat it here.
July --/1 new, 1 repaired/1/3
Aug. --/0/0/3
Sept. --/2 new/1/4
Oct. --/5 repaired/2/7
Nov. --/0/3/4
Dec. --/0/3/1

1945

Jan.--/0/1/0

Allocations were:

1943

Sept. 1 --> Pz. Tr. Schule II
Oct. 1 -->Pz. Tr. Schule II
Nov. -
Dec. 1 --> Aufkl.-Lehr-Abt.

1944

Jan. 5 --> Aufkl.-Lehr-Abt. (error in Zuführungsliste listing 3)

Feb. 12
6 --> Aufkl.-Lehr-Abt, in addition to 6 already on strength, see Dec and Jan above)
6 --> 7. Pz.Div.

Mar. 18
14 --> Aufkl.-Lehr-Abt, in addition to 12 already on strength, see above, Total delivered to what became Pz ALA 130: 26
4 --> 2.Pz.Div.

The number of 26 is confirmed by an early Gliederungsbild of PLD, numbers in Zuführungsliste regarding PLD are wrong.

Apr. 23
21 --> 2. Pz. Div., unit at full strength (25)
2 --> Replacement Army, but according handwritten note on Zuführungsliste ending up with ALA and 2. Pz. Div.

May 29
16 --> SS Pz.Div. LAH
12 --> 20.Pz.Div.
1 --> SS Ersatzheer

June 6
4 --> 20. Pz. Div.
1 --> 1 Wa A (Prüf. und Abnahme)
1 --> Ersatzheer

July 1 --> Ersatzheer, according to handwritten note on Zuführungsliste ending up with 116. Pz. Div.

Sept. 1 --> 20. Pz. Div

Oct. 2 --> Ersatzheer

Nov. 3 --> Pz. Brigade 150

This might come as surprise to most of you, but – besides eyewitnesses - there is even photographic evidence of this and the OKH Waffenamt are clear in that the 234/2 went to a “Neuaufstellung”. Pz. Brigade 150 is the only such “Neuaufstellung" on the Zuführungsliste November 1944. For completeness sake I add this: The other 3 sPSW for this Brigade mounted 7,5cm KwK guns. The remainder of this material was later adopted by LAH.

Dec. 3 --> 7. Pz. Div, bringing up the total of «Pumas » up to 5 again.
1945

Jan. 1 --> Ersatzheer


This ends the allocations, no Zugänge in January and February. I have no material on March and April, but due to the overall situation, I would doubt that 234/2 turned up from assembly lines or repair shops. Production now focused on 234/4 with some 234/1.

Stocks were emptied, some of the cars in the Ersatzheer turned up on the front as “Gneisenau” pressed more and more Ersatzunits into service.


Cheers

Hans

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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Martin Block » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:06 pm

Hans,

Great work, thanks for sharing :up: :up: :up:

If you don't have this data already available to yourself I have sort of an indirect confirmation for that December 1944 allocation of 3 Sd.Kfz. 234/2 to 7. Pz.Div.: Between the weapons listings dated 1.12.1944 and 1.1.1945 the number of available 5cm Kwk 39 guns rose from 4 to 7. I never cared to think about it that way :oops: but indeed it corresponds nicely with the shipment of 3 s.Pz.Späh-Wg. from H.Za. on 25.12.1944! And there were no changes in number of available Pz. III during the month.

Here's a question for you: Is there any room left in your calculations for a single Sd.Kfz. 234/2 (perhaps factory repaired or from the replacement army) shipped to 2. Pz.Div. during November 1944?
Reason for my question is this: As you know 2 unspecified s.Pz.Späh-Wagen were shipped to the division on 18.11.1944 and reported as arrived on 25.11.1944. If one now compares the divisional 'Kriegsgliederung' dated 31.10.1944 with the one dated 30.11.1944 one notices that the number of available weapons with the Stabskp./Pz.A.A. 2 changes from 3 - 2cm, 9 - 5cm, 3 - 7,5cm to 4 - 2cm, 10 - 5cm, 3 - 7,5cm which apparently indicates a delivery of 1 - 234/1 and 1 - 234/2 during November 1944. Another correlation I failed to notice so far :oops: or just a fluctuation in figures not unusual within divisional 'Kriegsgliederungen'? What would be your interpretation of this?

Regards,

Martin Block

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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:06 pm

MyOHMyOHMy!!!! :D

Now this is indeed a treat--Martin Block and Hans Weber posting on one Thread. I have to say two things Gentlemen. First, There are only two other research threads, within my recent memory, that I am personally as proud of starting as this one on the Sd. Kfz. 234 series:

The first was "Let's Build Muncheberg" on AHF, which was the very first "Lets Build" Thread on that forum and was started nearly six years ago:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=3034

The second was a Thread here on Feldgrau on the 4th Panzer Division's Aufklarungs Abt, started nearly three years ago:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=15500&start=0&st=0 ... .Aufkl.Abt

Secondly, and more importantly, I really wanted to say that seeing the two of you and our other contributors build this Thread from the ground up, is sort of like walking in from the cold and snow only to feel the warm radiance, relax in the bright glow, and smell the sweet scent of a fast-burning wood fire in the fireplace! :up: :up: :up:

Please do carry on Gentlemen!

I have the distinct feeling that you and the other contributors are creating THE CLASSIC THREAD on the Sd. Kfz. 234 series and one that will be treasured by our fellow enthusiasts for many, many years!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D

Very Best Regards,
David
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Tom Houlihan » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:48 pm

Aye, what David said!

I always thought the Puma was more common. I learned better, but this thread is showing specifics, and it's great information!

David, let's give this a few more months, then pull up another arcane vehicle to learn more about!! :wink:
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:13 pm

Hi Tom, well, from a purely theoretical or philosophical point of view, there does remain the question of why the Germans gave priority to the 234/1, armed with a 20mm auto cannon and an Mg-34 or 42 over the 234/2 Puma armed with a 50mm cannon and a coaxial Mg-34? Of course, the 20mm had an anti-aircraft capability, but the 50mm would be far more useful against armored targets such as the Soviet T-60 or T-70 scout tanks. While the mission of the Aufklarungs Abt. may well have been to "see but not be seen", I think that by late 1944, there had to have been some concern about what sort of armored opposition the 234 would face in doing its mission.

Under the right conditions, a 50mm could destroy even a T-34, so we have an interesting question of priorities here!!!

But this is strictly a theoretical question, far separated from the fine work of Hans and Martin in figuring out the allocations of the vehicles to specific formations. The allocations are, obviously, of much more importance than the philosophy behind them, as the issuance of equipment speaks for itself and doesn't allow for much debate.

Martin's and Hans' information give us the solid foundations for any purely theoretical discussions and I--of course--don't want their information to be lost or obscured in a storm of ill-considered conjecture. Still, it would be nice to hear from both of them their private thoughts on this matter.

Trying to figure out what the German High Command intended in the purchase and distribution of armored fighting vehicles is still, I
suppose, a matter of art rather than of fact, even after all these years..... :roll:

Very Best,
David
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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Martin Block » Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:37 am

Hans,

I have another confirmation for you. This time regarding the 26 instead of only 25 Sd.Kfz. 234/2 with Pz.Lehr-Division. You probably know the German saying "Man sieht den Wald for lauter Bäumen nicht." Well, I have the following report in my archive for about 5 years now and when I stored it away that probably was the last time I have looked at it. The 26 vehicles are clearly confirmed in it but since then I forgot about it :oops:

Because of my poor knowledge of translating technical details into English language I present the report in German language. If anyone feels able to properly translate it that would be fine. Trying this would probably ruin the rest of my Sunday and get me in serious trouble with my dear wife @{

1./Pz.Aufkl.Lehr-Abt. 130
Feldpostnummer 58739

O.U., den 20.5.1944

Erfahrungsbericht über das Sonder-Kfz. 234 (Tp.)

Die Kompanie legt hiermit einen zusammenfassenden Erfahrungsbericht über die bisher beim Sd.Kfz. 234 (Tp.) aufgetretenen Mängel und Fehler vor. Diese Erfahrungen wurden hauptsächlich während des Einsatzes in Ungarn und in der augenblicklichen Liegezeit in Frankreich gemacht. Erfahrungenüber den Tp unter Feindeinwirkungen liegen nicht vor.

I. Kraftfahrtechnik

A. Motor:

Der 12 Zylinder Tatra-Büssing-Motor ist im allgemeinen hervorragend. Die hier angeführten Mängel lassen sich zum größten Teil auf ein ungenaues arbeiten im Werk oder auf nicht sorgfältige Kontrolle der übernehmenden Dienststellen zurückführen.

Aufgetretene Fehler:

- Die Einspritzpumpen wurden ohne Öl eingebaut und in diesem Zustand wurden die Fahrzeuge 500 km eingefahren.

- Die Kupplung zwischen den Einspritzpumpen war teilweise lose, so dass sich die Pumpen gegeneinander verstellten und die Leistung des Fahrzeuges bedeutend herabsank.

- Viele Sörungen und grosse Kraftstoffverluste treten durch das Dehnen bzw. Reissen des Bowdenzuges im Rücklaufdreiwegehahn auf. Die Folge davon ist, dass entweder der Rücklaufdreiwegehahn geschlossen bleibt, wodurch der Kraftstoff in die Leckölleitung gedrückt, diese zerstört wird und das Dieselöl verloren geht, oder der Hahn schaltet auf einen anderen Tank um, wodurch der Kraftstoff des einen Behälters in einen anderen vollen Behälter gefördert wird und diesen zum Überlaufen oder, bei dichtem Verschluss zur Sprengung bringt.

- Sämtliche Kabel liegen an der tiefsten Stell im Motorraum in einem Rohr, so dass sie vom überlaufenden Kraftstoff überspült werden und die Isolierung zerstört wird. Dadurch wird ein [Kurz]Schluss verursacht und die Kabel verbrennen.

- Die Befestigungsschrauben der Motoraufhängung reissen ständig ab (Auch die neuen 18 mm Schrauben).

- Beim Ausbau der Batterien brennen sehr oft die Hauptsicherungen durch, da die Kabel durch die Berührung mit dem Bodenblech einen [Kurz]Schluss verursachen.

- Bei drei Motoren wurden an einen ganzen Zylinderreihe weder Kipphebel, noch Kipphebelwelle, noch Ventilführung geschmiert.


B. Fahrgestell:

Das Fahrgestell entspricht voll den gestellten Anforderungen. Panzerrisse traten nach der Verstärkung des Aufhängeblocks des Fangstückes, auch bei Geländefahrten, nicht mehr auf. Die unten angeführten Mängel sind auf dieselben Gründe wie unter A. Abschnitt 1 zurückzuführen.

- Sämtliche Fahrzeuge waren bei der Übernahme so ungenügend durchgeschmiert, dass sich Lenkung und Schalthebel teilweise so schwer bewegen liessen, dass die Tp in nicht einsatzfähigem Zustand waren.

- Die Kupplungen waren teilweise derart schlecht eingestellt, dass sie entweder mit dem vorderen oder hinteren Kupplungspedal nicht ausgekuppelt werden konnten weil der Hebel vor dem Auskuppeln bereits an das Bodenblech anstiess.

- Die Kugeln der Achsschenkelbolzen sind teilweise so schlecht in die Kugelhülsen eingepasst, dass sie nur an einigen Punkten tragen und nach kurzer Zeit fressen.

- Die Schmiernippel an den Lenkgehäusen sind nur abzuschmieren, wenn der Heckpanzer oder vorne die Verkleidung abgenommen wird.

- Die Pressstofflagerung der hinteren Welle des Gaspedals hat sich als nicht vorteilhaft erwiesen. Infolge überlaufenden Kraftstoffs, Fett oder Öl (Schmiernippel) wird der Pressstoff zersetzt und quillt, wodurch sich die Welle festsaugt und das Gaspedal sich nicht mehr bewegen lässt.

- An 14 von 26 Wagen ist bereits der Tachometerantrieb gebrochen. Ebensoviele Fernthermometer für Öl sind bereits ausser Betrieb.

- Der Haltebolzen vom Fahrersitz, der Sitz und Rückenlehne zusammenhält, reisst ständig ab.

- Von 25 Fahrzeugen sind bei einem Fahrbereich von pro Fahrzeug 1000 km nur noch 11 Kfz. mit einem Reserverad versehen. Die anderen 15 sind wegen nicht instandzusetzenden Reifenschäden ausgefallen. Von der Truppe wurden etwa 500 Schlauchinstandsetzungen vorgenommen. Von Vulkanisieranstalten wurden 8 Decken und 4 Schläuche insandgesetzt. Durch die geringe Profilierung und das grosse Fahrzeuggewicht entstanden drei Fahrzeugausfälle die zum Kippen des Tp führten.
[Note: The '25' at the beginning of this section should be '26' because 11 plus 15 counts 26.]

The report ends here. I should mention that the Kompanie included suggested solutions to almost every problem listed above. That the whole reports begins with a "I." seems to indicate there was a part "II." also, but unfortunately that one is missing in my archive.

Have a nice Sunday,

Martin Block

P.S.: Wonder how the ALA men actually called their vehicles, just "Tepe"?

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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by Hans Weber » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:00 am

Hello all

Thanks for the recognition. Hours spent on brooding reports this was. One just can't pull this out of the sleeve. I still have some old mails by David John Constable and Piet Duits from 2001 that helped me to put my research on track. I wouldn't have met them without this forum. With all its shortages and troubles, Feldgrau didn't loose the basic appeal of a research forum that lives only if people share.

Martin, yes, I checked with the 7.Pz Div files and found that it matches well. More than with anyone else, I count on your critical mind when I will put up the corrected 234/1-234/4 list.

The 2.Pz.Div were two 2 x 234/1. No other 234/2 than the three to the "Neuaufstellung" went out in November 1944. The rise from 9 to 11 234/2 from 31.10. to 5.12.1944 is caused by repaired cars within the division. As you know, the Gliederungen usually don't list vehicles in repair shops. The other 2cm guns are older 232 (Fu) and even one 250/9. To complicate matters, this small critter is listed end of November under 2./AA 1 weaponwise, and at the same time in Stabskomnpanie on the vehicle count...

David, the mysterious ways of OKW are sometimes as hard to read as the mind of a woman.
I can only point out some factors. As the short "Tp" suggests, this was a car designed for the tropics (Afrika Korps and more). It was a compromise between fastness and firepower, a long range self sufficient combat vehicle. It would have wrecked havoc within the ranks of the British Cruisers and Humbers, but when it entered service, the combat environement it was designed for was out of reach and the tanks had become meaner and better armoured. Instead, air power was becoming a thread and the switch to 2cm was part of this influence. The recce troops always thought that they carried out their mission best if not engaged in any combat at all, thus it was actually a change of doctrine to go for bigger calibres. In November the official ratio from 13:3 cars was changed to have troops of two cars with 234/1 and 234/3 and from the conclusion of a report made on 234 engagements in the Ardennes, it was deemed that under no circumstances the ratio was to be changed in favour of the bigger guns because of the efficient way the 2cm gun had in dealing with low attack aircraft. Still, the situation in 1945 was such that the days long range recce missions were all but over for the Wehrmacht which fought a retreat battle. Now packs of T-34 roamed behind their lines and it was much more important to get every AT gun at them as fast as possible. Not caring for the traditions and doctrines of the recce branch and obviously not very concerned by Soviet air power (probably the Sturmovics were too heavly armoured anyway), Hitler saw to it that 251/22 and 234/4 were entering production by the end of 44.

Cheers
Hans

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Re: The Sd. Kfz. 234 Thread!!!

Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:29 am

The recce troops always thought that they carried out their mission best if not engaged in any combat at all,
:up: Surfing for pics the other night I came across a quote that I wish I could find my way back to - "The best mission was one you came back from with a clean barrel".
(probably the Sturmovics were too heavly armoured anyway)
From mid-1944, when the "armour tub" was extended to cover the rear gunner after the first 12 months of Il-2m3 production, neither the older 2cm FlaK 30 or the FlaK 38 could penetrate. There are even reputed examples of the 20x138B cannon round failing to penetrate the pilot's armoured windscreen from that point on.
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