SdKfz 7

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SdKfz 7
Type Halftrack Heavy Prime Mover
Maximum Speed 50 km/h

The Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t (Eight-Tonne Medium Towing Vehicle), more commonly known as the Sonderkraftfahrzeug 7 (Special Purpose Vehicle 7; shortened to SdKfz 7), was Germany's most numerous prime mover (towing vehicle) during World War II.

Although originally designed by Krauss-Maffei AG as the Typ (Type) Krauss-Maffei mittlerer 8 (KM m 8), Daimler-Benz and Büssing-NAG also built these halftracks under license - the fruits of their production runs were called the Daimler-Benz mittlerer 8 (DB m 8) and Büssing-NAG mittlerer 8 (BN m 8), respectively. The vehicles weighed 11 tonnes (12.1 tons) and their 8-tonne (8.8-ton) pulling capacity made them ideal for towing the legendary and dreaded 8,8cm (3.46in) FlaK anti-aircraft guns.

From 1935 through the end of 1936, Krauss-Maffei produced the KM m 9, which was specifically designed to haul a 105mm (4.13in) artillery piece or the FlaK gun. A collapsible canvas cover and a fold-down windshield protected its crew of 12 from the elements. A 130hp (97kW) Maybach HL57 engine powered the machine. In late 1936, Krauss-Maffei introduced the KM m 10, which improved on the KM m 9 with a 140hp (99kW) Mayback HL62 TUK engine.

Krauss-Maffei and Hansa-Lloyd-Goliath introduced the KM m 11 and HL m 11 respectively in mid 1939. These vehicles sported two more road wheels in the running gear but otherwise remained identical to the KM m 10. This final version of the SdKfz 7 series continued in production until late 1944.

The Italian firm of Breda built several hundred Mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 8t under the name Breda 61. Other than having the driver’s position on the right and only a 130hp (97kW) engine, the Italian halftracks were identical to the KM m 11.

Pressed into service in an anti-armor role, 8,8cm (3.46in) FlaK guns decisively influenced many engagements during the 1940 invasion of France, and later in North Africa and on the Eastern Front. Firing over open sites, they were deadly out to extreme ranges. Almost all were towed by SdKfz 7s. The versatile halftracks also often hauled fully tracked vehicles to new assignments, to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on and to increase the mobility of the Panzer divisions.

In every sense of the word, the SdKfz 7 proved essential to the Wermacht. Over 12,000 SdKfz 7s were manufactured by the time production ceased in 1944. It was the most numerous of all the German Zugmaschinen (towing machines) built between 1934 and 1944.

In game, the SdKfz 7 is the dedicated heavy hauler required to move the FlaK 36 and FlaK 28 guns around the battlefield.

Game Play