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8-wheeled armoured car - Büssing-NAG Type ARK

 

 

 

 

 

Already in August 1940, an order for the development of a new 8-wheeled armoured car with self supporting armoured hull and a diesel engine was sent to the army ordnance office. Again, Büssing-NAG was chosen as developing company. The new diesel engine should be developed by Tatra. The vehicle was ready for serial production in July 1942 but the engine caused problems. It made too much noise. Serial production of the armoured hulls started in May 1943, although the problems with the engine were not solved. For this reason, serial production of the vehicles started in December 1943. The new 8-wheeled armoured car Büssing-NAG type ARK was a benchmarking vehicle. The international development of armoured cars was heavily influenced by it far beyond the end of WW II.
Like the predecessor model Büssing-NAG type GS, the ARK had all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, independent suspension on all wheels and drivers at the front and the rear. The self supporting armoured hull, the large tyres and the diesel engine were new features. From the outset, the frontal armour was 30 mm thick. The large tyres allowed a large clearance of 35 cm contrary to the 27 cm of the type GS. The range could be increased substantially – up to 900 km. The maximum speed was around 90 km/h. All in all, the vehicles of the ARK series appeared more powerful and well-engineered.
As first variant, the schwere Panzerspähwagen (5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/2) - heavy armoured car (5 cm) - armed with a 5 cm KwK 39/1 and one MG 42 was made in 100 exemplars from December 1943 to June 1944. The turret was originally developed for the VK 1602. The schwere Panzerspähwagen (2 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/1) armed with a 2 cm KwK 38 and one MG 42 mounted in a Hängelafette 38 was made from April 1944 to March 1945 in about 230 Exemplars. As a supporting vehicle, 88 exemplars of the schwere Panzerspähwagen (7,5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/3) were manufactured from June 1944 to December 1944. It was armed with a 7,5 cm K 51 L/24 and one MG 42. In December 1944, production of the 8-wheeled armoured cars were shifted to the schwere Panzerspähwagen (7,5 cm Pak 40) (Sd. Kfz. 234/4) armed with a 7,5 cm Pak 40. 25 vehicles were made in December 1944, 32 in February 1945 and 40 in March 1945. If vehicles of this type were made in January 1945 and beyond March 1945 is unknown. Single exemplars of the Sd. Kfz. 234 series were equipped with a small turret armed with a 2 cm Flak 38 which was known from the Sd. Kfz. 251/17 Ausf. D. It is unknown if these vehicles were produced in series or if they were converted by the troop.
All in all, about 515 vehicles of the schwere Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 234) were made. Other data of about 1,000 or 2,300 produced vehicles are pure fantasy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Designation of the motor vehicle:

Abbreviated designation:

Quantity:

 

 

schwerer Panzerspähwagen (2 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/1)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (2 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/1)

ca. 230

 

 

schwerer Panzerspähwagen (5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/2)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/2)

100

 

 

schwerer Panzerspähwagen (7,5cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/3)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (7,5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 234/3)

88

 

 

schwerer Panzerspähwagen (7,5cm Pak 40) (Sd. Kfz. 234/4)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (7,5 cm Pak 40) (Sd. Kfz. 234/4)

97

 

 

schwerer Panzerspähwagen (2cm Flak 38) (Sd. Kfz. 234/?)

?

few (conversion ?)

 

 

 

 

 

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