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Home » Armour » Armour - 1/72 Scale
Sd.Kfz.234/2 (Puma) - Plastic
The first few years of WWII were a time of triumph for German heavy
reconnaissance 8-Rad armored cars. They were designed to support infantry
troops on the battlefield and provide wireless radio communication
between fighting units in action; but they also carried heavy weaponry
and were ideal for modification for tactical purposes.
8-Rad type armored cars did possess some shortcomings. For heavy armored
cars they were underpowered, and were lacking in armor. On the 5th
August 1940 the Armament Commission placed an order for a new armored
car. As the Germans were waging war on several fronts, including Africa,
where armored cars with water-cooled engines were especially vulnerable,
the new model needed to be equipped with a powerful air-cooled engine.
Furthermore, designers were pressed to reduce axle ground clearance,
as the rather high 8-Rad armored cars were easy targets for enemy artillery.
The Bussing-NAG factory was responsible for vehicle design, and the
Czech Tatra concern for engine development, and its series production.
In 1942 the prototype was nearly ready, but the demanding specifications
caused delays in engine development. In 1943 the situation on the battlefield
took a crucial turn, but not in the Germans' favor. German armored
cars were being destroyed in combat; meanwhile the army required a
large output of new tanks. Plants manufacturing the old Sd.Kfz.232
(8-Rad) armored car were not able to immediately switch production
facilities to production of a new model. All of this became a serious
obstacle for Sd.Kfz.234/2 (later nicknamed the Puma) production. The
initial plan was to produce at least 80 cars per month by mid 1943,
however this was never realized.
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