Evolution of the Sd.Kfz.222 and family

by Rob Haelterman
   

Now that we have kits of the Sd.Kfz.222, or variants, from (at least) three manufacturers (Mars, ICM, Dragon), it might be useful to be able to check if any of these manufacturers got the main characteristics right. The table below might help the modeler distinguish between different production batches, each with their own particular external features.
While, initially, the Sd.Kfz.221 was left out, as no kit existed for that vehicle, First to Fight now has filled that last gap.

Serie Sd.Kfz.221 Sd.Kfz.222

Sd.Kfz.223

Sd.Kfz.260 Sd.Kfz.261
1. Serie







1935-1937

  • Flat visors all over
  • 2 visors in turret
  • MG13 (partially replaced from March 1938 onwards by MG34)
  • Flag staff
  • Front fenders cut out for head lights on initial models
  • Big rear mudflaps

1935-1937

  • Driver's roof at same level as rest of roof
  • Flat visors all over
    Drawings on page 13-1-9 of [1] show the co-driver's visor more to the rear than that of the driver; the drawing on 13-1-25 shows them both in the same position. Pictures confirm the forward position.
  • One big mesh behind turret

 

1935-1937

  • Driver's roof higher than rest of roof (larger area than Sd.Kfz.222)
  • Flat visors: two in front, two at the sides (co-driver's visor more to the rear than driver's), two on the turret
  • One big mesh behind and around turret



N/A








N/A







 

2. Serie




April - November 1938

  • Flat visors all over
  • 4 visors in turret
  • MG34
  • Flag staff
  • Front fenders no longer cut out for head lights
  • Big rear mudflaps
  • Guards for turn signals

1938

  • Minor differences wrt 1. Series






N/A




N/A




N/A



3. Serie

 

 

 

 



June 1939 - August 1940

  • Domed visors all over
  • 4 visors in turret
  • MG34
  • No flag staff
  • Front fenders no longer cut out for head lights
  • No rear mudflaps
  • Guards for turn signals









June 1939 - January 1940

  • Driver's roof higher than the rest of roof, but only at the extreme front end
  • New domed visors instead of flat ones on the hull (co-driver's visor smaller than driver's)
    Drawings on page 13-1-37 of [1] show the co-driver's visor more to the rear than that of the driver. Pictures confirm this position.
  • Domed visors on turret
    Drawings on page 13-1-37 of [1] show flat visors on turret. Pictures contradict this.
  • Smaller mesh behind the turret
  • Armored cover over rear engine louvres

June 1939 - January 1940

  • Driver's roof higher than rest of roof (larger area than Sd.Kfz.222)
  • New domed visors: a single one in front, two on the sides and two on the turret. Co-driver's visor more to the rear than driver's.
    (This seems to have only been partially implemented as pictures in [1] credited to 3. Series vehicles show flat visors on the hull. [1] also contradicts itself about the number of turret visors: the text says 4, photo captions say 2.)
  • One big mesh behind and around turret







N/A















N/A














4. Serie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 








N/A

September 1940 - December 1941

  • Driver's roof higher than the rest of roof, but only at the extreme front end
  • Domed visors overall
  • KwK 38 instead of KwK 30 in higher mount with higher turret mesh (also backfitted)
  • Smaller mesh behind the turret
  • Armored cover over rear engine louvres
  • Triangular armored hubcaps omitted


September 1940 - December 1941

  • Driver's roof higher than rest of roof (larger area than Sd.Kfz.222)
  • Domed visors: a single one in front, two on the sides and four on the turret. Co-driver's visor more to the rear than driver's.
  • Smaller mesh behind the turret
  • Armored cover over rear engine louvres
  • Triangular armored hubcaps omitted
  • Modified antenna frame


April 1941 - July 1942

Basically as 4. serie Sd.Kfz.222, except

  • Right side visor further forward than on Sd.Kfz.222
  • Smaller engine hatches











April 1941 - March 1942

Basically as 4. serie Sd.Kfz.222, except

  • Right side visor further forward than on Sd.Kfz.222
  • Smaller engine hatches












5. Serie (also called Ausf.B)

Same hull for Sd.Kfz. 222, 223, 260, 261.






 

 















 

N/A

May 1942 - June 1943

  • Driver's roof higher than the rest of roof, but only at the extreme front end
  • Domed visors on the hull; co-driver's visor moved forward to same position as driver's
  • No visors on the turret except at the rear
  • KwK38 in higher mount, but redesigned lower mesh
  • Turn signals moved to front fenders and width indicators moved forward
  • Smaller engine hatches
  • Additional stowage bin on the left of the hull
  • Smaller mesh behind the turret plus two smaller meshes
  • Armored cover over rear engine louvres
  • Plates welded over mounting points for antenna of Sd.Kfz.223 (standardized hull)
  • Triangular armored hubcaps omitted

April 1942 - February 1944

  • Driver's roof higher than the rest of roof, but only at the extreme front end, like the Sd.Kfz.222
  • Domed visors on the hull; co-driver's visor moved forward to same position as driver's and two frontal visors
  • Visors on turret dropped during production (1943)
  • Smaller mesh behind the turret
  • Turn signals moved to front fenders and width indicators moved forward
  • Smaller engine hatches
  • Armored cover over rear engine louvres
  • Triangular armored hubcaps omitted
  • Shape of antenna modified yet again



 

 

April 1942 - April 1943

Basically as 5. serie Sd.Kfz.222.

















 







April 1942 - April 1943

Basically as 5. serie Sd.Kfz.223.

















 







 

Note that from February 1940 Notek lights were fitted (and backfitted) to all vehicles.

 

Kits:

SdKfz 221

Sd.Kfz. 222

Sd.Kfz. 223

Sd.Kfz. 260

Sd.Kfz. 261

 

References

[1] Panzer Tracts 13-1, leichter Panzerspaehwagen and kleiner Panzerfunkwagen, T.L. Jentz & H.L. Doyle. Surprisingly, this reference is contradictory about the style and position of the visors
[2] Panzerspähwagen Sd.Kfz.221/222/223, M. Zöllner, Tankograd Publishing
[3] Samochody pancerne 4x4, J. Ledwoch, Militaria.
[4] Gepanzerte Radfahrzuege, W.J. Spielberger, Militärfahrzeuge 4, Motorbuch Verlag
[5] Panzerspähwagen, Ryton

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Article Last Updated:
20 July 2012
07 October 2018
27 December 2018