Sd.Kfz.8 Schwere Zugkraftwagen 12t

German army vehicles Germany (1936-44) - Utility Half Track - 4,000 built

The Sonderkraftfahrzeug 8 ("special motorized vehicle 8") was a German half-track widely used during World War II, as a prime mover for heavy guns like the 21 cm Mörser 18 but also the the 15 cm Kanone 18 or the 10.5 cm FlaK 38. It was also used to carry their crews and ammunitions, but also as a standalone troop carrier. Circa 4,000 were produced, sterting in 1938 and until the end of the war. It was also used in every campaign of the Wehrmacht, from Invasion of Poland to the the Battle of France, Balkans Campaign, Africa, Eastern Front, Nrmandy and Italy.

Sdkfz 8 towing a Gotha Go 242
Sdkfz 8 towing a Gotha Go 242

Design development

Well before a request came from the transportation bureau in 1932, already Dipl.Ing. Ernst Kniepkamp of the Military Automotive Department (Wa Prüf 6) started studies of a family of such vehicles, inspired by French and Russian examples. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, they decided to vote the construction of protoypes, which were turned to companies across Germany, quickstarting the true development and testing phase of several models. Daimler-Benz already started work on tits own half-track in 1931—32. It was called ZD.5. and weighed 9.3 tonnes, propelled by a Maybach twelve-cylinder capable of 150 horsepower (150 PS). This was the latest, powerful DSO 8 gasoline engine of the firm. Its upper body had three bench seats and the suspension called for the WW1 era Marienwagen II (so no interleaved roadwheels or torsion bars).

Daimler-Benz later was asked by Wa Prüf 6 to combined the best features of the DB s7 prototype of 1934 with its ZD.5. The engine was from the ZD.5, two bench seats but a new upper body and wheeltrain as the S7. The technical solutions which resulted of this marriage funded the Sd.Kfz. 8 basic design, weighing 14.4 tonnes and now able of towing 12 tonnes. In 1936 it was further developed as an improved model called the DB s8. It now weighted 15 tonnes. The following DB 9 model came in 1938 with a mire powerful Maybach HL85 TUKRM engine, a 0.8 tons payload (1,800 lb), same towing capacity and weight. Daimler-Benz tried to place their diesel OM 48/1 but it was rejected by the Waffenamt (Army Weapons Office). The final DB 10 was a second production version introduced in October 1939, which became the focus of wartime production until 1945.


Sd.Kfz.8 DB10 in Italy, summer 1944 (gothic line) towing a 21 cm Mörser 18.

Design

The Sd.Kfz. 8 used a ladder frame chassis, and was powered by a Maybach 12-cylinder HL 85 TUKRM gasoline which was water-cooled at 8.52 litre (520 cu in). It developed 185 horsepower (188 PS) and was coupled with a semi-automatic ZF transmission, with four forward and one reverse gears. The driver selected his gear, initiating it by depressing the clutch. Both tracks and wheels were used for steering and its system allowed shallow turns using only the wheels. Like in a tank however, brakes could be applied to the tracks, accompanying the wheels when turned. The drive sprocket had rollers rather than the teeth, but that was often the case on German half tracks. The rear suspension comprised six double roadwheels, overlapping and interleaved (Schachtellaufwerk), also usual, but mounted on swing arms, sprung by torsion bars instead, robably because of the heavy duty nature of the vehicle. It also had an idler wheel at the rear, used as track tensioner. The front wheels on their side, were given classic leaf springs but completed by shock absorbers.

The upper body comprised three bench seats. The forward one hosted the driver and his assistant and another free guest, two others for the crew of six, generally a gun battery, so 11 personal (a squad) plus the driver and assistant. The rear cargo area also contained storage compartments. They were placed in the separator benches with traps on both sides, and there were two more in the rear of the chassis. The windshield as customary was foldable, to enchance visibility and a large canvas mounted above the rear storage compartment, fastened to the windshield top when erected. This compartment was roomy enough to store an utility payload above, including the folded tarpaulin. When used as artillery towing vehicle, rounds were stored in the aft compartment below, with one large two-flap access trap on either side and two single flap at the back so that they could be easily accessed at all time.

The Sd.Kfz. 8 was given a base towing capacity of 12 tonnes but the wartime production DB 10 version was able to tow up to 14 tonnes, making it able of towing large planes like bombers and gliders. The vehicle also came with two fuel tanks, one of 40 litres (11 US gal) and the other of 210 litres (55 US gal) so 250 l (55 imp gal; 66 US gal) in total for an operational range of 250 km (160 mi) on road and 125 km (78 mi) cross-country. This was a large and relatively slow vehicle, but suited to its role as heavy artillery towing vehicle.

Variants

8.8 cm Flak 18 "Bufla" Tank Hunter

Ten 8.8 cm Flak 18 ausf Sd.Kfz 8 or "8.8 cm Flak 18 (Sfl.) auf Zugkraftwagen 12t (Sd.Kfz. 8)" were produced. The guns were mounted on pedestals, based on older chassis, of the DB s8 and DB 9, in 1939. It was more familiar under the name "Bunkerflak" or "Bufla" an early tank hunter deployed with a gun shield. The gun crew however had little protection. The driver's cab was replaced by a lower armored cupola and the engine compartment was protected by a 14.5 millimetres (0.57 in) frontal armor. At 20 tonnes and 7.35 metres long, it was impressive, nothwistanding the gun carried. Although it could fire ahead in general, traverse was limited to 151° on either side, to avoid the blast creating a cab concussion. Elevation was about -3° +15°. They went to the first company, Panzerjäger-Abteilung 8 taking part in the Invasion of Poland in 1939, France in 1940 and survived long enough for Operation Barbarossa in 1941. The Panzerjäger-Kompanie 601 in January 1942, third company, Panzerjäger-Bat. 559 in April it only had three vehicles left, lost for good in March 1943.

HK 1601

A completely revised version hich was an experimental attempt to create the "universal" towing half track, combining the SdKfz 8 and SdKfz 9, of 18 tonnes. It never came to fruition and was abandoned.

Schwerer Zugkraftwagen 12 to Daimler-Benz DB 10, gepanzert


One of these vehicles (possible abbrviation "SZwgn-12 DB10 Gpzt") in position with its 88 mm trailer seen behind. SRC

A rare armoured version of the Sd.Kfz 8, it was a fully armored artillery tractor. Its production is unknown, with estimated ranging from between 20 to 30 units. Compared to the Sd.Kfz 251 it was gargantuan, dwarfing it. It was an armored towing vehicle for the 88 mm FLAK trailer. The idea was to integrate "flying" artillery units that could be deployed fast on the battlefield, and protecting the crews underway. Only one survived, now in Poland at the Tomaszow Mazowiecki Museum. It will be the object of a dedicated article on tank encyclopedia.

Production and use

Daimler-Benz and Krupp, Krauss-Maffei and Škoda manufactured the type, the first two in much larger quantities, at an estimated unit price at the time of 46000 Reichmark. Krauss-Maffei produced 315 vehicles in 1940—41, Škoda abut that niumber in 1944-45. 1615 were available on 20 December 1942, 507 more delivered in 1943, 602 in 1944 and about 4000 in total. The Sd.Kfz. 8 was also operated by Romanian during the war and by Czechoslovakia after the war. The Sd.Kfz. 8 was almost always used as a tractor for heavy artillery pieces and apart the "Bufla" it was too useful to be declined into mutiple variants. In 1942, four Sd.Kfz. 8 were connected together as a giant trailer for the 30.5 cm gun barrel (Batterie Mirus).


SdKfz 8 in Libya, 1941


Burnt out Sd.Kfz.8 and 88 mm off El Alamein, 1942


Bundesarchiv - SdKfz8 towing a tractor out of a Me 323 Gigant in Tunisia, early 1943


SdKfz.8 towing a 88 mm FLAK on trailer in the Balkans February 1944


Captured Sdkfz 8 by British troops in Africa being tested, 1943


preserved Sd.Kfz.8 in Kubinka Museum


Preserved Sd.Kfz.8 Gepanzert in Czechoslovakia


Same, rear view

Links about the Sd.Kfz.8

The Flak 18 auf Sd.Kfz.8 on Wikipedia
The Sd.Kfz.8 on wikipedia.com
On panzerserra
Commons
ww2 photos gallery
On forosegundaguerra.com
On asphm
The Sd.Kfz.8 on perth mil. modelling

D.B. Sd.Kfz.8 specifications

Dimensions7.35 m (24 ft 1 in) x 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) x 2.77 m (9 ft 1 in)
Total weight, battle ready14,700 kg (32,400 lb)
Crew2 (driver, co-driver) + 11 troops
PropulsionMaybach HL85 TUKRM 8.5L 12-cyl. water-cooled petrol 185 hp
Top speed51/21 km/h (32/13 mph) road/off-road
Payload2,550 kg (5,620 lb)
Transmission & suspension4 + 1 speed ZF - torsion bar
Maximum range (on/off road)250/125 km (160/78 mi)
ArmamentNone, but the 8.8 cm FLAK variant
Armor6 to 8 mm (0.2-0.3 in)
ProductionDaimler-Benz, Krupp, Krauss-Maffei, Škoda 1937–1944 - 46000 Reichmark

Gallery

standard dunkelgrau, Poland 1939
Sd.Kfz.8 DB8, standard dunkelgrau, Poland 1939

DB9, standard dunkelgrau, France 1940
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9, standard dunkelgrau, France 1940

DB9 in north Africa, 1941
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9 in north Africa, 1941

DB9 Operation Barabarossa 1941
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9 Operation Barabarossa 1941

DB9, eastern front, Spring 1942
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9, eastern front, Spring 1942

DB9, 1942
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9 in the eastern front, 1942

Kharkov, winter 1942-43
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9, Kharkov, winter 1942-43

DB9, Russia 1943
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9, Russia 1943

DB9 in Russia, 194
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9 in Russia, 1941

DB9, Russia 1943
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9, Russia 1943

DB9 in Normandy, summer 1944
Sd.Kfz.8 DB9 in Normandy, summer 1944

DB10 Afrika Korps, Tunisia
Sd.Kfz.8 DB10 Afrika Korps, Tunisia spring 1943


Sd.Kfz.8 DB10 in Italy, 1944


Sd.Kfz.8 DB10 eastern front 1944/45. The vehicle was armored by a front plate and another on the windshield with side flaps. It was towing a 88 mm FLAK trailer.

Bunkerflak
8.8cm Flak 18(Sf.) auf Schwere Zugkraftwagen 12t (Sd.Kfz.8). Only ten were so converted.

Video

The SdKfz 8 at Militracks in Belgium, showing the beast it was.

WW1 Vehicles

British ww2 WWI trucks
FR: Berliet CBA, Berliet Type M, Châtillon-Panhard, Latil TAR, Panhard-Genty 24 HP, Renault EG

allied ww2 Allied ww2 Vehicles

British ww2 British Vehicles
-AEC Armoured Command Vehicle (415)
-AEC Matador
-Albion CX22S
-Albion FT15N
-Albion WD.CX24
-Austin K2/Y Ambulance
-Austin K3
-Austin K4
-Austin K4 Dropside
-Austin K5
-Austin K6 GS
-Austin K6 Gantry
-Bedford MW
-Bedford OXA Armoured
-Bedford OXC Semi-trailer
-Bedford OXD GS
-Bedford OYC Tanker
-Bedford OYD GS
-Bedford QL series (QLD, QLR/QLC QLT TC)
-CMP FAT
-CMP Truck
-Commer Q2
-Crossley Q-Type
-Diamond T tank transporter
-Guy Quad-Ant FAT
-Guy Lizard ACV
-Humber FWD
-Karrier KT4
-Karrier K6
-Leyland Hippo Mk I/II
-Leyland Lynx
-Leyland Retriever
-Mack EXBX
-Morris 15cwt
-Morris CDSW
-Morris ML Ambulance
-Morris C8 GS/FAT
-Morris Commercial CD series
-Morris Commercial CS8
-Morris C9
-Morris GS Terrapin
-Morris PU
-Scammell Pioneer SV1S/SV2S
-Thornycroft Hathi (1924)
-Thornycroft Nubian
-Thornycroft Tartar
French ww2 French Vehicles
-Berliet DGRA
-Berliet GDC
-Berliet GDM
-Berliet VDCA
-Berliet 30
-Bernard fuel carrier
-Citroën Kégresse P14 .
-Citroën Kégresse P17
-Citroën Kégresse P19
-Citroën Type 23
-Citroën 32U
-Citroën T45
-ELMAG
-Fiat France 38R
-Ford France
-Hotchkiss PKW Type 680
-Hotchkiss 686
-Hotchkiss 686 PNA
-Isobloc W843M medical bus
-Laffly S15R
-Laffly S15T
-Laffly V15T
-Laffly V15R
-Laffly W15T/R
-Laffly 20TL
-Latil TAR H2
-Latil M2Tl6
-Matford F917
-Panhard K113
-Panhard K113
-Peugeot 202
-Peugeot 402
-Peugeot DMA
-Peugeot DK
-Peugeot DK5
-Renault AHS
-Renault AHN
-Renault AHR
-Renault AGC
-Renault ADK
-Renault ADH
-Renault AHSs
-Saurer type 3CT
-Simca 5 staff car
-Simca 8 staff car
-Somua MCL
-Somua MCG
-Talbot staff car
-Unic TU1
-Unic P107
-Trippel SG6
-Willeme DU10
Soviet ww2 Soviet Trucks
-BZ-38
-GAZ AA M1927 M1932 M1941
-GAZ–MM
-GAZ AAA M1937
-GAZ AAA M1940
-GAZ-60
-GAZ-65
-Ford Marmon HH6 Katiusha
-SU-1-12
-SU-4
-SU C-6
-SU-12
-Yag-6
-Yag-10
-Yag-10 SPG
-ZIS-5/V/BZ
-ZIS-6
-ZIS-12
-ZIS-22M HT
-ZIS-33 HT
-ZIS 41 HT
-ZIS 42M HT
-FN-Kégresse T3

Soviet staff cars
-GAZ A
-GAZ M1 "Emka"
-GAZ 11-73
-GAZ 61-73
-GAZ 67 Amphibious armoured cars
-PB-4
-PB-7
-BAD-2
US ww2 US Trucks
-Ford B3000 S
-Ford V3000S
-Ford V3000A,
-Ford BB
-Ford V8-51
-Ford m1931
-Ford V8 M1937
-T1E1(M1) half-track
-T5 half-track
-T7 half-track
-T9 half-track
-G8T 2-1/2 ton 4x2 Truck
-International B2
-International model 1937
-Chevrolet m1931
-Chevrolet m1936
-Chevrolet G-506 ​1 1⁄2-ton 4x4
-Chevrolet G-7107 4-1/2 ton 4x4
-Chevrolet 3116 1-1/2 ton 4x2
-Studebaker US6x4 U7
-Studebaker US6x4 U-6
-Studebaker US6x6 U-5 6x4
-Studebaker US6 U4 bz35S 2-1/2 ton 6x6 truck
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Ambulance
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Carry-all
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton (Radio) Command Reconnaissance
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Truck, Closed Cab
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Truck, Open Cab
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton (Radio) Panel Van
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Telephone Service (K50)
-Dodge 1⁄2-ton Truck, Emergency Repair
-Dodge WC-51/52 (3⁄4-ton Trucks, Weapons Carrier)
-Dodge WC-53 (3⁄4-ton Carryall)
-Dodge WC-54/64 (3⁄4-ton Ambulance)
-Dodge WC-55 (3⁄4-ton Truck, M6 Gun Motor Carriage)
-Dodge WC-56/57/58 (3⁄4-ton (Radio) Command Reconnaissance)
-Dodge WC-62/43 (G-507, 11⁄2-ton, 6x6 truck)
-Dodge M6 GMC
-GMC CCKW Cargo Truck
-GMC CCKW 353 2-1/2 Ton Truck
-GMC SWB CCKW-352
-GMC 1939 ACKWX 353 3 ton 6x6 truck
-GMC AFWX-353 3 ton 6x4 truck
-GMC DUKW 353 2-1/2 ton 6x6 truck
-GMC C.O.E. AFKWX
-Diamond T Model 980/981 12-ton 6x4 trucks (G159)
-Diamond T Model 968 4-ton 6x6 truck (G509)
-Diamond T Model 967
-Diamond T Model 970
-Diamond T Model 972
-Diamond M26 Dragon Wagon
-Diamond M19 Tank Transporter
-Diamond T Model 980
-Diamond T 4-ton 6x6 truck
-Autocar U8144T 5/6-ton 4x4 truck
-Brockway/LaFrance 6-ton 6x6 truck, G512, 514, 547, 569
-White/Corbitt 6 ton 6x6 Prime Mover
-Brockway
-Corbitt
-Ward LaFrance
-Four Wheel Drive Auto Company (FWD) SU-COE 5-6 ton 4x4
-White Motor Company
-Inl KR-11 5 ton 4x2 dump truck
-Inl M5-6 318 2-1/2 ton 6x6 swb
-Mack NR15 10-ton 6x4
-Reo 28 XS 10-ton 6x4

US ww2 Small truck/car & Misc.
Bantam Reconnaissance Car
Ford GTB
6x6 Willys 'MT-TUG' ("Super-Jeep")
-Willys MB light truck
-Ford GPA ("Seep")
Buick Century Series 60
1941 Plymouth P11 Staff Car
Ford Fordor 1942 Staff Car
Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle

Axis ww2 Axis Trucks


Purchase this pagemarker and support the site !

Sd.Kfz 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 were half-tracks designed just before the war as prime movers, to carry supplies, ammunition, personal, and tow artillery. Many were also converted during the war as armored versions carrying AA FLAK guns (Flakvierling, 37 mm, or the legendary 88 mm Rheinmetall als used as tank hunters), or were converted as nebelwerfer (rocket launching armored vehicles). They were built by Hanomag, Steyr, Mercedes-Benz, Bussing and many other manufacturers until 1945, over 20,000 half-tracks.

German ww2 German Military trucks
-Opel Blitz
-Opel Maultier
-Mercedes-Benz L3000
-Magirus A3000
-Krupp Protze Kfz.19
-Krupp Protze Kfz.21
-Krupp Protze Kfz.68
-Krupp Protze Kfz.69
-Krupp Protze Kfz.70
-Krupp Protze Kfz.81
-Krupp Protze Kfz.21
-Krupp Protze Kfz.83
-Borgward B 3000
-Skoda Rad Schlepper
-Ost RSO Porsche 175
-Steyr Type 2000A
-Einheits Lkw Kfz.62
-Krupp LKW L3
-Bussing-Nag 4500
-Opel Blitz Omnibus
-Bussing-Nag L
-Mercedes-Benz L1500
-Beute Studebaker
-Krupp L3H
-Hanomag SS-100
-Beute Ford B3000 S, V3000S, V3000A
-Beute Ford model BB
-Beute Ford model V8-51
-Beute Tatra 111

German ww2 German Staff Cars

-Horch 81
-Horch 108
-VW 182 Kübelwagen
-VW Schwimmwagen
-Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad
italy ww2 Italian Military trucks
L. Trucks (Autocarro Leggere)
-Breda-32
-Breda-40
-Breda-41
-ОМ-32 Autocarretta da Montagna
-ОМ-36DM
-Camioneta SPA TL.37
-Camioneta AS.43
-SPA CL39
-SPA ТМ40
-Fiat 618

Med. Trucks (Autocarro Medio)
-Alfa Romeo 430RE
-Alfa Romeo 800RE
-Breda Dovunque-41
-Bianchi Miles
-Ceirano-50СМ
-FIAT-626 NM
-Isotta Fraschini D65
-Isotta Fraschini D80
-SPA Dovunque-35
-SPA Dovunque-41
-SPA AS.37
-SPA-38R
-Autocarro Dovunque SPA 41/42

H. Trucks (Autocarro Gigante)
-FIAT-633NM
-FIAT-634N
-FIAT-666
-Fiat 661
-Lancia Ro
-Lancia 3Ro
-Lancia EsaRo
-ОМ Taurus
-ОМ Titano
-Autocarreta Mod.35
-Autocarri Unificati Ursus

italy ww2 Artillery tractors
-Breda 51
-Breda 52
-Breda 61 (licenced SdKfz-7)
-Fiat-SPA T.L.37
-Pavesi Р4.31 (L140)
-Fiat 727 - half-track artillery tractor
-SPA TM40 - wheeled artillery tractor

italy ww2 Staff Cars -Alfa Romeo 6С2500 Coloniale
-Fiat 508M/CM Ballila
-Fiat 1100 (1937) (Balilla-1100 Coloniale)
-Lancia Aprilia Coloniale
-Bianchi VM 6C
-Fiat 2800 CMC

italy ww2 Motorcycles
-Benelli 500 M36/VLM
-Bianchi Supermil 500
-Gilera 500 LTE
-Moto Guzzi Alce/Trialce
-Volugrafo Aermoto 125
Japan ww2 IJA/IJN ww2 vehicles
-Toyota 4x4 Su-Ki (Amphibious truck)
-Isuzu Type 94 truck
-Type 94 6-Wheeled Truck
-Type 95 Mini-truck
-Type 97 4-Wheeled Truck
-Type 1 6-Wheeled Truck
-Type 2 Heavy Truck
-Toyota KB/KC Truck
-Nissan 80 Truck
-Nissan 180 Truck
-Amphibious Truck "Su-Ki"

Japan ww2 Tractors
-Type 92 5 t Prime Mover "I-Ke"
-Type 98 6 t Prime Mover "Ro-Ke"
-Type 92 8 t Prime Mover "Ni-Ku"
-Type 95 13 t Prime Mover "Ho-Fu"
-Type 94 4 t Prime Mover "Yo-Ke"
-Type 98 4 t Prime Mover "Shi-Ke"
-Type 96 AA Gun Prime Mover
-Type 98 20 mm AA Machine Cannon Carrier
-Type 98 Half-tracked Prime Mover "Ko-Hi"
-Type 98 20 mm AA Half-Track Vehicle
-Experimental Heavy Gun Tractor Chi-Ke
-Experimental Crawler Truck
-T G Experimental Crawler Truck
-Fordson Prime Mover
-Pavessi Gun Tractor
-50 hp Gun Tractor
-Komatsu 3 ton Tractor
-Light Prime Mover
-Clarton Prime Mover
-Holt 30

Japan ww2 Staff cars
-Toyota AA/AB/AC
-Type 93 6/4-Wheeled Passenger Car
-Type 95 Passenger Car "Kurogane"
-Type 98 Passenger Car
-Model 97 Nissan Staff Car, Nissan 70

Japan ww2 Motorcycles
-Rikuo Motorcycle
-Rikuo Type 97 Motorcycle
-Rikuo Type 93 side car

Japan ww2 Misc.
-Type 94 Ambulance
-Type 94 Repair Vehicle

Cold War