Sd Kfz 222

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Base Set - Uncommon - 34/48

Historical Background

This modernized version of the 221 appeared when the needs of the army evolved and asked for a better design. First, the hull shape and internal structure was rearranged. There was a step down behind the turret -which was larger and 10 sided- and the rear was now pyramid-like. It was longer, and since heavier weapons were to be installed, the chassis had to be strengthened. It was completely rebuilt from scratch and had no relationship to the former commercial chassis. The production, assumed by Weserhütte, Schichau, MNH, Büssing-NAG, and Horch started in 1936 and ended in 1943, and was quite was larger in scope, with no less than 1800 vehicles (according to some sources) in seven series.

The first one received the usual Mg 34 machine-gun and the turret top, still open, was protected by an anti-grenade mesh in two pieces. But the main improvement was the lighweight Rheinmetall 20mm autocannon -the weapon of choice of german armoured scout vehicles. Both the 20mm and the Mg34 were coaxial. The 20mm KwK 30 gun was fully automatic, had a 280rpm rate, and could fire a 5.2 oz AP shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,625'/sec. It was replaced on later series by the KwK 38 which had a 480rpm. The series 1 to 5 received a sPkw I Horch 801 chassis with the 3.5 liters engine, and the series 6-7, the sPkw V chassis and 3.8L engine. The overall weight rose accordingly to 4.8 tons.

Since the chassis was more robust, the protection increased and the engine more efficient, the effectiveness of the vehicle also improved despite still some limitations in off-road capabilities. The 222 was introduced in 1938 and quickly became the main German armoured scout car, largely distributed to Aufklärung Abteilungs (Reco squadrons) of either SS Units, Panzerdivision and Motorized infantry division. They were a few in poland, but more largely represented during the western campain and in France. On a good road network, they excelled, and were seen many times by allied soldiers and officers -at their astonishment- well beyond the supposed frontline, creating panic and havoc, thanks to their speed and devastating main gun. The crews soon liked this vehicle, anthough it was somewhat cramped, and often painted on the hull non-standard personal emblems and nicknames, a favor only granted to reco squadrons which had a strong esprit de corps.

These machines still excelled in the Balkans in 1941, but in North Africa, although the Afrika Korps received lots of them, they were complaints about their lack of effective range, due to the limited volume of their fuel tanks. Many additional jerrycans were carried, seen fitted eveywhere on the hull and mudguards. The hull itself received additional storage boxes, which also acted like extra armor. In most cases, an additional rack was fitted to the nose, receiving five more jerrycans. As the war evolved, these were gradually removed from the front-line and replaced by the Sd Kfz 250/9 half-track (Hanomag), especially in Russia, because of their better range and off-road performances. A handful (something like 40 to 60) were also sold to the Republic of China in 1939. In many cases, some 222 were seen bringing their firepower to assist infantry on the spot, and were especially efficient against enemy infantry and light vehicles. However, it was vulnerable to the Russian PTRS-41 rifle. Some managed to survive until 1945, affected to police operations and anti-partisan warfare in occupied territories.

- Source:


Plastic Figure Notes:

Very nice sculpt, too bad it was never reprinted on the V2 scale.

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