|Leichter Panzerspähwagen Sd.Kfz. 222|
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin||Nazi Germany|
|Manufacturer||Auto Union, F. Schichau|
|Produced In||1935 - 1944|
|Armour||5 - 14.5 mm|
|Main armament||1 × 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon|
|Coaxial weapon||1 × 7.92 mm MG 34 (for Sd.Kfz 222)|
|General Ingame Information|
|Used by|| Nazi Germany|
The Leichter Panzerspähwagen (German: roughly "light armoured reconnaissance vehicle") was a series of light four-wheel drive armoured cars produced by Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1944.
Used by the reconnaissance battalions of the Panzer divisions, the series performed well enough in countries with good road networks, like those in Western Europe. However, on the Eastern Front and North Africa, this class of vehicle was hampered by its relatively poor off-road performance, especially on cross-country.. In those theaters, it gradually found itself replaced in the reconnaissance role by the Sd.Kfz. 250 half-track.
The vehicles were developed by Eisenwerk Weserhütte of Bad Oeynhausen by using the chassis of the type Horch 108standard heavy off-road car with an angled armoured body and turret.
Chassis were built by Horch (Auto Union) in Zwickau and assembled by F. Schichau of Elbing and Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen in Hanover-Linden.
The rear-mounted petrol engine was originally a 3.5 Litre Horch V8 with 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) (Ausf. A chassis); from 1942, this was replaced by a 3.8 Litre with 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) (Ausf. B chassis), giving it a road speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) and a cross-country speed of 40 km/h (25 mph). It had a maximum range of 300 km (186 mi).
The Sd. Kfz. 222 was examined by Soviet designers before they created the similar BA-64 light armoured car.
Front and sides were made of 8 mm (0.3 in) RHA; thinner 5 mm (0.2 in) plates protected the top, rear, and bottom. Cast vision ports later replaced ports cut into the armour. The open-topped turret was fitted with wire mesh anti-grenade screens. Beginning in 1939, the front armour was increased to 14.5 mm (0.6 in). In 1942, the Ausf. B chassis was introduced; this had 30 mm of frontal armour, as well as a more powerful engine.