Panzerspähwagen II (2 cm Kw.K.38) Luchs – Lynx (Sd.Kfz.123)
In 1938, the German company Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nürnberg (MAN) and Daimler-Benz were awarded the contract to design a new version of the Panzer II light tank for reconnaissance missions. They had already produced a three man Panzer II: MAN worked on the chassis and Daimler-Benz constructed the superstructure and turret. They then moved on to develop a four-man version that would become the Panzerspähwagen II (2 cm Kw.K.38)(Sd.Kfz.123) also known as the Panzer II Ausf.L ‘Luchs’ (Lynx). Panzerspähwagen and Panzerspaehwagen in English means armoured car.
The first prototype chassis was completed in July 1941. In June 1942 it was tested against two Czech built light tanks the Skoda T 15 and 38(t) n.a. tank. The Luchs was found to be the better design, with a larger turret and better ground clearance. During the trials the engine, clutch and transmission functioned without problems over different terrains.
The Maybach 180hp HL 66 P water-cooled petrol engine had enough power to enable the tank to have a top road speed of 60 km/h.
The front armour on the turret and chassis was 30 mm thick. The side and rear armour was 20 mm thick. The turret was armed with a centrally mounted 2 cm KwK 38 main gun with a 1.3 m long anti-aircraft gun barrel and a coaxial 7.92 mm MG34(P) machine gun which had an armoured sleeve to protect the gun barrel. The gunner sat on the right of the turret which was a different layout to most German turrets. The Maybach HL 66 P water-cooled 180 hp petrol engine produced enough power to give the tank a top road speed of 60 km/h. Production of 2 cm Luchs began in September 1942 and finished on 7 January 1944: only 100 were built. They were used on the Eastern Front and the Western Front in Normandy.
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Supplied unpainted and may require some assembly.