Friday, January 13, 2012
Introducing the SD KFZ 7
The SD KFZ 7 -Sd Kfz stands for Sonderkraftfahrzeug or special motorized vehicle- was a half-tracked heavy truck used by the German armed forces primarily to pull artillery pieces or anti-aircraft guns such as 88s or heavy howitzers. It had enough power to tow up to 8 tons -therefore it's sometimes referred to as an 8-ton truck- and it could seat about 12 men, usually the crew of the gun being towed, with some additional room in the back for ammunition. It was introduced in 1938 and saw action throughout the war in all its different fronts. A few variations were made, some of them replacing the seating area with mounted 20mm anti-aircraft guns. It was issued primarily to the mechanized panzer and panzergrenadier divisions so that they could tow the artillery attached to them. Non-mechanized divisions, which were many, still relied heavily on horses to tow their equipment. In terms of available vehicles, both 21st Century Toys and Forces of Valor have provided us with a couple variations. Let's take a look.
21st Century Toys Sd Kfz 7 - Grey
This vehicle comes with a canvas top that can be removed and a foldable windshield. Ideal for early war campaigns.
21st Century Toys Sd Kfz 7 - Cammo
21C Toys also produced the same vehicle in a cammo color scheme. Nice for a mid to late war campaign. As in the previous picture, the top can be removed.
Forces of Valor Sd Kfz 7
If I recall correctly, Forces of Valor sold this one as a Normandy edition. I personally find it that it's the one that could fit better in a deset setting as part of Rommel's army. The six figures that come with it complement it nicely. In contrast to the 21C vehicles, this one is made of metal which makes it feel much heavier, as a heavy tractor ought to feel.
Forces of Valor Sd Kfz 7/1
This is the AA version with the quadruple 20mm guns. The sides of the back can be folded down to provide greater rotation freedom to the gun. A nice piece of equipment as usual from FOV with greater attention to detail. And it also comes with a good looking crew.
Click here to see a description of the 88 mm guns.
Click here to see a set of 88mm guns in action.
Here you can see other Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft guns.