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Kleine Panzerbefehlswagen Command Vehicle

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The Kleine Panzerbefehlswagen was the first result of plans to supply armoured command vehicles to tank formations, and consisted of a fixed superstructure mounted on a PzKpfw I chassis in place of the standard superstructure and turret. It was developed and built by Daimler-Benz, while Deutsche Edelstahlwerke supplied the superstructures. Three versions saw service. The first half dozen vehicles that appeared in 1935 were based on the Ausf A chassis and were designated 1KlA. They had no armament and, being intended primarily for company commanders, were known as Kompanie Chefpanzer. Most examples produced were, however, based on the Ausf B chassis. The 2KlB version had either a high, square commander’s cupola or no cupola at all, while the later 3KlB had a low, square cupola. Late production vehicles had extra 19mm armour plates bolted to the nose, superstructure and cupola front and a 12mm plate added to the glacis.
The wireless equipment consisted of Fu 2 and Fu 6 sets, and additional dynamo capacity was provided for them. Two hundred examples of the Kl PzBefWg were produced and were first used in the Spanish and Polish Campaigns. The advent of larger tanks with more space and more crew members, and the general adoption of the Fu5 radio caused the withdrawal of the Kl PzBefWg at company level from 1940 and from higher levels soon after. However, some stayed in service for later campaigns in France, Norway and Africa. Some even remained until the end of the War in lesser roles, long after the Panzerkampfwagen I had disappeared from use as a fighting tank.

Model Id:100
Manufacture:Daimler-Benz AG, Marienfelde, Berlin, Germany (Sole manufacturer 1935-1938)

1) The Tank Museum - Public Areas, Bovington, Britain

Number of Photos: 19
Sample Photo from Album Number 16

Click here or on the image for this tank's profile page

Unique ID: 16
Serial Number: “52487۞” and “15118” stamped into glacis.
Other Identification: “I03” painted on superstructure sides. Painted overall in a grey and brown camouflage scheme (previously painted overall desert sand).

Text in original Preserved German Tanks publication:

This command tank was at the School of Tank Technology, Chobham Lane, Chertsey, before being moved to Bovington. It is appears to be a 3KlB model with low cupola and additional armour protection.

Text in Preserved German Tanks Update:

This vehicle arrived in Tripoli, Libya, on 10 March 1941 and served with the 5th Panzer Regiment, which originally formed part of the 5th Light Division. The 5th Panzer Regiment subsequently formed the core of the 21st Panzer Division, created in the summer of 1941 as part of the Afrika Korps. The 5th Panzer Regiment took part in the advance on Egedabia and Mechili and the seige of Tobruk. This tank was captured in Tunisia in late 1941 and shipped to the U.K. It was the subject of a School of Tank Technology report, which was completed in 1943 after trials at Farnborough (presumed to have been at the Mechanical Warfare Experimental Establishment).
It was gifted from STT to the Tank Museum in 1951. During restoration it was found to originally have had a dark grey and brown camouflage scheme. It is believed to have taken part in the early Blitzkreig campaigns and probably served with 3rd Panzer Division in the 1940 French campaign before being transferred to North Africa. (Source: Tracklink 71, 72).
There are shot holes in the superstructure and hull, damage sustained before the tank was captured. It is displayed in the markings of the 21st Panzer division and resides in the France 1940 section.