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The Krupp L2H43/L2H143, also known as the Krupp Protze, was a 6 x 4 light truck used by Germany during World War II.

Description

The Krupp Protze was powered by a 53 hp, 3.3 liter Krupp Boxer Motor, which was later replaced by a 60 hp, 4-cylinder Krupp M 304 petrol engine, which gave it a top speed of 70 km/h. The Protze measured 5.10 meters long, 1.93 meters wide, and 1.96 meters high, and weight 2,600 kilograms empty. The Protze required a crew of one driver and could carry between seven and nine passengers. The total load carrying capacity for the Protze was 1,150 kilograms. The Protze was primarily used as an artillery tractor, troop carrier and ammunition carrier. The Protze had a total range of 450 kilometers when travelling on roads, and had a 110-liter fuel capacity.

Variants

Several variants of the Krupp Protze were produced before and during World War II for various purposes. The first variant was the Kfz 19, which was a special telephone and communications truck, which featured a fully enclosed steel roof. The second variant was the Kfz 21, which was used as a staff car and command car. The Kfz 21 had an open top and could carry seven passengers. The third variant was the Kfz 68, which, like the Kfz 19, had fully enclosed steel roof and was used to carry radio communication masts. The fourth variant was the Kfz 69, which featured the standard body of the Protze but had a special rear tow bar fitted for towing the 37 mm PaK 35 or PaK 36 anti-tank guns. The fifth variant was the Kfz 70, which was the original standard body configuration for the Protze, and was used as a troop carrier, with capacity for up to nine passengers. The sixth variant of the Protze was the Kfz 81, which featured the standard body configuration but had a modified load bed for carrying 20 mm ammunition for the FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun, one of which was usually towed by the Kfz 81 as well. The final variant of the Protze was the Kfz 83, which was a fully enclosed generator truck for mobile anti-aircraft search lights, one of which was usually towed behind the Kfz 83.

Other sub-variants of the Krupp Protze also existed, one of which was the SdKfz 247 Leichter Panzerspähwagen. The Ausf. A model of this armored car was built on the chassis of the Krupp Protze, and featured six wheels. Production of the SdKfz 247 was later taken over by Daimler-Benz with the four-wheeled Ausf. B model, and the Krupp influence fell away. Other field modifications were also made to the Krupp Protze, most notably the Kfz 69 and Kfz 70 variants, which saw 37 mm anti-tank guns or 20 mm anti-aircraft guns mounted directly onto the load bed, similar to that done to the Opel Blitz T3.6S.

History

The designations of the L2H43 for the models produced from 1934 to 1936, and L2H143 for the models produced from 1936 to 1941. The design was very successful and some 7,000 models were produced. The Krupp Protze saw extensive service with the Wehrmacht during World War II, and was used on the Eastern Front, in North Africa, France and Sicily. Despite it's good performance, the Krupp Protze suffered due to excessive fuel consumption, in comparison to other German military trucks like the Opel Blitz, Mercedes-Benz and Büssing-NAG.


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