Neubaufahrzeug (the "new production vehicle") was an armored vehicle (tank, AFV or armoured fighting vehicle) in combat use during the Second World War (World War II or WWII) in the European theater. The Neubaufahrzeug was a fully tracked all-terrain vehicle designed for military operations. Neubaufahrzeug was produced and deployed by the German Army (Heers) of Nazi Germany (the Third Reich). The technical drawing (plan, layout or profile) shows the general appearance characteristics of the specified model (version) of the Neubaufahrzeug tank for purposes of identification and reference. For more detailed information about this armored fighting vehicle, refer to Neubaufahrzeug.

Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Rheinmetall
Production Period 1934 - 1936
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1935
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany 1940 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Rheinmetall 1934 1936 5 View

During the 1920s and 1930s, a number of countries experimented with very large, multi-turreted tanks. The British built a single example of the Vickers A1E1 Independent in 1926. This inspired the Soviet T-35, which was built in limited numbers from 1933.

Development of the Neubaufahrzeug (German for "new construction vehicle" - a cover name) started in 1933 when the then Reichswehr gave a contract for the development of a Großtraktor ("heavy tractor") to both Rheinmetall and Krupp. Großtraktor was a codename for the development of a heavy tank, Germany being still forbidden to develop tanks under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The technical details of the Vickers A1E1 Independent were then available to the Germans as they were amongst the information sold to them by a British officer, Norman Baillie-Stewart, who acted as a German spy before his arrest in 1933.

The Rheinmetall and Krupp designs resembled each other to a great extent, the main difference being the weapons placement. Each had a main turret armed with a 75 mm KwK L/24 main gun and secondary 37 mm KwK L/45. Rheinmetall's design mounted the second gun above the 75 mm KwK L/24, while the Krupp design had it mounted next to the 75 mm KwK L/24. Both designs had a secondary turret mounted to the front and the rear of the main turret. These turrets were slightly adapted Panzer I turrets, with the standard machine gun armament.

Rheinmetall's design was designated PzKpfw NbFz V (PanzerKampfwagen NeubauFahrzeug V), and the Krupp design PzKpfw NbFz VI. It was intended that these designs would fulfill the role of heavy tank in the armored forces, but the design proved to be too complex and unreliable for this role. Nevertheless, development continued in order for the nascent German military to gain experience with multi-turreted tanks.

In 1934 Rheinmetall built two mild steel prototypes, both with their own turret design. Three more prototypes were built with proper armor and the Krupp turret in 1935 and 1936.

Though these tanks were never placed in production, they provided a propaganda tool for Nazi Germany, for example being shown at the International Automobile Exposition in Berlin in 1939.

This propaganda role was extended with the German invasion of Norway, when a special Panzerabteilung was formed which took the three armored prototypes with them to Oslo. They saw some combat there, with one being blown up by German engineers when it got stuck in swamps near Åndalsnes. To replace it, one of the mild steel prototypes was used.

It is unclear what happened to the tanks after the Norway campaign, but none of them survived the war. The surviving vehicles were ordered scrapped in 1941, which took place in 1942 according to documents captured by the British in 1945. The dates upon which the vehicles were scrapped are unclear, but it is thought that the beginning of the construction of the Sturer Emil prototypes dates from the same time.

All that survives of these tanks is a small number of running gear parts, preserved in the Gudbrandsdal Krigsminnesamling (Gudbrandsdal War Memorial collection), at Kvam in Norway.

Formal DesignationNeubaufahrzeug
Production Quantity3Production Period1935
TypeMedium TankCrew6
Length (m)6.6Barrel Overhang (m)0
Width (m)2.19Height (m)2.98
Combat Weight (kg)23410Radio EquipmentFuG
Primary Armament
(Main Turret)
75mm KwK L/24Ammunition Carried80
37mm KwK L/45 (coaxial)50
Traverse (degrees)Manual (360°)Elevation (degrees)-10° to +22°
Traverse speed (360°)-Sightn.a.
Secondary Armament7.92mm MG13 (coaxial)Ammunition Carried6000
2 x 7.92mm MG13 (secondary turrets)*

Engine Make & ModelBMW VaNo. of Links/Trackn.a.
Type & Displacement6 cyl., n.a.Track Widthn.a.
Horsepower (max.)250hpTrack Ground Contactn.a.
Power/Weight Ratio10.7 hp/tGround Pressuren.a.
Gearbox6 forward, 1 reverseGround Clearance (m)0.47
FuelGasoline (Petrol)Turning Radius (m)n.a.
Range on/off road (km)120 on roadGradient (degrees)n.a.
Mileage (litres/100km)n.a.Vertical Obstacle (m)n.a.
Fuel Capacity (litres)n.a.Fording (m)n.a.
Speed on/off road30 km/hTrench Crossing (m)n.a.
Armor (mm@degrees)FrontSideRearTop/Bottom
*Secondary turrets replaced with new turrets mounting 7.92mm MG34

EGT, AFVG, FSM0795, George R. Bradford

End notes