Panzerjäger I

The Panzerjäger I (German "Tank Hunter 1") was the first of the German tank destroyers to see service in the Second World War. It mounted a Czech Škoda 4.7 cm (1.9 in) cm PaK (t) anti-tank gun on a converted Panzer I Ausf. B chassis. It was intended to counter heavy French tanks like the Char B1 that were beyond the capabilities of the 3.7 cm PaK 36 anti-tank gun then in service and served to extend the usable lifetime of otherwise obsolete Panzer I tanks. 202 Panzer I's were converted to the Panzerjäger I in 1940 and 1941. They were employed in the Battle of France, in the North Africa Campaign and on the Eastern Front.

4.7cm PaK(t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf. B or Panzerjäger I fur PaK L/43(t) was an armored vehicle (self-propelled anti-tank gun on tank chassis, tank destroyer, AFV or armoured fighting vehicle) in combat use during the Second World War (World War II or WWII) in the European theater. The Panzerjäger I was a fully tracked all-terrain vehicle designed for military operations. Pz.Jäg. I 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 Panzerjäger I tank destroyer for purposes of identification and reference. For more detailed information about this armored fighting vehicle, refer to Panzerjager I.

Panzerjäger I
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Daimler-Benz
Production Period 1940 - 1941
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1940
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany 1940 1943 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Daimler-Benz 1940 1941 202 View
Skoda 1940 1941 202 View

The Panzer I's turret was removed and a fixed gun shield added to protect the armament and crew. The anti-tank gun was mounted on a pedestal in the fighting compartment with the wheels, axle and trails removed; it retained its original gun shield. It normally carried 74 anti-tank and 10 HE shells.

Total production was 202 vehicles. Alkett produced the first series of 132 in 1940. Ten of the second series of 70 were assembled by Alkett while the remainder were assembled by Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz in 1940 and 1941. Vehicles in the second series are recognizable by their seven-sided gun shield while the first series had a five-sided shield.

The vehicle's formal name was 4.7 cm PaK(t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I ohne Turm, translating as "4.7 cm anti-tank gun (Czech) on turretless Pz.Kpfw. I".

Ninety-nine vehicles equipped Anti-tank Battalions 521, 616, 643 and 670 in the battle for France. Only Anti-tank Battalion 521 participated in the campaign from the beginning as the other three were still training until a few days after the campaign began, but they were sent to the front as they finished their training.

Twenty-seven Panzerjäger I's equipped Anti-tank Battalion 605 in North Africa. It arrived in Tripoli, Libya between 18 and 21 March 1941. Five replacements were sent in September 1941, but only three arrived on 2 October as the others had been sunk on board the freighter Castellon. At the start of the British Operation Crusader the battalion was at full strength, but lost thirteen vehicles during the battles. Four more replacements were sent in January 1942 so that it mustered seventeen at the beginning of the Battle of Gazala. Despite the shipment of another three vehicles in September/October 1942 the battalion only had eleven by the beginning of the Second Battle of El Alamein. The last two replacements received by the battalion were in November 1942.

Formal Designation4.7cm PaK(t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I
Manufacturer(s)Daimler-Benz, Skoda
Production Quantity202 converted from PzKpfw. I Ausf. BProduction PeriodMar. 1940-Feb. 1941
TypeTank DestroyerCrew3
Length (m)6.4Barrel Overhang (m)0
Width (m)2.06Height (m)2.25
Combat Weight (kg)6400RadioFuG2
Primary Armament47mm PaK(t) L/43.4Ammunition Carried86
Traverse (degrees)Manual (17° L, 17° R)Elevation (degrees)-8° to +12°
Traverse speed (360°)-SightZF2x30°
Secondary Armament-Ammunition Carried-

Engine Make & ModelMaybach NL38TRTrack Links100/track
Type & DisplacementLiquid, L6, 3.8 litersTrack Width28cm
Horsepower (max.)100hp@3000rpmTrack Ground Contact244cm
Power/Weight Ratio15.6 hp/tGround Pressure6.7 psi
Gearbox5 forward, 1 reverseGround Clearance (m)0.29
FuelGasoline (Petrol)Turning Radius (m)-
Range on/off road (km)140/95Gradient (degrees)30°
Mileage (liters/100km)105 on/156 off roadVertical Obstacle (m)0.36
Fuel Capacity (liters)148Fording (m)0.58
Speed on/off road40/19 km/hTrench Crossing (m)1.4
Armor DetailFrontSideRearTop/Bottom
Gun Shield15mm@63°15mm@63°openopen

End notes