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Krupp Protze L2 H143 Funkkraftwagen (Radio-car)

History:

  We can trace the name Krupp back to the year 1587 in Essen, Germany.  Krupp’s steelmaking tradition began in 1799, with the acquisition of a mill called Gute Hoffnung (Good Hope) mill, and later, the construction of a steel foundry factory, founded in 1811.
  Krupp’s most important invention in those early days was in 1853: a seamless, highly resistant railroad-wheel. This wheel became the emblem of the company, three joined rings, in 1875.
“On good cars
this brand”
30’s Krupp radiator cap emblem
   Despite frequent financial crises in Europe, in the turbulent years of the late 19th century, the company steadily expanded and strengthened. With the advent of World War I, Krupp production was almost exclusively converted to the war effort, especially in the manufacture of weapons and ammunition.
Minenwerfer-Gerät (M-Gerät) 240mm Big Bertha
made by Krupp – Germany – WW I
    After the Treaty of Versailles, Krupp was forced to change to the production of other products (special steels, locomotives, farm machinery, public works vehicles, engines (for trucks), etc. The “Truck Factory Department” went into business in 1919. The first model made in large numbers was the “Five-ton with 75 HP 4-cylinder Otto Engine” of 1920.
    With the end of the WWI and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Krupp had to shift its production to other products, such as special steels, locomotives, agricultural machinery, public works vehicles, truck engines, etc. The first truck model produced in large numbers was the “Otto 4-cylinder, 5-ton engine with 75 HP” of 1920.
Krupp semi-tractor truck – 1920.
   In 1924, 1.5, 2.5 and 3-ton high-speed trucks appeared. In 1925 a modified 5-ton truck was launched. The first low chassis buses appeared in 1928. Until the Second World War, Krupp offered a wide variety of trucks with different chassis heights (H, M, N), engines (petrol, diesel, wood gas) and load capacities ( 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, 5.5, 6.5 tons).
    Krupp carried out pioneering work in the construction of truck engines, through the development of high-performance carburetors for gasoline engines and air-cooled diesel engines. In 1937 the number of vehicles produced totaled 4.300, made by a workforce of 2.685 employees.
    In 1939, official Nazi Party requirements limited the production of civilian vehicles to 3-tonne and 6.5-ton trucks. In 1940, Krupp was obliged to build 12-ton heavy half-track tractors, the Sonderkraftfahrzeug 8 (“special motorized vehicle 8”), usually abbreviated to Sd.Kfz. 8, under license.
Sd.Kfz.8 (DB9) Half-Track Artillery Tractor
Trumpeter kit (#09538) box art
   In 1941 only truck engines, the Krupp Protze L2 H143 and Sd.Kfz.8 vehicles were in production. In 1942, the production of Krupp Protz, almost 200 a month, was stopped. That year, 3.403 employees were on the payroll. The first heavy air raids on Essen and the factory took place from March 1943. By the end of the war, 70% of the company’s facilities had been destroyed or damaged.
 Krupp AG works at Essen, Germany, seriously damaged by Bomber Command
in 1943 and further wrecked in the daylight raid of 11 March 1945.

 

RAF officers inspect an unfinished siege gun in a wrecked
building of the Krupp AG plant at Essen, Germany – 1945
Essen was principal target for Bomber Command throughout the war.
 
The Krupp ProtzeL2 H43 and L2 H143:
    The Geländewagen (all-terrain vehicle) Krupp Protze (officially L2 H43 and L2 H143) was a six-wheeled 6×4 German truck and artillery tractor produced between 1934 and 1936 (L2 H43) and 1937 to 1941 in L2 H143 version.
Geländewagen Krupp Protze  L2 H143 chassis
left view
Geländewagen Krupp Protze  L2 H143 chassis
rear view
    The truck weighed 2.5 tons and was powered by a 55 hp (L2 H43) or 60 hp (L2 H143) Krupp Boxer 3.3 litre engine. The road range was 450 kilometers and had a payload capacity of 1 ton. The Krupp Protze was admired for its good performance both on and off road. The L2.H143 model (1937) was slightly longer (150 mm), was powered by a 60 hp engine and presented a longer front bumper.
     Krupp truck type designations are confusing at first, but they contain a lot of information. For example, “L2 H143” means:
L = Lastwagen (truck)
2 = load capacity in tonnes
H = light frame
1 = first modification
4 = 4 cylinders
3 = three axles
L2 H43 Krupp Protze 6×4 Geländewagen (early)
L2 H143 Krupp Protze 6×4 Geländewagen (late)
    It was powered by a 4-cylinder, 55 hp or, from 1936, 60 hp Krupp M 304 petrol engine. Its main purpose was to tow artillery, especially the 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun (designated Kfz 69), and transport motorized infantry (designated Kfz 70), in the early years of WWII.
    This vehicle was extensively used on the Eastern Front, during the North African campaign and in France and Sicily. The “Krupp-Protze” was of relatively advanced design. Its fuel consumption was relatively high (24 Litres / 100 km on road) in comparison to the comparable Opel Blitz 1.5 t truck (16.5 liters / 100 km, produced 1938 – 1942).
Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen – Kfz.69 under engine maintenance

Variants:

  • Kfz.19 – Fernsprechbetriebskraftwagen
  • Kfz.19 – Funkkraftwagen
    • telephone operating car
    • radio car
Krupp Protze L2 H143 Fernsprechbetriebskraftwagen
(telephone-car) – Kfz. 19 being transported in a rail-car
Krupp Protze Funkkraftwagen (radio car) – Kfz.19
passing by a Horch Kfz.15
  • Kfz.21 – schwerer geländegängiger Personenkraftwagen (6-sitzig)
    • staff car (proposed, not adopted)
    • heavy cross-country passenger car (6-seated)
Krupp Protze schwerer geländegängiger Personenkraftwagen (staff-car) – Kfz.21
  • Kfz.68 – Funkmastkraftwagen 
    • radio mast carrier
The Krupp Protze Funkmastkraftwagen (radio mast car) – Kfz.68
with his mast lying on the roof of the vehicle
Krupp Protze Funkmastkraftwagen (radio mast car) – Kfz.68
Notice the soldiers preparing the radio mast
Krupp Protze Funkmastkraftwagen (radio mast car) – Kfz.68
Now, the soldiers are erecting the radio mast with his cables.
  • Kfz.69 – Protzkraftwagen
    • standard configuration for towing the 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun.
    • limber motor vehicle (other guns)
    • portée with 3,7 cm PaK 36 AT gun
    • armoured portée  3,7 cm PaK 36 AT gun (field adaptation)
Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen (artillery tractor) – Kfz.69
towing a 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun over a railroad
Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen (artillery tractor) – Kfz.69
carrying a 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun (portée) in his deck.
Notice the wheels of the gun in the Protze’s rear
Panzerjäger Unit 44 – 1st Mountain Division
Marne at Chateau-Thierry – France – 12 june, 1940.
Another Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen Portée – Kfz.69
carrying a 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun with shield lowered
Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen (artillery tractor) – Kfz.69
towing a 7,5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18 (7,5 cm le.IG 18) howitzer
Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen (artillery tractor) – Kfz.69 towing a
7,5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18 (7,5 cm le.IG 18) howitzer
over a pontoon bridge
Gepanzerten Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen Portée – Kfz.69
armoured 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun (field adaptation)
side view
Gepanzerten Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen Portée – Kfz.69
armoured 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun (field adaptation)
notice the absence of the spare tyre
Gepanzerten Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen Portée – Kfz.69
armoured 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun (field adaptation)
right view
Gepanzerten Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen Portée – Kfz.69
armoured 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun (field adaptation)
Gepanzerten Krupp Protze Protzkraftwagen Portée – Kfz.69
armoured 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun (field adaptation)
in action – 1941, Ukraine. – Russian Front
  • Kfz.70 – Mannschaftskraftwagen
    • Standard personnel carrier.
Krupp Protze Mannschaftskraftwagen Kfz.70 with soldiers
during a parade, Germany 1937-1938.
trucks in two-color cammo used during this period.
Krupp Protze Mannschaftskraftwagen Kfz.70 with soldiers
during exercises, Germany 1938-1939.
Visible tactical markers are visible only during maneuvers.
  • Kfz.81 – leichter Flakkraftwagen
    • light anti aircraft motor vehicle for 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun, towed or portée
Krupp Protze L2 H143 leichter Flakkraftwagen – Kfz. 81
towing a 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun
Krupp Protze L2 H143 leichter Flakkraftwagen – Kfz. 81
towing a 2 cm FlaK 38 anti-aircraft gun in the fields
Krupp Protze L2 H143 leichter Flakkraftwagen – Kfz. 81
carrying (portée) a 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun
Krupp Protze L2 H143 leichter Flakkraftwagen – Kfz. 81
carrying (portée) a MG 151/20 “Drilling” AA gun
  • Kfz.83 – leichter Scheinwerferkraftwagen I und II
    • light searchlight motor vehicle
    • Generator carrier for anti-aircraft searchlight, usually towed
Krupp Protze L2 H143 leichter Scheinwerferkraftwagen I  – Kfz. 83
carrying a generator for AA searchlight
Luftwaffe – Herman Göring Regiment – Flanders, Belgium – 1940.
60cm Flakscheinwerfer Gerät  (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51
Krupp Protze L2 H143 leichter Scheinwerferkraftwagen I  – Kfz. 83
carrying a generator for AA searchlight
and towing a 60cm Flakscheinwerfer Gerät  (Flak-Sw 36)
Krupp Protze L2 H143 leichter Scheinwerferkraftwagen II  – Kfz. 83
These trucks carried the spotlight echelon’s equipment and fuel.
It was used as towing vehicle for the 60 cm Flak-Scheinwerfer 36 – AA searchlight
 of a leichte Flakbatterie – light AA battery – (2 cm).
  • Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf. A – schwerer geländegängiger gepanzerter Personenkraftwagen (6 Rad) (Sd. Kfz. 247) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o)
    • armoured personnel carrier, six-wheeled version, only 20 built in 1937; production went to Daimler-Benz, who built the Ausf. B four-wheeled version in 1941 and 1942.
Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf. A – the similarity and origin with Protz is evident …
 
Krupp Protze Funkkraftwagen (Radio Car) – Kfz 19
    The Krupp Protze radio-car truck was designed as a front line communicalions vehicle. Good communications were key to the success of the Blilzkrieg War and these and other vehicles were distributed to Division and Corps commanders in the field. The Krupp Protze radio-car had a large closed “office” type body, with provision for mast or cage antennas, depending on the radio sets installed.
Krupp Protze L2 H143 Funkkraftwagen (Radio-car) – Kfz. 19
being towed in the mud… Notice the third extra wheel at the rear
and the big cage antenna in the top of the vehicle.
One unfortunate Krupp Protze L2 H143 Funkkraftwagen (Radio-car) – Kfz. 19
hit by a direct hit. Notice the carpet of logs being carried on the roof,
very useful in the mud of the Russian Front.
View of a radio operator’s workstation, in the interior of a
Krupp Protze L2 H143 Funkkraftwagen (Radio-car)
Krupp Protze L2 H143 Funkkraftwagen (Radio-car) – Kfz. 19
with a motor bike, in the winter.
   These specialized vehicles allowed communication with other army units as well as with Luftwaffe control centers. The Telephone-car version – Fernsprech-Betriebskraftwagen – telephone operating motor vehicle – (Kfz. 19) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o). – was very similar, the main difference being the absence of large antennas, in relation to the radio version.
Krupp Protze  L2 H143 Fernsprech-Betriebskraftwagen Kfz.19
being transported by railcar. Notice the racks for ladders in the roof
Rear view of Krupp Protze  L2 H143 Fernsprech-Betriebskraftwagen Kfz.19
It seems that the use of an extra third wheel fitted to the rear
of these vehicles was popular…
    They were used on all fronts until the end of the war in 1945. The Protze began to be replaced by more fuel-efficient and cheaper-to-make trucks from early 1942 onwards, with total production of all versions was 7,000 vehicles.

Specs:

 

Krupp Protze Funkkraftwagen – Kfz.19
Type Radio-car
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
Used by Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Krupp
Manufacturer Krupp
Produced 1934–1941 (all versions)
No. built 7.000 (all versions)
Variants Several, see text
Specifications – Kfz.19
Mass 2.750 kg
Length 5.100 mm
Width 1.960 mm
Height
Ground clearance
Wading depht
2.275 mm
225 mm
600 mm
Crew 1 + 3

Armor None
Engine

Transmission
Suspensions

Tyres
Electric sys.

Krupp Boxer M305 3.308 cc
60 hp @ 2.500 rpm
2 speed transfer box – 6×4
front – rigid axle – leaf springs
rear – independent – horiz. coil
7.50 x 17
12 volts  75 Ah
Payload capacity 1.150 kg
Fuel capacity 110 L
Operational range
450 km on road
Maximum speed 70 km/h
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