8-Ton Half-Track Sd. Kfz. 7
The Sd. Kfz. 7 was the primary mover of Germany’s famed 88 mm cannon.
Versions of the vehicle were first developed in 1934 and officially accepted into service in 1938. Though designed at Krass-Maffei, a multitude of manufacturers helped create more than 12,000 German examples and 250 more license-built half-tracks in Italy.
These useful machines were always in demand. Many were assigned to German mechanized units, leaving much of the regular German army to rely on horses to move heavy equipment on the battlefield. Modified versions of the Sd. Kfz. 7 were heavily armored, while others were used as mobile platforms for anti-aircraft cannon or machine guns.
The vehicle had a pair of undriven truck wheels up front followed by a drive-sprocket and tank-like track supported by 14 road wheels (seven per side). The heavy and versatile machine could go nearly anywhere a tank could on the battlefield. The vehicle has room for 11 soldiers plus a driver. A canvas top and fold-down windshield protected passengers from the elements when it was required.
History of the Artifact
While built in great numbers, only a few Sd. Kfz. 7s survive today. This version, built in 1942, was restored in 2000 and was later featured in a military magazine and exhibited at the Duxford Air Show. The half-track was acquired by the FHCAM in 2014.
Did you know?
Heavily-armored versions of the Sd. Kfz. 7 were used by V-2 rocket crews as mobile command centers and observation posts during launches.