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Tiger Cub

Murat Özgül returns to discover small is beautiful.

Flyhawk Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.J

An unusual title … but it would appear that this was the popular name given to the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf.J, both by its crew, and the Russians who encountered it on the battlefield. Designed as a tank to provide cover for infantry attacking fortified positions, the vehicle had the thickest armour of any light tank of its time. Weighing only 18 tons, it fitted into the category of ‘light tank’, though its armour protection (80mm frontal, and 50mm on the sides and rear) was equal to that of the legendary Tiger I. Typical of German light tanks, the vehicle’s layout was designed to be operated by a crew of three: driver, loader/ radio operator, and commander/gunner. Armament was by way of a 2cm KwK 38 auto-cannon and a 7.92mm MG 34. The tank was powered by a 150hp Maybach HL45 engine, providing a maximum road speed of 31km/h, and the suspension/overlapping road wheels (similar to those on the Ausf.L ‘Luchs’) were designed by E. Kniepkamp (best known for his work on half-tracks). With this feature (combined with armour protection, and hull shape), the Ausf.J bore similarities with the Tiger I design; not surprising that it was dubbed ‘Tiger Cub’. Twenty-two of these tanks were produced in 1942. Seven served with 12 Panzer Division on the Eastern Front, and some were allocated to 13 Polizei Panzer Kompanie.

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Inside this months issue: Panzer Vor! - The Great and Small of Panzer Modelling Challenger 2 - Operation Telic Armour