KRAUSS-MAFFEI Sd.Kfz. 7
IN BRAZILIAN ARMY 1939 – 1945

Translated from the Portuguese by Lúcia Campos Lima

 

          We are always fascinated with Second World War's German half-tracks vehicles, whether through films, books, cover, photos, magazines. They impress us by their style and design, daring for that time. What surprises us is that some of these vehicles were used in Brazil, by the Army during the war, not many however not even one survived to be preserved, they had a short life, they were almost forgotten but they marked their presence.

          On July 28th, 1939 a contract between War Department of Brazil and the firm Lokomotivfabrik Kraus & Comp. I.A.MAFFEI A.G. de Munique, Germany, was signed for the supply of tractors of artillery. This contract foresaw the purchase of 32 (thirty-two) artillery tractors of 7,5 traction load tons, destined to the antiaircraft cannon traction Krupp 88mm, and 8 (eight) tractors the some as the previous, ones, however with cranes of 2,5 tons, destined to the towing-workshop traction Matra.

          From this contract the Brazilian army received only 5 (five) artillery tractors of the 32 acquired, they were embarked in Lisbon, Portugal, on the BAGÉ ship probably in June or July 1940, being afterwards disembarked. They stayed there until August 1941, later being embarked in North-american ships, going to the harbor of New York and from there they came in Brazilian ships to Rio de Janeiro where they arrived between November/December of that year.

Rebuilted by the author in the scale l:35, leaving from a kit Tamiya, representing Sd.Kfz. 7 of the 1/1º R. A.A. Ae. in Rio de Janeiro. Notice the Army emblems, of the unit and the green olive painting standard in 1942.
photo credit: Expedito Carlos Stephani Bastos.
Another detail of model 1:35.
photo credit: Expedito Carlos Stephani Bastos


          It is important to point out that there was a naval blockade imposed to Germany by England, because the world was in the Second World War, for this reason departures and landings were done by changing ships (inspection), because the Englishmen didn't want Brazil to continue to receive Germany armses.

          These tractors were then distributed of the following way: two to the 1/1º R.A.A. Ae. -1/1º Regiment of Antiaircraft Artillery in Rio de Janeiro -, two to the 1/2º R.A.A. Ae. in Quitaúna, SP, and one to the 1/3º R.A.A. Ae. in Natal, RN, wich one of them ended up to operate in Fernando de Noronha.

Rebuilted by the author in the scale l:35, leaving from a kit Tamiya, representing Sd.Kfz. 7 of the 1/1º R. A.A. Ae. in Rio de Janeiro. Notice the Army emblems, of the unit and the green olive painting standard in 1942.
photo credit: Expedito Carlos Stephani Bastos.

Emblem of the I/1º R.A.A.Ae unit in SdKfz 7. Braziliam Army


          There is no evidence of photos of these vehicles, in the Brazilian Army, only existing manufacturer documents and photos in the contracts. Based on the same and on information on the color used in Army vehicles, in that period, was then possible to reconstitute one of these vehicles in the scale l:35, even confeccioning their demarcations.

Sd.Kfz. 7 similar to the ones sold Brazilian army.
photo credit: Krauss-Maffei A G.
/AHEx
Sd.Kfz. 7 towning cannon Krupp 88mm in rough grounds.
photo credit: Krauss-Maffei A G./AHEx

Sd.Kfz. 7 going out of a steep hill.
photo credit: Krauss-Maffei A G.

Sd.Kfz's chassis. 7, similar to the Brazilian army ones.
photo credit: Krauss-Maffei A G.


          This artillery tractor in the German army owned Sonderkraftfahrzeug's designation 7 (Sd.Kfz.7), and was considered as the main and more versatile of this kind, reaching a total of 12000 units produced by Krauss-Maffei and Hansa-Lloyd (Borgward) between 1934 and 1944. It was impelled by a gasoline motor of 6 cylinders, Maybach HL 62 TUK, refrigerated water, 140 CV, 2600 r.p.m, reaching a maxim speed of 50 Km/h in highways, consuming about 80 fuel liters to run 100km, when in rough grounds consumed l60 liters for each 100km, with reservoir of 215 liters. Autonomy of 250km in highways and 120km in rough grounds, with a weight of 9,7 tons, could tow loads, up to 8 tons, it had four gears ahead and the reverse, varying its speed of 3,5 to the 50km/h, transporting 11 totally equipped men with their baggages. These tractors in the Brazilian Army came for pulling the antiaircraft cannons Krupp 88mm C/56, while in the German army they pulled big caliber pieces and were used like helps vehicles and could even tow war tanks, since they move with easiness in very rough grounds.

Sd.Kfz's body. 7, similar to the Brazilian army ones.
photo credit: Krauss-Maffei A G./AHEx

Motor Maybach HL 62 TUK, 6 cylinders gasoline, that equiped Sd.Kfz. 7.
photo credit: Krauss-Maffei A G./AHEx


          In Brazil these vehicles had a very short life, because from 1942 on the Army began to receive north American equipment, under the agreements Leand-Lease. Germany was defeated in 1945 and the contracts, already signed were never going to be totality accomplished. Regarding the vehicles they were simply going to finish their days in some junk place. Some time later I heard a story: one of these tractors was being used in the 70`s in the construction of a tunnel in the highway BR-040, next to Petrópolis, and on its top an enormous compressor was placed and due to its capacity of winning obstacles on those mountainous grounds, helped drilling rocks. After this work, they were already damaged and they were sold as junk with other weighed vehicles...


BASIC DATE:

Manufacturer: Krauss-Maffei and Hansa-Lloyd
Crew: 11 men
Weight: 9,7 tons
Length: 6,85m
Height: 2,60m
Width: 2,35m
Motor: 1 Maybach HL 62 TUK, 6 cylinders, gasoline, and refrigerated water
Maxim speed: 50km/h in highway
Autonomy: 250km in highway
120km belonged to highway
Fuel capacity: 215 liters


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Spielberger, Walter J. & Doyle, Hilary L. Halbketten-Fahrzeuge des deutschen Heeres 1909 – 1945. Motorbuch Verlag, Germany, 1998;
Milsom, John. German Half-Tracked Vehicles of World War 2. Purnell Book Services Ltd, England, 1975;
Rieger, Kurt. German Halftracks in Action. Squadron/signal publications, Armor Number 3, USA, 1972;
Contrato firmado com autorisação do Presidente da República dos Estados Unidos do Brasil, entre o Ministério da Guerra e a firma Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Comp. – I. A. Maffei A.G., Munchen, Alemanha, para o fornecimento de tractores de artilharia ao Exército Nacional, de 28 de julho de 1939. Arquivo Histórico do Exército, Rio de Janeiro, RJ;
Anexos ao contrato acima, 1a - Oferta tractor de canhões, 1b – Oferta tractor de oficinas, 6 de fevereiro de 1939 e 1c – sobresalentes, 23 de junho de 1939. Arquivo Histórico do Exército, Rio de Janeiro, RJ;
Dutra, Gen. Eurico Gaspar. Refutações às críticas feitas aos contratos Krupp pelo Dr. Virgílio de Melo Franco, no carater de Interventor Federal junto ao Banco Alemão Transatlântico. Imprensa Militar, Rio de Janeiro, 1943.