Friday, 15 April 2011

The Armoured Car mystery solved?

Panhard 178 / PzSpw 204f comparisons.
After appealing for help at TMP  (thread) I received some decent suggestions.  Initially quite a few people suggested that the mystery vehicle was a Humber Mk I.  Subsequently, the consensus seems to be shifting towards the car being a French Panhard 178 - German PzSpw 204f.

I had a trawl through the Intraweb and unearthed only one photo of a 178 from a similar angle.  Unfortunately, I had to rely heavily on scale models (never the best option) for the other two.  The clinchers for me are the shape of the mudguards and presence of the distinctive "cross" patterns - these were pointed out by Dom Skelton - thank you!  There are further common features such as the hatches (open on the "mystery" vehicle and position of the wheels etc.  So I think we can state categorically that it is a Panhard.

50mm armed PzSpw 204f.
I then wondered if this may be footage showing the final conversion of the PzSpw 204f wherein the turret was removed and a 50mm KwK was mounted in an open housing.  This would explain the way the crewmen are seated.  However, it is evident that the gun and shields are not present!

As there appears to be no additional radio equipment, I doubt this is an "ersatz" Sdfkz 247.  All this suggests it must be an odd modification or field-expedient - but why the turret would be removed intentionally (unless damaged beyond salvage) is anyone's guess!

If there are any other ideas floating about I would be interested in hearing them.