The s.Pz.Sp.Wg. (5 cm 39/1 L60) is a rank II German light tank with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica".
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Vision ports)
- Structural steel (Side skirts)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 30 mm (40°) Front plate
15 mm (70°), 30 mm (55°) Front glacis
30 mm (35°) Lower glacis
| 8 mm (34-35°) Top
8 (19-35°) + 4 mm
|10 mm (21-46°)||5 mm|
|Turret|| 30 mm (20°) Turret front
50 mm (1-79°) Gun mantlet
|14.5 mm (24-26°)|| 14.5 mm (25°)
8 mm (21°) Pistol port
- Wheels provide 10 mm thick protection.
- Vision ports on car body are 10 mm thick.
The Puma can reach a speed of around 45 km/h on flat terrain. Thanks to its transmission, it can drive in reverse with the same speed and maneuverability. Due to its wheeled design, it struggles in sand, snow and mud. It is also hard to keep going straight in a line at high speeds. The game does offer some degree of compensation for this via the "Activate Cruise Mode" control binding under the "Tank Driving" subsection. When using Cruise Mode, hold down the desired key you bound its activation to, and steer with mouse movements, allowing pinpoint steering while retaining speed. However, you cannot shoot while using Cruise Mode, so use it wisely.
The Puma fields the KwK.39/1 cannon, a similar cannon to that seen in the late Panzer III models, as well as the same ammunition. The cannon was designed for a anti-tank role and it does its job well at 2.7. It can select from a 95mm pen APC-HE shell, witch should be your main round, two APCR shells with 128mm and 150mm pen, respectively (you should carry a few of the better ones, especially if you uptier the Puma so it might see KV-1s, as well for long range sniping) and an HE shell witch can be used against AA trucks. As the APC-HE shell has no ballistic cap, it might struggle against angled armour, so it is best to go for side shots. With a reload of 4.1 seconds and high velocity shells, this tank can do the job both in close-quarters and at long range.
The Puma has a coaxial MG 42 that is only useful against exposed crew members.
Usage in battles
The Puma adopts a lot of typical light tank tactics. To play this vehicle well, you must shoot and scoot. Your fast reload times in combination with a very fast reverse speed makes it ideal for firing around a corner then backing up and flanking. The tank is very fast on road, however it has poor performance off-road so it is not recommended on desert maps and muddy maps where you can get slowed down by the terrain. Due to the fact that you have weak armour and a compact crew module, penetrative shots typically result in your destruction. It is advised to not brawl with tanks and to flank whenever possible, using your speed and mobility versus enemy tanks as your armour. Use the terrain to your advantage, firing over hills and making good use of your gun depression. Sidescrape corners and do not hold angles, as you will most likely be destroyed.
The tank's speed in combination with its low spawn cost in RB as a light tank makes it ideal to spawn in at the start of the game and capture the objective in 2 or 3 point domination. This guarantees you spawn points for a respawn and gives you opportunities to flank the enemy.
The real beauty of the Puma is its ability to flank around different parts of the map very quickly. It is extremely maneuverable and can traverse most types of terrain very quickly (avoid mud). You should take up a covert play style with this vehicle. Even if you see an enemy, you should only fire at the perfect moment, where you are guaranteed a score. This especially applies to T-34s and KV-1's, where hits to the side or rear are far more effective. This being said, the 5cm gun is a great gun. It is easy to use, high velocity, accurate and has a good range of ammunition.
Notable enemies you will meet are the T-34 (1942) and M4 Sherman, along with armoured tanks like the Churchill, Matilda II, Valentine, and the KV-1 These tanks are difficult to penetrate and require advanced knowledge of weakspots, so it is advised to avoid these where possible. Medium tanks are easier to combat if flanked, however it is not always reliable due to the weak penetration of the PzGr 39 and the poor penetration to sloped armour for PzGr 40.
Out of all the enemies you will meet, the T-34s are probably the biggest threat. The sloped armour is difficult to penetrate and they have excellent mobility, meaning you will meet them often. The gun is also utterly devastating for the Puma. The high explosive filler and range of shells will make short work of your vehicle. If you encounter an T-34 (any variant), aim for the turret cheeks and take out the gunner. Aiming at the frontal hull armour is unreliable and often results in a ricochet. T-34s are also very, very mobile, so it is best to go for side shots on them if you insist on engaging them.
Shermans also present the problem of sloped frontal armour. The M4A1 isn't as much of a problem, but the M4/M4A2/M4A3 variants are more difficult to penetrate. From the side, Shermans have flat armour and tall profiles. They are easy to destroy when flanked, but they too have exceptionally good mobility, especially cross-country, so they can prove to be even more of a pain to deal with than T-34s. They also have short-stop stabilizers and .50cals which make them even more of a threat.
Pros and cons
- 5 cm L/60 cannon firepower
- PzGr 40 has 150mm of pen at point blank; good for its rank
- The 5cm gun is great for sniping lightly armoured targets at long range
- The 5cm gun is a good counter for heavily armoured tanks such as the Matilda and Valentine
- Fast reloading time
- Very fast forward and reverse speed
- Good gun depression
- Great for rushing cap points
- Good at flanking and ambushing enemy vehicles
- Can skip over rocky terrain and other hard surfaces
- Makes a great scout vehicle in higher ranks
- Thin armour, and extremely thin rear armour
- Compact crew compartment, allows to be easily destroyed in one shot when fighting a skilled player
- Slow turret rotation. In combination with the sharp turns at high speed, it is slow to aim
- Starts to snake around at high speeds making it hard to control
- Moderate acceleration
- Cannot turn in place due to wheels
- Under powered engine which gives it bad off-road performance
- Relatively low gun elevation
- Very vulnerable to close air support
- Does not like deep snow or mud
The blitzkrieg tactics in Poland and France gave the Germans a new appreciation of mobile and lethal reconnaissance vehicles. The Germans especially valued the armoured cars due to their speed, firepower, and their pre-war build-up as they were not restricted by the Versailles Treaty. The Germans started with armoured cars like the Sd.Kfz.231 family, each with different armaments. However, these vehicles had its flaws and in August 1940, Germany sought a replacement following the conclusion of the Battle of France.
The new vehicle was built off an improved Sd.Kfz.232 chassis made in monocoque construction by Büssing-NAG, its armoured body was made by Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, the turret by Daimler-Benz and Schichau, and air-cooled diesel engines by Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG. The monocoque chassis design was built with an eight-wheel steering system, six forward and reverse gears, as well as having an additional driver seat in the rear for quick reversal get-aways. This construction led to Sd.Kfz.234 family. Vehicle construction first started in 1943 as the Sd.Kfz.234/2, which had a turret originally intended for the VK 1602 Leopard mounting a 5 cm L/60 gun, construction continued on this vehicle until mid-1944. The Sd.Kfz.234/2 earned the nickname "Puma" from the soldiers using it.
Production for Sd.Kfz.234/2 shifted towards other armaments in 1944 that replaced the original. This produced variants such as the Sd.Kfz. 234/1 which replaced the turret with an open-top one carrying a 2 cm KwK 38, this was produced between mid-1944 to early 1945. Right besides that, the Sd.Kfz.234/3 was produced with an open-top structure to mount a 75 mm howitzer, this was produced from mid-1944 until the end of 1944. At the Sd.Kfz.234/3's production end, it was replaced by the Sd.Kfz.234/4, also known as the "Pakwagen", that had the armament replaced by a 7.5 cm PaK 40 anti-tank gun. This last variant was produced from the end of 1944 to the capitulation of Germany in World War II. A total of 478 Sd.Kfz.234 armoured cars were produced, 200 of the 234/1, 101 of the 234/2, 88 of the 234/3, and 89 of the 234/4.
The Sd.Kfz.234 cars were originally intended for the conflicts in North Africa. However, the engine development took abnormally long to complete and by the time it was ready, the North African theater had concluded. Nevertheless, they served in the Western and Eastern front with success, but was impeded by its low production count.
The Sd.Kfz. 234/2 variant was arguably the most popular, as the staple of the 234 family. The vehicle served in the Panzer Lehr Division, 1st and 2nd SS Panzer Division, 2nd, 7th, 13th, and 20th Panzer Division. The Sd.Kfz.234 in the recon companies were allocated in 19 or 25 vehicles per division, further split into platoons up to six vehicles and one as the headquarters. However, due to their low production numbers, this allocation was rarely kept in full strength in the war,
The Sd.Kfz.234 first saw combat in Normandy after D-Day in the stationed Panzer Lehr and 2nd Panzer Division in the Sd.Kfz.234/2 variant. The divisions used these vehicles in recon roles until their withdrawal behind the Seine River, with Panzer Lehr having 8 Sd.Kfz.234/2 of the original 26 it had. These divisions were rebuilt in the fall of 1944 with the Sd.Kfz.234/1 and Sd.Kfz.234/3 after the 234/2 ceased production.
- RideR2's Realistic gunsight (TZF4a, TZF 5a/b/d/e/f/f2, TZF 9b/b1/c/d, TZF 12/a) for Pzkpfw II, Pzkpfw III, Pzkpfw IV, Pzkpfw V, Pzkpfw VI (Sd.Kfz.234/2 included)
- Sd.Kfz.234/3 - Tank destroyer version of the chassis, with a 75 mm K51 gun.
- Sd.Kfz.234/4 - Another tank destroyer version with the longer 75 mm PaK 40/3 gun.
|Germany light tanks|
|Pz.II||Pz.II C · Pz.II C (DAK) · Pz.II F · Pz.Sfl.Ic|
|Wheeled||Sd.Kfz.221 (s.Pz.B.41) · Sd.Kfz.234/1 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 TD · Class 3 (P)|
|Czech||Pz.35(t) · Pz.38(t) A · Pz.38(t) F · Sd.Kfz. 140/1|
|Post-war||Begleitpanzer 57 · Ru 251 · leKPz M41 · SPz BMP-1 · Radkampfwagen 90 · JaPz.K A2 · Marder A1- · TAM · TAM 2C · TAM 2IP|