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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf C light tank


On September 15, 1939, the AHA/AgK/In 6 issued an order to the Army Weapons Department to develop the PzKpfw I into a reconnaissance and air landing tank. It was decided to mount the PzKpfw II turret on to a modified PzKpfw IB chassis. Krauss Maffei and Daimler-Benz were asked to build the prototype.

In January 1941 the Army Weapons Department accepted the prototype and placed an order for 40 vehicles from Krauss-Maffei AG of Munich. The project was cancelled in the summer of 1941.

The PzKpfw I Ausf C had interleaved road wheels.

The main armament had a TZF10 gun sight.


  • VK 601: 1
  • PzKpfw I Ausf C: 0, 40
    • Production: 1942, July 1942 - December 1942
    • Manufacturer: Krauss-Maffei, Daimler-Benz


  • VK 601: Prototype.
  • PzKpfw I Ausf C:


Two were used in combat evaluation in the 1st Panzer Division in Russia in early 1943. The rest were issued to reserve units of the LVIII Panzer Reserve Korps.


  Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf C
Crew 2
Radio FuG5, FuG Spr. Gr. "a"
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 7.9 tons, 8 tons, 9 tons
Length 4.19 m
Height 1.94 m
Width 1.92 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Main EW141 MG
20 mm
20 mm EW 141
MG 7.92 mm MG13
MG - coaxial MG 34
7.92 mm MG
Side arms  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 30, 30
Front: 1.2", 30
Hull Front, Upper 30@10°
Hull Front, Lower 30@20°
Hull Sides, Upper 20@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 20@0°
Hull Rear 20@15° & 20@30°
Hull Top 10@82.5-90° & 10@90°
Hull Bottom 10@82.5-90° & 10@90°
Turret Front 30@13°
Mantlet: 30 round
Turret Sides 20@24°
Turret Rear 20@6.5°
Turret Top 10@80-90°
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 45
Maybach HL45P
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 6
Capacity 146 liters (2 tanks)
Net HP 150
150@3,800 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 8 forward, 2 reverse
Steering ratio  
Electrical system  
Fuel (Type)  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Traverse 360°, hand
Speed - Road 31 mph, 40 mph, 49 mph, 50 mph
50 kph, 65 kph, 79 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 94 miles
300 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +20°
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side 0
Tracks (Type)  
Number of links  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  


  1. AFV Collection No. 1 Panzer I The Beginning of a Dynasty, Lucas Molina Franco, 2005
  2. Panzers At War, Michael and Gladys Green, 2005
  3. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  7. AFV #15 Panzerkampfwagen I & II, Major-General N. W. Duncan
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site