By 1942 the German Panzer II tanks gun and armour had become obsolete with the fast pace of tank development during World War 2. Its turret sized limited its ability to mount larger effective anti-tank guns, though its chassis still provided good mobility on the battlefield.
So it was decided that Panzer II hulls would be converted to other fighting vehicles, which included the a Panzerjager, translated “Tank Hunter”. Production of the Marder II started in 1942.
The Marder II Tank Destroyer Description
With the turret removed an open toped structure was built where the crew operated the anti-tank gun and ammunition was stored.
Initially the gun used was a captured Russian 76mm anti-tank gun, which proved problematic as it relied on ammunition being captured from the Russians.Eventually an indigenous gun was fitted, the German 75mm Pak 40/2 capable of firing at a high-velocity armour piercing rounds.
As the structure offered little protection for the crew from tanks, it was used to ambush or stalk enemy tanks. The vehicle also carried a 7.92mm MG was carried to protect against infantry attacks.
The Marder II Tank Destroyer Service
A total of 576 German Marder II Tank Destroyer were built between June 1942 June 1943 and a further 75 were converted from damaged Panzer II tanks. The Marder II remained in service with the German Army until the end of the War and served on all fronts.
The Marder II Tank Destroyer Spec’s
Armament: 7.5mm Pak 40 anti-tank gun & x1 7.92mm MG
Armour: 35mm Steel
Dimensions: Length 6.36m / Width 2.28m / Height 2.2m
Weight: 10.8 tonne
Engine: 140hp Maybach 6 cylinder Petrol
Top Road Speed: 40 km/h
Operational Range: 190 km