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KFzs– and why I’m doing France 1940 in 10mm

 

Kfzs

Left to Right a Kfz11 (Gv115 Stoewer Light PKW field car from Pithead Miniatures), a Kfz 15 (Gv57 Medium PKW also from Pithead Miniatures) and a Kfz69 or Kfz70 (Gr11 Horch 4×4 from Pendraken Miniatures).

I think I’ve finally wrapped my head round the German system of naming vehicles in orders of battle, which works by role rather than by type. The Kfz11 is the early war equivalent of the Volkswagen Kubelwagen  which became ubiquitous later in the war (it was not widely used until after the fall of France) , the Kfz 15 was slightly bigger and was used as a vehicle for Platoon Commanders, while the Horsch 4X4 was used as the main transport in some Panzer Divisions (including my choice of 7th Panzer) both for infantry, when it was designated as a Kfz70, and as a tow vehicle , when the same type of car gets designated as a a Kfz69.   I’ve not managed to find  a reference to tell me if the Kfz70s had towing hooks fitted or not, my bet is that they did.

Other Panzer Divisions used different makes of vehicle for their Kfz69s and 70s, Protzes for example, and in these cases the Kfz69s looked  different to the  Kfz70s.

So what’s all this got to do with my choosing 10mm for my 1940 French campaign miniatures rather than 15mm?  The answer is simple, cost.  I’ve now finished a 1:1 company of German Schützen from 7th Panzer Division to play with I Ain’t Been Shot Mum (it doubles up as a Battalion for Battlegroup Panzegrenadier), and it’s  very heavy on the transport – 25 Kfz 70s, 4 Kfz 15s and 1 Kfz11.  When I add in some PAK 35s as support that’s  an additional four Kfz 69s (same model as the Kfz70s in this case).

The total cost of all this lot in 10mm was  £42

The total cost if I’d chosen to do it in 15mm would have been astronomical.  Battlefront (Flames of War) charge £13.00 for two Horch 4x4s (and for some strange reason describe them as Kfz15s), so that would have been £195.  Skytrex Command Decision are slightly cheaper at £6.00 for a Horch and they do a Kfz 16 Field car (indistinguishable from a Kfz15) also for £6.00.  QRF do not do the Horch 4×4, though they do a  Steyr which is very similar.  I cannot find an early War Kfz11 in 15mm anywhere, everyone seems to think the Volkswagen Kubelwagen will do.  So that would be over £200 for either Battlefront or Skytrex and £160 were I to use QRFs and settle for Steyrs rather than Horches.

Most tanks for this period are £2.05 each from Pendraken (but going up soon) compared to  £4.50 or £6.00 from QRF or £6.50 plus buying from Battlefront.  Another considerable saving.

The unit of Matildas I built to represent 7th RTR in Battlegroup Panzergrenadier cost me £43, it would be £124 with QRF 15mms and more than £140 with Battlefront.  Skytrex don’t do the Matilda I.

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent stuff. If I were to start over in WW2 I too would go for 10mm. As it is right now I have too much time and money invested in 20mm for large skirmish games and 6mm for larger engagements.

    One thing to note is that even tanks got the Kfz numbering system, but they have the Sd. prefix. Kfz simply means Kraftfahrzug or “motor vehicle”, while Sd.Kfz. means Sonderkraftfahrzug of special motor vehicle.

    Thus we get the slightly hilarious official name for the Marder IIIM:
    “Panzerjäger 38(t) mit 7.5 cm PaK 40/3 Ausf.M, Sd.Kfz. 138.”

    I have not managed to understand when a variant got an ausf. designation and when it got a new number, or indeed even a /number.

    For instance, the Sd.Kfz 233 is just a Sd.Kfz232 with a long range radio and antenna, while the Sd.Kfz 250/3 is a Sd.Kfz 250 with a long range radio…

    But I’m digressing. Keep up the good work, and yes I too love all the little quirky vehicles from early war!

  2. Derek says:

    I should have said that I’m beginning to get my head round the numbering system.

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