The secret program for the development of army armored vehicles started with the search for optimal solutions and approaches. Soon a concept emerged, in accordance with which light and medium armored vehicles should be built, differing both in their technical appearance and in their intended use. Light vehicles were proposed to be built on the basis of the existing automobile chassis and used for reconnaissance. Medium armored cars, in turn, had to use their own chassis and solve fire support tasks.
General view of the Magirus M-ARW armored car. Photo Aviarmor.net
The program for the creation of medium armored vehicles capable of carrying relatively powerful armaments was called Mannschafstransportwagen or MTW - “Transport Vehicle for Personnel”. In 1927-28, this program has reached the stage of issuing technical specifications to contractors. In accordance with the requirements of the army, several leading automotive enterprises had to develop their own armored car designs.
The program attracted three companies that had solid experience in the construction of self-propelled vehicles, including combat vehicles: Magirus, Büssing-NAG and Daimler-Benz. In 1928, three projects were presented, created according to the existing technical specifications. All projects had their own designations. So, an armored car from the company Magirus was called M-ARW. This abbreviated name was decoded as Magirus-Achtradwagen - “Eight-wheeled vehicle from Magirus.”
In accordance with the requirements, a promising armored car on a specially designed chassis had to show the maximum possible maneuverability and maneuverability on rough terrain and cross water barriers. At the same time, he had to protect the crew from enemy fire and attack the enemy using a small-caliber cannon and a rifle caliber machine gun. Based on these requirements and taking into account limitations in size and weight, Magirus specialists formed the original look of the future M-ARW.
In accordance with the technical specifications, the armored car had to be based on its own chassis, developed from scratch. In addition, it should be equipped with specially designed armored hull with anti-bullet protection. These tasks have been successfully solved. The M-ARW project involved the use of a four-axle chassis, covered with an unusual shape armored hull. The case itself was carrying and assumed all the basic loads, which made it possible to abandon a separate frame and obtain the desired characteristics.
They decided to assemble the case from several large sheets-sections of complex curved shape, which formed a single surface with a minimum of protruding parts. All booking elements had the same thickness - 13,5 mm, which made it possible to protect the crew and units from small bullets weapons. The front of the case was given under some transmission devices and the driver's workplace. The central compartment served as a fighting compartment, aft - motor.
The prototype used to work out the chassis. Photo Aviarmor.net
Prefabricated building, consisting of several large parts, different original form. His forehead had a wedge-shaped profile with a central bend. With the help of curved cheekbones such a forehead was connected to the sides, which were slightly spilled outward. The upper frontal hull element was located with a significant slope. In the central part of the hull, a slightly curved roof was provided, the central part of which was the turret sheet.
Subsequently, the body was reworked by adding a protruding podgashennuyu box, made in the form of a rectangular unit. Its back part differed a little increased sizes and the changed form. The hull feed during the development of the project remained unchanged. She looked like a frontal unit, but differed in increased length. In addition, it was proposed to use a vertical rear sheet with several technological openings.
Initially, the project Magirus M-ARW included the use of a tower with a hemispherical cap. In the frontal part of such an armored unit should have embrasures gun and machine gun. Subsequently, the project attracted the company Rheinmetall-Borsig, whose employees have developed a new version of the fighting compartment. For some increase in internal volumes, the dome of the tower was made in the form of a truncated cone with a sloping roof and other means of mounting weapons.
The Daimler-Benz M36 petrol engine with an 100 horsepower capacity housed in the aft compartment of the hull. With the engine connected gearbox, providing five speeds forward and reverse. A rather complicated mechanical transmission produced engine torque on all eight driving wheels and on the stern propeller.
As part of the chassis used eight single wheels on four axles. The axes were located at different distances from each other. The gap between the second and third wheels was minimal, which is why they had a common wheel arch. The first and fourth axles were at a greater distance from the nearest wheels.
Back view. Photo Ost-front.ru
To reduce the weight of the wheels equipped cast aluminum wheels. In order to obtain maximum maneuverability, the front and rear pairs of wheels were made manageable. M-ARW armored car could move through the water. For this purpose, a propeller propeller drive was located in the aft compartment. The shaft was brought out at the bottom of the stern sheet; It was proposed to install the screw on it only before launching it into the water.
In accordance with the first version of the project, the prospective armored car was supposed to carry gun-machine guns. In the front embrasures of the hemispherical tower, it was proposed to place an 37-mm cannon and a machine gun with an 7,92 caliber of mm. Turning the entire tower was to provide horizontal guidance in any direction. Arms mounting mechanisms allowed firing with elevation angles from -10 ° to + 70 °. The ammunition consisted of 66 shells and several thousand cartridges in ribbons.
The second version of the tower received other weapons. In its frontal parts placed a couple of ball mounts for two Schwarzlose machine guns. Two water-cooled machine guns on their own installations could be induced independently of each other and simultaneously fire at different targets in the same sector of space. General ammunition consisted of 1050 cartridges in tapes.
The crew of the Magirus M-ARW armored car was to consist of five people. In front of the car were the driver and his assistant. In accordance with the earlier version of the project, it was proposed to observe using a pair of hemispherical devices with viewing slots. Subsequently, the body received a couple of inspection slots in the front sheet of the turret box. Access to the control compartment was provided by a rectangular hatch in the upper frontal part.
Two arrows and the commander had to work in the fighting compartment. At the stern of the tower from Rheinmetall-Borsig a rectangular hatch was provided for landing in the car. In the roof there were several groups of viewing slots, which allowed to monitor the situation or search for targets for machine guns.
In accordance with the project, the M-ARW armored car was supposed to have a length of 8,45 m with a width of 2,28 m and a height of 2,14 m. The combat weight was set at the level of 7,8 t. Having a power density of more than 13 hp per ton such a machine could reach a highway speed up to 65 km / h. Stock progress - 250 km. The wheeled chassis made it possible to climb an 18-degree slope or a wall 30 cm high and overcome trenches 1,15 m wide.
Photo for memory: personnel and armored car. Photo Ost-front.ru
In 1928, the Reichswehr command was introduced to three new projects, and immediately noted Magirus M-ARW as the most successful. From the other two developments of the Mannschafstransportwagen program, this machine already at the design stage was distinguished by higher technical and combat characteristics. Nevertheless, the military did not rush to conclusions, and ordered the construction of several new armored vehicles of various types.
In 1929, Magirus plant built the first prototype model of the future armored car. Since a completely new chassis was used in the perspective project, the tests decided to start with its testing. For this, an eight-wheel machine was built with a complete set of powertrain and transmission units. Instead of the required armor hull, she received a wood structure that had a comparable weight. It is noteworthy that such a prototype differed from the designed armored car with angular body shapes.
A simplified prototype with a wooden case successfully coped with running tests, after which the company-developer had the opportunity to begin construction of a full-fledged prototype. According to the test results, the armored car was equipped with a new turret box and some other devices. A fully equipped armored combat vehicle with a “new” conical turret was completed at the start of the 1930 of the year.
Germany carefully concealed its new projects from a number of foreign countries, creating the illusion of compliance with all existing agreements. In this regard, in 1929-30, the German military sent a number of promising models of armored vehicles to tank Kama school, which worked near Kazan. Thus, from a certain moment all tests of the M-ARW armored car were carried out only on Soviet territory. Volga landfills were used to determine the real characteristics of the equipment, which allowed us to draw the necessary conclusions.
Some sources mention the construction of several new armored cars, also intended for testing. However, further events and preserved documents show that the Magirus armored car, fully compliant with the project, was built only in one copy. Thus, there is every reason to believe that in all cases we are talking only about one experienced M-ARW armored car, which allowed us to determine all the real prospects for the project.
Magirus M-ARW on the road. Perhaps a photo from the school "Kama". Photo Shushpanzer-ru.livejournal.com
Tests of an experienced armored car lasted for several years, until the closure of the Kama school. At the same time, the real prospects of such technology were identified fairly quickly. In terms of characteristics and capabilities, the armored car was not of particular interest to the army. The main reason for such negative conclusions was the excessive complexity of the project. For example, the armor case, consisting of several large curved panels, turned out to be unacceptably complex and expensive for mass production. The eight-wheeled chassis, with all its advantages, also did not differ in simplicity.
According to some data, during the inspections, operational problems repeatedly manifested themselves, which made maintenance difficult. Nevertheless, from this point of view, the Magirus M-ARW armored car hardly differed from other samples of German military equipment, including those created under the MTW program.
The fighting qualities of the armored car turned out to be ambiguous. The crew was reliably protected from the enemy’s small arms, and could also respond to it with its machine-gun fire. Two independent-directed machine guns in a full-swing turret to some extent increased the effectiveness of shooting. However, the Schwarzlose armament complex in the form of two Schwarzlose products clearly lost to the previously proposed system with an 7,92-mm machine gun and an 37-mm gun. As shown by the further development of armored vehicles, the combined cannon-machine-gun complex had great prospects.
In 1932, the German command made a fundamental decision not to further develop the M-ARW project. At about the same time, the military abandoned other projects of the Mannschafstransportwagen family. However, the tests did not stop. Over the next few months, an experienced armored car continued to drive along the tracks of the test site and demonstrate its real capabilities. Now the purpose of the test was to collect information needed to create new projects of wheeled armored vehicles.
In the middle of 1933, Germany, having decided to close its facilities in the USSR, began to export equipment and machinery. According to the surviving documents, by the autumn of the same year, 10 tanks and one eight-wheeled armored car, as well as spare parts, were removed from the Kama school. Apparently, the Magirus M-ARW, tested in the Soviet Union, was the only machine of its type, and other experienced armored cars of this model were not built.
Armored M-ARW and Daimler DZVR. Photo Aviarmor.net
It is known that after returning to Germany the only armored car from Magirus was not accepted for service. In addition, there is no information about the continuation of the tests of this technique. Probably, all the necessary results were obtained during the inspections at the Soviet site, and new tests were no longer required. The armored car had already been abandoned, and therefore it had no real prospects.
Exact information about the future of an experienced M-ARW is not available. Shortly after returning to Germany, car tracks are lost, which suggests its soonest end. A no longer needed prototype could be disassembled and sent to melted down. Similarly, the German command ordered with other experienced machines built under the MTW program.
Armored Magirus M-ARW coped with the tests and, in general, showed himself well, but was not adopted. Having rather high technical and combat characteristics, this machine was distinguished by unacceptable production complexity and high cost. Under the conditions of that time, Germany could not develop a full-fledged mass production of such armored vehicles, and therefore the military abandoned new projects.
However, the achievements of the project are not lost. As part of the Mannschafstransportwagen program, German engineers and the military collected a lot of important information regarding various aspects of the design and operation of armored vehicles. Using the knowledge gained, German specialists soon developed new projects. Soon the newest armored cars Sd.Kfz.231 (6-rad) and Sd.Kfz.231 (8-rad) went to the series. This armored vehicle was also not without flaws, but it was built with a rather large series and was actively exploited. The service of the new wheeled armored vehicles continued until the end of the Second World War.
Wishing to build full-fledged armored forces, Germany secretly launched a special program MTW, within the framework of which several armored vehicles were developed at once. Lack of experience did not immediately create a successful technique suitable for full operation in the army. At the same time, it was the new projects that soon became the source of the necessary experience, and thus contributed to the further development of German military equipment.
Chamberlain P., Doyle H. Encyclopedia of German tanks of the Second World War II 1933-1945. AST / Astrel, M .: 2003.