After the Hawker Typhoon fighter was added to the R.A.F.'s inventory the Panzerwaffe endured heavy casualties and German troop movements became complicated. As the Typhoon was armed with 4 cannons and 8 rockets the German Military Command put out a requirement that a new armored car, intended to replace the out-of-date Sd.Kfz 231 (8 - Rad) and Sd.Kfz 232 (8 - Rad), should be able to resist air attacks.
The new Sd.Kfz 234 was equipped with a 20-mm KwK38 gun installed in a hexagonal turret, allowing 360 degree rotation and a good vertical arc of fire (from - 4 to + 70 degree). Installed the same way in the Sd.Kfz 222 and the Sd.Kfz 250/9 it showed itself to be very effective in combat. The low turret was covered by netting, and had 14.5 mm armor on side and 30 mm in front. A 7.92 mm MG 42 machine gun was also installed on the turret, offset to the left.
Nevertheless, as the Sd.Kfz 234/1 (as the new car was classified) was mainly designed for reconnaissance, it was equipped with two wireless stations (Fv. Ger 12SE80 and Fv. Ger "F") and a 2 meter radio aerial was fitted at the rear of turret.
Serial production of the Sd.Kfz 234/1 started in June 1944 and it was an opportune time, as the Allied Air forces dominated on the Western Front and the air raids of British and American ground attack aircraft were continuous.
Most of the 200 Sd.Kfz 234/1 produced up to the beginning of 1945 were sent to the Western Front and they fought there in the last battles of WWII.


Sd.Kfz.234/1 of 4 Panzer Division, Gdansk, February-March 1945
Performances
Overall length (with gun)5.86 m
Overall width2.33 m
Overall height2.1 m
Allowable weight11740 kg
Armored body8 mm sides, 30 mm in front.
EngineTatra 103
Maximum power155 kW
Maximum speed90 km/h
Range1000 km on road, 600 km off road
Armament20-mm KwK38 gun, and one 14.5mm MG42 machine gun
Crew4 men