Following a series of Army directives in 1932, Demag of Wetter Ruhr commenced work on the design of a semi-tracked artillery tractor capable of towing a one-ton load at high speed. The first vehicle of the series DII1 appeared in 1934. Development continued over the following years until 1937 when the pre-production model D6 was produced. The following year the D7 with a larger capacity Maybach NL38 and then HL42 appeared in service. This vehicle remained in production, with the design virtually unchanged, until 1944. In 1939 a new, even faster version was planned. As, however, the existing production vehicle was considered satisfactory, and this “D8” model did not move beyond the design stage.
The ability to carry almost 1.5 tons over broken ground led to the adoption of the chassis as a carriage for several different equipment types and weapons systems such as the self-propelled mount for the 2cm Flak 30 or 38. At the front, some were converted to mount the 37mm Pak 36 or 50mm Pak 38 anti-tank guns. Many were used to tow Nebelwerfers, and by 1943 they could be seen towing 75mm Pak 40’s, a load which exceeded their original design capacity.
Assembly of the leichte Zugkraftwagen 1t was undertaken by Demag. Adlerwerke, Büssing-NAG, MWC, MNH and Saurer.
From 1939 work commenced fitting an armoured superstructure on a shortened armoured version of this chassis, subsequently becoming the Demag D7p. This was the basis of the Leichter Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250 series).
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