MAQ-3547 1/35 Marder IID German WW2 Self-Propelled Gun model kitIn the pre-war years, the Pz. Kw II LaS 100 light tank was the backbone of the German armor forces. It was introduced into service in 1935. Later, in 1938, Daimler-Benz introduced the LaS 138 type, which was fielded as the Pz Kw II (Sd Kfz 121) or fast fighting vehicle. While the turret and superstructure resembled the earlier Pz Kw II, this series was the first to use torsion bar suspensions. During 1938-39 nearly 250 of these fast machines were produced.
During 1940 some of these vehicles were converted into flame throwing tanks. As these vehicles were not terribly successful they became the first of the series to form the basis for different types of self-propelled gun carriages.
By late 1941, it was clear that additional firepower was needed for the Eastern front. On December 20th 1941, the weapons department was ordered to construct a self-propelled anti-tank vehicle using the captured Soviet 7.62 cm gun. These machines were a wartime expedient and were given to Alkett to complete without a development contract. By May 42 a total of 150 of these vehicles had been turned out. An extension contract for a further 60 was issued. The supply of these carriages depended on the supply of repaired Pz Kw II flam chassis. The official designation of this vehicle was the PX Sfl II fur 7.62 cm Pak 36 (Sd Kfz 132) Marder II. The concept was so successful that from 1942 on the earlier standard Pz II chassis were modified to carry the then available 7.5 cm PaK 40/2 as the Marder II. Later still, the excellent Czech Pz 38(t) chassis was also modified to become the Marder III.