ESCI German Paratroopers with a 2.8 cm sPzB 41 taper-bore heavy anti-tank rifle. The Airfix model of the sPzB 41 was included in the first issue figure sets of German Infantry and German Afrikakorps which were upgraded and re-issued in the early 1970s. The taper-bore anti-tank rifles were not included in the re-issued figure sets. The small wheels are from an Airfix Spitfire fighter aircraft, but they are still too big for the airborne version of the sPzB 41.
The 2.8 cm Schwere Panzerbüchse 41 was based on the 20 mm Solothurn S.18/100 anti-tank rifle. The weapon had a tapering bore which reduced the soft metal jacket of the projectile from 28 mm to 20 mm. The tapering barrel construction resulted in a very high muzzle velocity, and increased armour penetration which exceeded that of the 20 mm anti-tank rifle by about 300 percent. Despite its superb armour penetration characteristics, the 2.8 cm sPzB 41 was considered obsolete by 1942, when the Allies replaced their flimsy light tanks with better protected medium tank designs. Production of the sPzB 41 ceased in 1943, and remaining s.Panzerbüchse 41 anti-tank rifles were handed down to Italian army units fighting in North Africa.
German Schützenpanzerwagen 250/11 light armoured personnel carriers were armed with the sPzB 41, and a number of Sd.Kfz. 221 light armoured cars had their light machine gun replaced with the more potent taper-bore anti-tank rifle The British army used captured sPzB 41 anti-tank guns in North Africa, as long as sufficient ammunition for it could be found.
Available Scale Model Kits
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41, 1:6 Dragon D80032
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41, 1:16 cyberhobby 70514
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41 with JF8 Trailer and Horse, 1:35 Dragon
- Photo-etched parts for s.PzB 41, 1:35 Eduard 3935903
- Leichter Panzerspähwagen Sd.Kfz. 221 with 2.8 cm s.PzB 41, 1:35 Sovereign S2KV013
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41 with JF8 Trailer, 1:72 Attack Hobby Kits 72307
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41, 20 mm Raventhorpe
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41, 1:76 Airfix 01705 (German Infanterie, Series 1)
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41, 1:76 Airfix 01711 (Afrikakorps, Series 1)
- 2.8 cm s.PzB 41, 1:76 Milicast G24
- Calibre: 28/20 mm
- Barrel Length: L.86 (1714 mm)
- Weight: 229 kg
- Elevation: -5° to +45°
- Traverse: 70°
- Rate of Fire: 30 shots per minute
- Muzzle Velocity: 1400 m/sec
- Effective Range: 500 m
- Armour Penetration at 0-100 m:
- 94 mm using A.P.S.V./A.P.S.B.
- Crew: 3
- Production: 1940–1943 (2797 units)
- Hogg, Ian: Twentieth-Century Artillery
- Weeks, John: Men Against Tanks
- Sd.Kfz. 221 leichter Panzerspähwagen mit s.Pz.B. 41
- Sd.Kfz. 250/11 leichter Schützenpanzerwagen mit s.Pz.B. 41
Mounted on light armoured half-tracks and armoured cars, the 2.8 cm Schwere Panzerbüchse 41 may come as an unpleasant surprise to wargamers who easily confuse this weapon with the comparatively harmless German 3.7 cm Pak 35/36 anti-tank gun.