New for early war German Panzer formations is this command vehicle – the Panzer-Befehlswagen I. Rules for this new vehicle can be found in the Tank War supplement….
Germany’s first purpose built command tank, the Sd.Kfz 265 Panzer-Befehlswagen gave the commanders of armoured formations the protection they would need as they travelled with the panzers into battle.
Based on the hull os the Panzer I Ausf. B light tank, the turret was removed to make way for the addition of a FuG6 radio transmitter – something the original tank lacked. The change from turret to heightened fighting compartment also meant there was room to add a radio operator – another element lacking in the Panzer I. Although the turret was lost, the new design retained one of the two machine guns for defence.
During the late 1930s and into the early years of WWII, the PzBefw I became a standard feature in Panzer divisions. 190 were produced between 1935 and 1937 with 96 of those still in use during the invasions of France and the low countries in 1940. Following those campaigns the vehicles were withdrawn from use at company level, only remaining at higher levels. Even so, by this time the PzBefw I was all but obsolete.