Restoring the Panzer II Ausf.F


Yuri Pasholok recently posted a really interesting article about the restoration of the Russian museum Panzer II Ausf.F (from Kubinka). I was wondering whether to repost it, but in the end, it would be a damn shame if us westerners didn’t have a look too. It’s not a Hugo Boss uniform, but it will have to do :)

He states that this vehicle is quite rare in museums. This is the way it looks now:


It was made to look like this in Spring 2009 after a restoration by people called “Lavrinenko’s group” (who did some other restoration in Kubinka too apparently, since Yuri Pasholok calls them “the pioneers of Kubinka”), followed by a paint job by another group of people, called “Rodchenko’s group”. This is how the vehicle looked until 2009:


The original museum’s idea, according to Yuri Pasholok, was to make the tank actually operational and to use it during reenactments. It was generally in a bad shape and it needed restoration anyway. It turned out however that the tank is completely empty and all his inside components were taken out for “testing”. After that there was some delay and the work to bring it to current state began in Autumn 2008.

While the restorators were fixing the “metal” parts, Yuri Pasholok was apparently personally interested in recovering the old paintjob. What that means is, using a spatula or something, one layer of paint (there were several) was removed, until some old markings were found, like this:


Originally, the marking looked like this:


Furthermore, an inscription “БРОНЯ 15 мм” (“armor 15mm”) was found on the right side. This means that the vehicle actually took part in the captured tech exposition in Moscow. Yuri Pasholok states that other expositions vehicles from the museum came from there as well. As a part of the other works on the vehicle, original cross markings were found on the hull under the turret:


Yuri Pasholok notes that one interesting thing about this vehicle was that there was no “grey” color. The first layer of color was the pink-red primer and after that, the vehicle was painted with classic Dunkelgelb color in February 1943


He explains that it means that this vehicle underwent a complete overhault at least once, in which the original “schwarzgrau” (grey) color (RAL 7021) was scrubbed off completely and the Dunkelgelb was put on it instead. This is roughly how the vehicle looked (markings on their places):


It’s not possible to tell, which unit did the tank belong to, as no division markings were found. But it’s possible to tell the manufacturer, because serial number was found both on the turret and on the hull:


In this case “dxf” is the code of the armor plate manufacturer (Eisen und Huettenwerke A.G., Bochum – apparently the company still exists). However, Yuri Pasholok states that the manufacturer (assembly plant) itself is much more interesting. From August 1941, the production of Panzer II Ausf.F began in the FAMO plant in Wroclaw. But that wasn’t the main producer of this tank – only 40 were made in 1941 and 80 in 1942. At first, the 9/La.S.100 (factory index of Panzer II Ausf.F) was supposed to be produced by Alkett and FAMO. But on 19.9.1940, they lost the contract and the main producer became the Ursus company from Warsaw.

Here, Yuri Pasholok states that “of course, the Polish tried to hide this awkward fact, but you can’t escape the truth” – honestly, I don’t see anything awkward about it, it’s not like Czech Škoda and ČKD didn’t produce for the nazis – it was that, or starve (or get to a “shower”) – I actually think the awkward part for Soviets is that they had to fight the vehicles, produced in a country they helped to bring down.

This Panzer II Ausf.F was created apparently in Warsaw at the end of April 1942. In general, these vehicles (Yuri Pasholok calls them the “pride of Polish tank engineering” ironically) were built from March 1941 to July 1942 and 389 pieces were made. After that, Wespe was built until Summer 1944. Yuri Pasholok again ironically states that “Warsaw can be proud of these tanks, especially serial numbers 28329 and 28332, belonging to SS-Pz.Abt.5 from SS Division “Wiking”.


And this is how the vehicle looked almost prepared for the transport back.







49 thoughts on “Restoring the Panzer II Ausf.F

  1. Would have been a great article if it weren’t for the fact that Yuri is a complete and total ass. Seriously? The german fanbois that lurk around in cyberspace were terrible but at least they’re usually in no position of power or of significance. This joker on the other hand…. sheesh. I don’t know how people can take him seriously.

    • I dont mind, its good to see Yuri not trolling this time and making an something interesting and worthwhile. Its a welcome change from other posts I’ve seen coming from him. I like it, even tho he would be the last one I’d expect to publish some eyecandy for the german fanboys.

      Just to think that with machines like these the Germans brought down the allied armies early in the war. But even in those early years, what could a crew of a PzII possibly hope to achieve against an actually decent machine like a B1, Valentine, Matilda or Somua tank?

      While even then the tanks like these were already clearly inferior, the Germans kept using them even at the invasion of Russia. Any aircraft, tank or hidden AT gun would knock you out. These tanks, and Czech 35 and 38 tanks were still widely used (and not just for recon), but these tanks simply could not tolerate any AT fire. I’m not saying that the Heer used only these tanks, but its no small wonder why Germany suffered such high losses pretty much throughout the entire Russian campaign.

      What these tanks do teach is that good coordination goes a long way. The successes of the German & Czech light tanks cannot be denied.

      • I actually logged in just to reply to you:

        you make excellent points, in terms of armor, france, and Soviet Russia had the technological advantage, however thats what all they had.

        it took sheer skill and training to overcome such obstacles at first, however France was using WWI “trench” tactics at the beginning of the war, they did not, or could not grasp the concept of blitzkrieg, and despite their initial encounters, most of the divisions had their tanks spread over the fronts, and could be taken apart one by one. those tank concentrations the germans encountered where quickly surrounded and left contained for the subsequent armed divisions that followed, this, tactically, would isolate the units form any form or resupply or contact within their high command, and all the enemy had to do is wait until they became desperate for fuel and supplies, leading to an ulterior and terrible defeat.

        thats how Germans won against france, with such tiny and poorly armer/armored vehicles.

        In Russia, the events at the beggining was more or less the same, excpet that this little machines could not cover such a massive front as quickly, suffered brutal amount of mechanical problems and lack of supply due the front getting farther and wider, and unlike the b1 whose tactical weakspot was the radiators ar the side, being shot at with repeated force would break the panel and eventually kill the engine within minutes due overheating. the KV1 was a “tank” by all definitions and would bounce about anything the germans tossed at him, until Von Manstein, actually had the brilliant idea to use the 88mm flak cannon against it using composite armor piercing shells.

        “To win a war you dont need a frightening machine, just a tactic that your enemy considers unpractical to win, thus win with it” -Rommel

  2. According to wikipedia (sorry, just a quick search), Ursus factory in Warsaw was nationalised in the 30′ and merged into PZInż.

    and then:
    “Shortly after the outbreak of the World War II and the German occupation of Poland, the PZInż was confiscated by the German state, its factories dismantled and sent to Germany while a large part of the engineers were either killed or sent to Germany as slave workers. After the Warsaw Uprising the Warsaw headquarters of the PZInż was blown up, not to be rebuilt after the war. In 1946 the Ursus works started to be rebuilt and eventually became a large tractor factory.”

    some Pole should know more about it and if this information is correct, hes even bigger commie asshole than i have ever thought.

    • As far as I know the Ursus factory was almost fully disassembled between 1939/1940. What was left was given to Fahrzeug und Motorenbau (FAMO)/Junkers, as a division of FAMO factory in Wrocław/Breslau. In Ursus they created, using factory buldings and some left off machines, factory that made Pz II and its modifications. To mention one: Wespe. Some other motification on this chassis were also made there, like ammunition and rescue vechices. Hope this helps.

      • Yuris BS biggot nationality trolling is getting annoying. WG must be proud to have such a #¤%& connected to their brand name.

        Yuri is either lying or making stuff up to fit with his BS about poles trying to hide anything, this episode is duly noted in the history section of Ursus main page. The english translation though does seem different from the polish description.

        Another intereseting fact maybe for you SS. Ursus had some major connections with Chehoslovakia after 1961. Read it in their english section.

  3. Now why can’t Yuri Pashalok give us more informative stuff like this, instead of the typical trolling we get from WG in general (sans a few exceptions)? I’m sure people would have a much better opinion of him if he did (or maybe not, but you can’t please everyone).

    • Define “people” . He correct in calling out the blog readers . Many have a higher opinion of him for calling out BS ..

  4. This Yuri guy is sure an asshole, but if this is all his research work (as in not made up)
    I will said he is doing his job rather exceptionally well.

    • Well??? It is hard to say because of the way the archives work there are few accredited researchers and they have to be Russian nationals so there is no one to compare his work to. He may be the only one digging for tank drawings, data and reports or one of very few. It could be very difficult to dig out information or it could be very easy and he is drip feeding it out to inflate his self importance. From the way he seems to need to put down other nations and pump up his own he seems to lack the sort of objectivity that makes for good historians. I trust him about as far as I could throw a KV-4.

  5. I would like to see Yuri go to Warsaw, and in the Praga district, shout out all of what he think about Poles. If he was to do that, I would applaud him.

  6. If PzKpfw 2s were produced in Poland, we can be sure that they were manufactured with some malfunctions, as Polish workers tries to sabotage as much of german industry as possible ;)

  7. “I actually think the awkward part for Soviets is that they had to fight the vehicles, produced in a country they helped to bring down.”
    This ^^^

    I think most countries like to blame others for awkwardness. History is what happens. Stupidity is the blame game afterwards. Especially when nobody learns from the mistakes.

  8. If that childish oaf Pashalok is reading this (which no doubt he is), perhaps he would like to compare Poland with Russia.

    Poland produced tanks for Germany under threat of death or starvation, but Russia gave vast supplies to Germany practically up until the day Germany invaded Russia, under no such threat. So if he thinks Poland should feel shame, one can only imagine his disgust at Russian actions.

    I would love to hear his comments on this.

  9. I’m a Pole, and those lies “produced” by mr. Pasholok are true insult to me. He sugests that Poland was Hitler’s ally and all Poles were Nazis. It can not be accepted! And the worst problem is that this is spread by someone claiming to be a “WG specialist” which means that many people (especially in Russia) will belive him.

  10. Well my Polish brothers (do not laugh, I really meant it I am Hungarian) please do not upset You on bad joke. Let’s face it: Poland, Hungary, Croatia were and are on the so called buffer zone between the so called east and west. Whatever there is happens, we (the Polish, the Hungarians and the Croatians) are the guilty ones. Do not care, do not upset let’s it happens …. By the way, the only PzKpwg II’s were in North-Africa with Erwin Rommel; those dark gelb color was introduced just in january 1942 or 1943 (I do not remember exactly). By the way: Zubrowka jest ili njet? That is the real question (sorry my Polish is very poor).

  11. Would that not be kickass to drive! I have driven a D9, Bobcat and tractors through my life and its fun to think if only they were tanks!

  12. I wonder why people stil have to play cards like these…
    The current generation has nothing to do with what their forefathers did and if Mr. Pasholok thinks this is the ritght way how to deal with historical research and education he can start at his own front door and take a tour back to incidents where the soviets did cooperate with the nazis and raided poland before any Ursus remnants produced anything for the III Reich and well didn’t they stop their “liberation” of poland so that the germans could successfully bring down warsaw uprising?!?!?

    WG should seriously think of treating this game as is – a game using military tech and sites as a context but stay away from nursing old enmities and prejudices. Don’t forget you want to be a global player in our times.

    “Don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house.”

    Sometimes I have the feeling some fans of go’old times have an inferiority complex due to the fail of socialism and some former warsaw pact countries deal with it better than others….not to mention the former enemies.

    On the positive side – thanks for preserving and restoring historical items WG!