The surviving VsKfz 617 Minenräumer at the Kubinka tank museum in Russia.

The surviving VsKfz 617 Minenräumer at the Kubinka tank museum in Russia.

Germany’s Minenräumer (Vs.Kfz. 617) was a prototype armoured vehicle designed jointly by Krupp, Daimler-Benz and Alkett and built by Alkett; the purpose of the vehicle was clearing mine fields. Although the vehicle never went to production, the prototype survives and is on display at the Kubinka tank museum in Russia. The vehicle was designed to be capable of moving through a mine field impervious to the damage that might otherwise be caused to other AFVs; this of course led to the vehicle being extremely heavy and slow which was a major factor in the project being abandoned. The vehicle was armed with twin 7.92 mm MG-34 machine guns mounted in either a Panzer 1  Ausf. A or Ausf. B turret. The vehicle was protected by  between 10 and 40 mm of armour.

Works Cited:

1. Arndt, Rob. “ALKETT VsKfz 617 MINENRÄUMER (1942-1945).” STRANGE VEHICLES OF PRE-WAR GERMANY & THE THIRD REICH (1928-1945). N.p.. Web. 25 Oct 2013. <ALKETT VsKfz 617 MINENRÄUMER>.

2. Svirin, M. “Немецкий минный трал Minenraumer. Немецкие машины специального назначения времен Второй мировой войны. Немецкий минный трал Minenraumer.” Блокада Ленинграда Исторические события блокадного Ленинграда. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct 2013. <http://blokadaleningrada.ru/content/view/id-2341/>.