Romanian armored cars during World War II
During the Second World War, the Romanian Army possessed around 200 armored cars. These ranged from captured inoperable Soviet vehicles to modern German and Italian front line models, as well as internal security vehicles.
Conducător's security battalion
At the start of World War II, Romania owned a total of 19 armored cars. All were used by the security battalion of Conducător Ion Antonescu. Six of these vehicles dated from World War I (two French Peugeot Armored Cars and four Russian Austin-Putilovs). The remaining thirteen were modern Czechoslovak vehicles which escaped from Ruthenia in early 1939, namely ten Tatra armored cars and three produced by Škoda.
Front line vehicles
The first front line combat armored cars were acquired in late 1942-early 1943. They comprised 11 Leichter Panzerspähwagens (six Sd. Kfz. 222 and five Sd. Kfz. 223). A much more significant delivery came in August 1943, when the Germans transferred 40 Sd. Kfz. 222 along with 8 Italian-built AB 41s. In 1941, Romania built one armored car prototype armed with one Czechoslovak-made 37 mm gun.
By October 1941, 103 Soviet armored cars were captured by the Romanian Army. Most of these vehicles, however, were not serviceable. The captured Soviet armored cars (or at least the ones which could be made serviceable) were of the BA-10 type. More Soviet vehicles were captured later, as evidenced by the presence of the BA-64 within the Romanian Army's ranks (this model started production only in 1942).
|Front line vehicles|
|Autoblindat Model 1941||Romania||1||Made in 1941|
|Sd. Kfz. 222||Germany||46||Most acquired in August 1943|
|Sd. Kfz. 223||Germany||35||Acquired in late 1942, early 1943 and 1944|
|AB-41||Italy||8||All acquired in August 1943|
|Internal security vehicles|
|Peugeot Armored Car||France||2||World War I model|
|Austin-Putilov||Russia||4||World War I model|
|OA vz. 30||Czechoslovakia||10||Acquired in early 1939|
|OA vz. 27||Czechoslovakia||3||Acquired in early 1939|
|Bulletproof Mercedes-Benz 770 W150||Germany||1||Marshal Antonescu's personal car, a gift from Hitler|
|Soviet Union||103+||Most captured by October 1941|
- Ronald L. Tarnstrom, Balkan Battles, Trogen Books, 1998, p. 341
- Samohýl Ladislav, Vacek Zdeněk, Fenomén Mercedes-Benz & Čechy, Morava a Slezsko, Grada Publishing, 2015, p. 34
- Corneliu Leu, The Novel of a Great Day, "Realitatea" Publishers Ltd, 2005, p. 130
- Steven J. Zaloga, Tanks of Hitler’s Eastern Allies 1941–45, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013, p. 30
- Ronald L. Tarnstrom, Balkan Battles, Trogen Books, 1998, p. 407
- Steven Zaloga, Romanian Armour in World War Two, Military Modelling, November 1987, ISSN 0026-4083
- Ronald L. Tarnstrom, Balkan Battles, Trogen Books, 1998, p. 345
- Manuel Granillo, Legiunea Romana: Romanian General's Handbook, Lulu Press, 2013