Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma crew positions

Real quick… . Which booby hatch on the turret of the Puma was the commanders? Instruction sheet implies the right (which jives with most German tanks with two turret hatches) but the left hatch is bigger, which would make more sense. Also, Panzer Lehr recce troops . . . . Black Panzer uniforms or Feldgrau Stug uniforms?

Good question. There were only two turret crew in the Puma, the gunner and the commander/loader. There were two additional crew members in the vehicle, both drivers (front and rear). The 5cm gun, in common with all other German tank guns, had the sights on the left, so that is where the gunner sat. So although it is contra-intuitive, the commanders hatch is the one on the right. As for uniforms, another good question. Panzer Lehr was the only unit in the German military (including the SS panzer divisions and “HG”) to have both its infantry regiments fully mechanised, or armoured (gepanzerte) in half tracks, so all ranks wore the field grey double breasted clothing like armoured artillery. This may be where the confusion comes in. I’m going to plump for the Black Panzer uniform for a closed vehicle, however I will qualify that by saying that the panzer denims in reed green were very popular with armoured car crews because of the camouflage effect. They were a lightweight suit, cut similarly to the Black Panzer Uniform, but in a greenish grey herringbone twill. An easy way to spot this uniform is that most had a distinctive large patch pocket on the left breast. It also seems that camouflaged clothing was quite popular in Panzer Lehr and privately tailored version of the Panzer Uniform exist in Splintermuster.


Can’t help you on commander’s hatch, previous post makes a good case. Uniforms are hard to nail down, the recon units seemed to have a lot of latitude, I’ve seen photos of all black, all field gray, and the reed green at various times. I just flipped through a couple of books on Normandy, and the mix is more pronounced, with members of same crew wearing different combinations (and adding camo to the list as well). However you choose to portray your crew’s uniforms, it would be difficult to say “that didn’t happen”.