Alkett VsKfz 617 is a mine sweeper tank designed by Alkett, Krupp and Mercedes-Benz with a silhouette truly worthy of a machine of science fiction. In appearance, this tank looks more like a tractor.
The hull of the vehicle was covered in variable shielding between 10-40 mm, with a floor shielding of 40 mm designed to resist the explosion of multiple mines. The floor itself was reinforced by an additional shielding of 20 mm inside the machine for added protection
The first prototype VsKfz was completed in 1942. The presence of manufacturing plates in the vehicle makes it possible to establish the following conclusions: The manufacturer was Alkett of Berlin and on a plate Nmr VsKfz 617 and Nmr 9537 is engraved. VsKfz 617 refers to a Pzkfw 1 tank and 9537 is the chassis number. That would imply that the turret is of an Ausf. A type but this one has the specific characteristics of an Ausf. B; in particular, the hooks of turret (Traghaken) are located on the top and not the side walls of an Ausf. A. The superstructure possesses a turret of the Pz.Kpfw I tank which is equipped with two 7.92mm MG-34 machine guns ensuring the close defense of the machine.
Length : 6.28 meters (20.724 ft)
Width : 3.22 meters (10.626 ft)
Height : 2.90 meters (9.57 ft)
Weight : 50 tons (100,000 lbs)
Shielding : between 10-40 mm (up to 1.6 in)
Armament : 2x 7.92mm MG34