WORLD'S FIRST ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS
Kätzchen, prototype APC vehicle
BMM Kätzchen, World’s first dedicated APC, 1945
Type : Armored Personnel Carrier
Length : 4.22m (13.9 ft)
Width : 2.34m (7.7 ft)
Height : 1.45m (4.8 ft)
Engine : Maybach HL50
Armament : 1 or 2 7.92mm MG42 Machine Gun
BMM Kätzchen under construction
BMM Kätzchen prototype view of interior plus MG mounts
Rival Auto Union Kätzchen prototype in 1945
This prototype APC was built in 1944, but little known of what became of it later.
Kätzchen appears to be the original forerunner of modern day Armored Personnel Carriers.
In June 1915 Bremer was given the go-ahead. The Marienwagen cross-country lorry, produced in the Daimler factory at Berlin-Marienfelde, was a pretty complicated vehicle, that went through several re-designs and tests (not all successful), and which appeared in several forms, some semi-tracked, others full-tracked - although the basis of them all was the Daimler four-ton lorry.
The result of this work was the armoured Marienwagen, or as it was called officially Marienwagen I mit Panzeraufbau. This can be seen as the first German tank, since it was completed by the early Spring of 1917. But it was not a tank technically speaking, only tactically.
Officials had already in October 1916 declared that the Marienwagen was not suitable to be used as a AFV, but work continued despite this. (Also, the Prussian War Office pressed ahead with the work on setting up on setting up the very first armoured units of the German Army, the ancestors of the famed Panzer Divisions!: Sturm-Panzerkraftwagen-Abteilung 1 and 2).
Later on, as a private venture, a semi-tracked version of the Marienwagen (for which a much more satisfactory type of rear track had been developed) was fitted with the armoured hull and turret of an Ehrhardt armoured car. This was only an experimental vehicle, but is interesting in foreshadowing the impressive development by the Germans of armoured halftracks in WW2
STRANGE VEHICLES OF PRE-WAR