With the arrival of German troops in Belgium at the beginning of the First World War, the infantry was completely surprised by the appearance of Belgian Minerva type armored vehicles. These vehicles were well armored and equipped with weapons and sat down the German troops beyond measure to the defense. This meant that the German Ministry of War demanded the development of their own armored vehicles.
One development that met the requirements and went into series production was the Ehrhardt EV / 4.
Unlike the vehicles used by the Allies at this time of the war, EV / 4 were not hastily converted trucks, but real military vehicles.
Although the vehicle had an atypical and bulky shape with a motor on the front and a massive symmetrical hull, which was littered with single and double port hatches, as well as with sight slots, which were used to fire with machine guns can. The armored hull was bolted to a Daimler BaK platform car M1914, which was also used for a Krupp Flak 7.7-cm cannon. It was a four-wheel drive with a Daimler 80 hp engine. For night driving a narrow headlight was placed on the opposite side of the driver.
The hull was riveted and bolted, 9mm thick armor on the front and sides, and a central fixed turret was installed. The crew consisted of 9 men who could serve up to four machine guns at the same time.
The first series of 13 vehicles, referred to as the Ehrhardt 1915 armored car, was delivered in 1915-16 and used by the Panzer Motor Vehicles MG trains 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, each counting two vehicles and a support car. However, the vehicles on the Western Front could not develop their potential due to the war of position, so they were quickly sent to the Eastern Front, where their mobility really counted, in Romania in 1917 and on the Ukrainian front in 1918 they were also used.
This version had a completely revised frontal armor and the weight was reduced by 1.75 tonnes. Further, the armor on the bottom, the headlights and the rear wheels has been improved.
Both versions of the armored car Ehrhardt served on the Eastern Front until the end of the war. Subsequently, these were used as police vehicles in major cities, which led to further orders. Due to the conditions imposed by the victorious powers over the raw materials of the Weimar Republic and the destroyed economy, lower quality materials were used in the newer vehicles. In addition, the structure was increased so that the police could get a better overview of the environment.
Even the Freikorps associations maintained for years some of these vehicles.
You can find the right literature here:
Armored Vehicles of the German Army 1905-1945 (Spielberger German Armor and Military Vehicle)
This classic, definitive series continues with this volume on German armored vehicles from 1905-1945. Spielberger, a leading expert in the field of German military vehicles, presents the wide variety of four-, six-, and eight-wheeled types and their wide range of uses in this richly illustrated technical documentation. Types include the WWII era Sd.Kfz.231, Sd.Kfz.222, Sd.Kfz.232, and many others from a wide variety of manufacturers.
German Panzers 1914–18 (New Vanguard)
Panzer warfare is synonymous with the Wehrmacht of World War II. This book examines the story of the Panzer's more mysterious ancestors, the little-known panzers of the Great War. Germany was very slow to develop armored vehicles compared to Britain and France. Early attempts such as the Marienwagen of 1915 were technical failures, discouraging further design efforts until the utility of the tank was proven by the British and French in 1916-17. Efforts to catch-up proved difficult, and only a couple dozen German A7V tanks were completed in time to take part in the final campaigns of 1918. As a result, the majority of German panzer units actually used captured British tanks, the Beutepanzer. This book will trace the development of German panzers of the Great War, including the A7V and its intended but unfinished stablemates. Also included will be an overview of the use of panzers by the German Army in World War I including both A7V and Beutepanzer units.
The German A7V Tank and the Captured British Mark IV Tanks of World War I (A Foulis military book)
, 240 pages illustrated with over 25 black ans white photographs and line drawings, SIGNED by both Maxwell Hundleby and Rainer Strasheim on a label stuck down to the front pastedown
German Tanks in World War I: The A7V and Early Tank Development (Schiffer military history)
This book covers the earliest forms of German armored fighting vehicles used primarily in WWI.