In 1942, Germany developed a new vehicle which was based on the Panzer II hull and armed with the 75mm PaK 40 in order to counter superior Russian tanks. This vehicle was officially designated the Sd.Kfz. 131 and became known as the Marder II. It was suited for ambushing enemies from concealed positions. Production of the Sd.Kfz. 131 began in June 1942 and 531 examples were produced. They served to protect the infantry from Russian tanks until more capable tank destroyers were deployed to the frontlines.