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GERMANY

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Hanomag Sdkfz.251
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SdKfz 251 mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen

Half Track

While Panzer Divisions were first being developed requirements were given for a personnel carrier that was armored and could carry the infantry into battle. In 1935 it was suggested that an armored body could be placed on a medium half track tractor. The SdKfz 11 became the basis for the chassis.

Produced by Hanomag, but the hull and superstructure were built by Büssing-NAG. 22 different models made.

Description

Ausf A: First production model and built until 1940. Had 3 vision slits on each side and the radio aerial was mounted on the right front mudguard.

Some were retrofitted with MG mounting on Ausf B.

Ausf B: Built until 1940. View ports in the rear body sides were eliminated, and the stowage was reorganized. New front mount with shield for MG. The FuSpG 'F' R/T antenna was moved from right front mudguard to the right back upper side over the radio.

Ausf C: New single piece armor nose plate for the engine compartment. Air was drawn up behind the lower front plate. The top grille was eliminated. The side cooling flaps were replaced by side vent covers which allowed vents to be open all the time for better cooling. Changes to seating and stowage. The mudguards were raised to allow for more room between tire and guard. Tools were moved to front part of mudguards from the upper rear sides. The radio was moved under the front armor in front of the commander's seat.

Ausf D: The armored body was simplified with a reverse sloping rear end. The air intakes were under the engine side armor and there were stowage boxes permanently fitted to the sides instead of mudguards.

SdKfz 251/1 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen, Gerät 901: Had 2 MG34s or MG42s with 2,010 rounds.

SdKfz 251/1 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen: Crew of 11. Had 2 7.92 mm MG34s and 1 MG34 or MG42, with 2,010 rounds.

SdKfz 251/1 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (Wurfrahmen 40): Crew of 7. Had 2 MG34s or MG42s. Had 5: 28cm Sprengranate (HE round) and 1: 32cm Flammgranate (incendiary round). After France in 1940 J. Gast KG, Berlin were ordered to create a projector for the Wurfgerät 40. The elevation was +5° to +40°. Firing took 10 seconds and the range of 1.9 km for Sprengranate and 2.2 km for Flammgranate.

Nicknamed "Walking Stuka" or "Bellowing Cow".

SdKfz 251/1 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (IR) "Falke": Crew of 12.

SdKfz 251/2 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (Granatwerfer), Gerät 892: 81 mm GrW34 mortar was installed in the floor with 66 rounds. Also a 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 2,010 rounds. A baseplate was also stored so that mortar could be removed from vehicle and fired. Only had rear MG.

SdKfz 251/3 mittlere Funkpanzerwagen, Gerät 893: Two 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 2,010 rounds. Sometimes an Enigma decoding machine was installed.

SdKfz 251/4 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (IG), Gerät 904: Had a 7.92 mm MG34 with 1,100 rounds installed. Intended to tow 105 mm le FH18 howitzer (Another source says for the 7.5 cm leIG18, 120 rounds also carried). Was replaced by the SdKfz 251/9.

SdKfz 251/5 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (PI), Gerät 905: Had 2 7.92 mm MG34 with 4,800 rounds installed. Also had FuG8 and FuG4 installed. Built until 1943.

SdKfz 251/5 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (PI): Had FuG8 and FuG5 installed. Built until 1943.

SdKfz 251/6 mittlere Kommandopanzerwagen:Had a 7.92 mm MG34 with 1,100 rounds installed. Used by headquarters staff. Had FuG11 and FuG Tr 100mw installed, cipher equipment, and map tables. Produced until 1943.

SdKfz 251/7 mittlere Pionierpanzerwagen, Gerät 907: Had 2 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 4,800 rounds and a 7.92 mm PzB39 with 40 rounds installed. Had a FuG5 installed.

Pionier-Geräte-Schützenpanzerwagen (engineering assault vehicle). Had a small bridge that would be built over small ditches. The sections would be carried in the racks on top. Also had demolition equipment and inflatable assault boats.

SdKfz 251/8 mittlere Krankenpanzerwagen, Gerät 908: Armored ambulance that was designed to carry 2 stretcher cases and 4 seated wounded. Later models had redesigned doors to allow for easy entry and exit. Had a FuG5 when it was issued to HQ Company or Panzer detachment.

SdKfz 251/9 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5cm), Gerät 909: Had a 7.5cm KwK37 L/24 installed with 52 rounds and 2 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 2,010 rounds.

Büssing-NAG was ordered to develop an armored superstructure on March 31, 1942. In June 1942, 2 prototypes were field tested in Russia and as a result 150 were ordered. In 1944 a new design of mounting the gun was introduced.

Sometimes called Stummel (stump).

SdKfz 251/10 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (3.7cm PaK), Gerät 910: Had a 3.7cm PaK 35/36 with 168 rounds, a 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 1,100 rounds, and a 7.92 mm PzB39 with 40 rounds. There were different versions of the PaK shields.

SdKfz 251/11 mittlere Fernsprechpanzerwagen, Gerät 911: Had 2 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 2,010 rounds. Ordered in January 1942 and first delivered on August 15, 1942. One version had the leichter Feldkabelträger 6 and the other had the mittlerer Feldkabelträger 10.

SdKfz 251/12 mittlere Messtrupp und Gerätpanzerwagen, Gerät 912: Carried artillery surveying squad and equipment. Carried the FuG8 radio with a frame antenna. Built until 1943.

SdKfz 251/13 mittlere Schallaufnahmepanzerwagen, Gerät 913: Built until 1943.

SdKfz 251/14 mittlere Schallauswertepanzerwagen, Gerät 914: Built until 1943.

SdKfz 251/15 mittlere Lichtauswertepanzerwagen, Gerät 915: Built until 1943.

SdKfz 251/16 mittlere Flammpanzerwagen, Gerät 916: Had 2 1.4cm Flammenwerfer on each side with 700 liters of fuel and 2 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 2,010 rounds. Delivery started in January 1943.

Had a range of about 60m (another source says 35m). Could fire about 80 bursts up to 2 seconds each. Earlier versions also had a 7mm Flammwerfer 42, which was a portable projector attached to a 10m hose.

SdKfz 251/17 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (2cm), Gerät 917: AA model with antiaircraft gun installed with sides that folded outwards.

SdKfz 251/18 mittlere Beobachtungspanzerwagen, Gerät 918: Had a FuG12 installed. Had a large map table built on top of the driver's roof plate.

SdKfz 251/19 mittlere Fernsprechbetriebspanzerwagen, Gerät 919: Mobile telephone exchange vehicle.

SdKfz 251/20 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (Infrarotscheinwerfer), Gerät 920: Had 60cm Beobachtungs Gerät 1251 and telescope Beobachtungs Gerät 1221 (infra red searchlight) installed to be used with Panther tanks at night. The searchlight had a range of about 1,500m. Only about 60 were built.

Known as the UHU (eagle owl).

SdKfz 251/21 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (Drilling MG151S), Gerät 921: Had 3 1.5cm MG151/15 or 2cm MG151/20 AA guns with 2,000 rounds of ammunition installed. Rate of fire was approximately 700 rounds per minute. Construction started in August 1944.

SdKfz 251/22 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5cm PaK40), Gerät 922: Had a 7.5cm PaK 40 L/46 with 22 rounds installed. Production began in December 1944 based on an order from Hitler. The complete PaK40 was installed, except the wheels. Some vehicles didn't have sidewalls.

SdKfz 251/23 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (2cm KwK), Gerät 923: Had a 2cm KwK38 with 100 rounds and a 7.92 mm MG42 with 2,010 rounds installed. A Hängelafette 38 turret (from SdKfz 234/1 armored cars) was installed. A FuG12 radio was carried.

SdKfz 251 Munitionspanzer: Transported ammunition for many different armored formations.

SdKfz 251 7.5cm PaK42 L/70 auf 3t Zgkw: On September 30, 1943, Hitler ordered the new 7.5cm PaK44 L/70 to be installed on a motorized carriage. On January 28, 1944, a prototype was ready but it was determined that this was an unsuitable carriage and the project was dropped.

Usage

First issued to 1st Panzer Division in 1939.

SdKfz 251/1 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen, Gerät 901: Standard personnel carrier for Panzergrenadier Gruppe.

SdKfz 251/1 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen: Used as the carrier for the Heavy MG Group of the Armored Infantry Detachment.

SdKfz 251/1 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (IR) "Falke": Was fitted with infrared equipment to be used with units attached to the infrared Panther detachments.

SdKfz 251/2 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (Granatwerfer), Gerät 892: Was issued to the heavy platoon of armored infantry companies.

SdKfz 251/3 mittlere Funkpanzerwagen, Gerät 893: The different configurations depended on which unit assigned to:

  • FuG8 required frame aerial until 1942.
  • FuG8, FuG5, and FuG4 for divisional and artillery links to Panzer units.
  • FuG8 and FuG4 for division to artillery link.
  • FuG8 and FuG5 for division to panzer unit link.
  • FuG7 and FuG1 for ground to air link and transmission monitoring.
  • FuG12, FuG11, and Kdo FuG Tr was used for command post.
  • FuG Tr 100mw used for command post.
  • FuG Tr 80mw used for command post.
  • FuG Tr 30mw used for command post.
  • FuG Tr 15kzw used for command post.

SdKfz 251/5 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (PI), Gerät 905: Was used as the command vehicle for the engineer platoon.

SdKfz 251/5 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (PI): Was used as the command vehicle for the heavy platoon of the Panzerpionier Gruppe.

SdKfz 251/6 mittlere Kommandopanzerwagen: Used by headquarters staff.

SdKfz 251/9 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5cm), Gerät 909: Designed to provide support for Heavy Armor Infantry Companies.

SdKfz 251/10 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (3.7cm PaK), Gerät 910: Issued as the Zugführerwagen to platoon leaders.

SdKfz 251/11 mittlere Fernsprechpanzerwagen, Gerät 911: Used for laying and maintaining telephone and telegraph lines.

SdKfz 251/13 mittlere Schallaufnahmepanzerwagen, Gerät 913: Sound recording vehicle for artillery spotting.

SdKfz 251/14 mittlere Schallauswertepanzerwagen, Gerät 914: Used as sound ranging for artillery spotting.

SdKfz 251/15 mittlere Lichtauswertepanzerwagen, Gerät 915: Used as flash spotting for artillery spotting.

SdKfz 251/18 mittlere Beobachtungspanzerwagen, Gerät 918: Observation vehicle for artillery spotting.

SdKfz 251/20 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (Infrarotscheinwerfer), Gerät 920: This was used as the commanders vehicle of a Panther platoon that was equiped with infrared sighting equipment. Mainly used on Eastern front starting in 1944.

SdKfz 251/22 mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5cm PaK40), Gerät 922: 9 were issued to Panzerjäger detachments, 3 to Panzer Aufklärungs detachments, and 6 to gun platoons.

Crew 2 (+10 passengers)1
A, B, C, D: 2
251/1: 12
251/2, /6, /14: 8
251/3, /4: 7
251/5: 9
251/7: 7-8
251/8, /9: 3
251/10, /11, /16: 5
251/12, /18: 6
251/17: 5-6
251/20, /22, /23: 4
251/21: 4-6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 17,218 lb
8,500 kg1
8.5 tons, 8.37 tons1
A, B, C: 7.91 tons
D: 8 tons
251/1: 9 tons
251/2: 8.64 tons
251/3, /6, /11, /14: 8.50 tons
251/4: 8.75 tons
251/5: 8.87 tons
251/7: 8.07 tons
251/8: 7.47 tons
251/9: 8.53 tons
251/10: 8.02 tons
251/16: 8.62 tons
251/17: 8.8 tons
Length w/gun 19'1
5.8 m1
A, B, C: 5.8 m
D: 5.98 m
Length w/o gun  
Height 5' 8.75", 5' 8.9"1
1.75 m1
A, B, C, D, 251/3: 1.75 m
251/1: 2.16 m
251/7: 2.70 m
251/9: 2.07 m
251/10, /11: 2.17 m
251/14: 2.5 m
251/16: 2.1 m
251/17: 2.25 m
Width 6' 1.75", 6' 6.7"1, 2 m1
A, B, C, D: 2.1 m
Ground clearance 1'
30 cm
Ground contact length 1.8 m
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main 2: 7.92 mm MG1
see notes as varied with models
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 8
A, B, C, D: 10@33°
Hull Front, Lower 8
A, B, C: 14.5@21°
D: 15@22°
Hull Sides, Upper A, B, C, D: 8@35°
Hull Sides, Lower A, B, C, D: 8@35°
Hull Rear A, B, C: 8@30° & 40°
D: 8@33°
Hull Top open
Hull Bottom A, B, C, D: 6@90°
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 42 TUKRM1
Transmission Schub, 4 forward, 1 reverse
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse 251/9: 12° each way
251/16: 90°
251/22: 20° left, 18° right
Max Speed 32.5 mph, 32.6 mph1
50 kph, 52.5 kph1
A, B, C, D: 53 kph
Cross Country  
Road radius 186 miles, 112 miles1
180 km1
A, B, C, D: 300 km
Turning Radius 13.5 m
Elevation Limits 251/9: -10° to +12°
251/16: +40°
251/22: -3° to +22°
251/23: -10° to +85°
Fording depth 2'
0.5 m
Trench crossing 6' 6"
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires 2
Track width 9.25"
28 cm
Track centers/tread 2.78 m
Production 1939- : 15,000
  Manufacturer Date # Chassis nos.
A, B, C Hanomag, MNH, Schichau Wumag, Weserhütte, Borgward 6/39-9/43 4,650 221001-,
540001-,
625001-,
320001-,
720001-,
725001-,
796001-,
811001-
D Hanomag, MNH, Schichau Wumag, Weserhütte, Borgward
Evans+Pistor, Deutsche Werke, Büssing-NAG
9/43-3/45
1944-
10,602 221001-,
540001-,
625001-,
320001-,
720001-,
725001-,
796001-,
811001-