Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole's TreadHead Tuesday - Sonderkraftfahrzeuge 251 Series Halftrack 10/11/2005
Posted on 10/10/2005 9:03:44 PM PDT by alfa6
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A half-track is a civilian or military vehicle with regular wheels on the front for steering, and caterpillar tracks on the back to propel the vehicle and carry most of the load. The purpose of this combination is to produce a vehicle with the cross-country capabilities of a tank and the handling of a wheeled vehicle.
In 1911 the French engineer Adolphe Kégresse converted a number of cars from the personal car park of Czar of Russia as half-tracks. From 1916 onward there was a Russian project by the Putilov plant to produce military half-tracks along the same lines using trucks and French track parts.
Half-tracks were used extensively in World War II by all sides, especially the Germans and Americans, but fell out of favor soon after, replaced with fully-tracked or fully-wheeled vehicles. Half-tracks were used primarily as armored personnel carriers, but also saw duty as mortar carriers, self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, self-propelled anti-tank guns, artillery haulers, armored fighting vehicles and many other tasks. One notable user of half tracks after WW-II was the Israel Defense Forces who used half tracks until just recently.
The Sonderkraftfahrzeuge, or "special vehicle" series were invaluable multi-purpose vehicles used throughout the war as support vehicles. The SdKfz 250 and 251 models were used as troop carriers that accompanied tanks into battle and were armed with machine guns, mortars or rockets called Wurfrahmen. This made them an excellent mobile artillery unit but their weak armor made them easy targets for tanks, heavy machine guns, or even grenades.
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 of the Sd. Kfz. 251 series
Produced by Hanomag, but the hull and superstructure were built by Büssing-NAG. 22 different models made. A brief listing of some of the models follows.
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 251/4 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 251/6 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 251/16 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.
Viel Danke. I have been suffering Foxhole withdrawal this week.
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.
That is all for tonight. More German half tracks in a week or two
http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/half_tracks/sdKfz251.html (WW-2 vehicles)
http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/germanarmor.html (German Armor)
That reads to me as special heavy-duty vehicle (lit. special strong out craft).
Would the lovely and gracious snippy be so kind as to ping the
Treadhead List for me, Please>>>
And yes I know it's not Saturday, sheeeesh
Well that's what the web page I researched it from said. I think, any ways that's my story and I am sticking to it :-}
Would "Schutzenpamzerwagen" fit the abbreviation Sd.Kfz. better.
Hopefully Michael81Dus can straighten me out???
Only now and then. When you type as fast as I don't it is an all night affair ;-)
Got hit the sack as I have to go to work tommorrow for a training class on how to operate a man lift.
Nighty night. See you tomorrow.
No. That's a Guards' battle vehicle, or in this case, a Scouts' battle vehicle. (Probably like an armored personnel carrier; filling the role of a modern armored HMMV.)
Good Job alfa6. The German half-tracks weren't as "good" as the American series but the sure looked cool. They had so many variations that maintenance must have been a nightmare. There were also never enough to go around.
Lit: guards' armored vehicle.
That's about as close as it gets. :-)
Oh heaven's yes, don't get me wrong. It's an excellent thread. I'm only making amateurish inquiries about the German terminology and its translation.