Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole's TreadHead Tuesday - Sd. Kfz. 2 Kettenkraftrad Oct. 18, 2005
Posted on 10/17/2005 7:51:59 PM PDT by alfa6
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
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The Kettenkraftrad, type HK 101 is one of the most unique vehicles developed during the Second World War. The "tracked motorcycle" concept was conceived and patented by a German inventor, Heinrich Ernst Kniepkamp, in June of 1939. This was in response to a request for a fast, tracked vehicle capable of moving small loads in mountainous terrain.
The 'HK 101' Sd. Kfz. 2 Kettenkrad was originally conceived as a light prime mover for mountain troops to be used for towing ight mountain guns, mortars, the MG36 and telephone wire drums. It found favor with all Wehrmacht troops, especially those in the Eastern Front where it's excellent cross-country ability allowed it to manuever in the mud-bogged roads and the mountainous Caucasus region. It was also engaged by paratroopers units and by the Luftwaffe for aircraft moving duty.
It was however, the NSU Werke of Neckarsulm, Germany that developed the Kettenkrad as we know it. Interestingly, many of the prototypes used spoked motorcycle wheels, not only for the front and road wheels, but also on its attendant trailer. Trailers for the Kettenkrad were a concurrent development and are discussed later in this article. Although the concept was embraced immediately, the vehicle was not introduced is troop service until early June of 1941. The official designation was "kleines Kettenkraftrad SdKfz. 2". "Kettenkrad" became the common abbreviation soon after.
Powered by a 4 cylinder 1.5 ltr. Opel-Olympia water-cooled engine, its top speed was 80 kph. It carried a crew of 3. Built by NSU Werke AG Neckarsulm and Stower Werke Stettin, a total of 8345 vehicles were produced between 1940 and 1944.
Production was expanded to the Stoewer Werke in 1943 and by war's end 8,345 vehicles had been produced (although some higher serial numbers have been reported). The French firm of SIMCA manufactured parts for the Kettenkrad but they did not produce or assemble the entire vehicle.
Assembly of the Kettenkrad at the NSU Werkes is said to have continued until 1948. Approximately 550 post war Kettenkrads are reported to have been assembled using existing parts as well as portions of wartime units that were in Neckarsulm for major service. Some vehicles are said to have been imported into the U.S. to see use with the Forest Service but I have not been able to find any records to verify this.
At least one French company, Babiolle, offered rebuilt versions of discarded Kettenkrads after the war. These had the front wheel and steering gear removed to create a small farm tractor. The mostinteresting thing about this vehicle was that it operated "backwards". The redesign included changes to the gearbox and reversed the chassis so the drive (sprocket) wheel was in the rear instead of the front.
There were two sub-variants of the Kettenkrad, SdKfz. 2/1 "kleines Kettenkraftrad fur Feldfernkabel" and SdKfz. 2/2 "kleines Kettenkraftrad fur schwere Feldfernkabel." Both vehicles were used in conjunction with a trailer and had field communication wire spools mounted behind the driver. The 2/1 vehicle mounted a small wire spool and frame similar to the backpack piece used by the infantry. The 2/2 utilized much larger spools, two of which were mounted on a frame behind the driver. Additional spools were mounted in a specialized trailer (Sd.Anh. 1). Late in the war, portions of the stretched version HK 102 Kettenkraftrad suspension were used to create the "Springer" demolition vehicle. This was designed as a replacement to the Borgward series and NSU (only) produced about 50 of these vehicles by war's end.
There were several different trailers designed during the war for the Kettenkrad. The first was designed with the prototype and never reached production status. The second, was the most numerous and was a derivation of the earlier prototype with a longer hitch pole and solid disk wheels. This trailer had the designation of Sd.Anh. 1 (sonderanhanger: "special trailer") This was the only one designed exclusively for the Kettenkrad. Two variations of this trailer, the Sd.Anh. 1.1 and the Sd.Anh. 1/2 . Both of these were modified to be used in conjunction with the SdKfz. 2/1 and SdKfz. 2/2 respectively. These trailers were fitted with cable drum mounting devices.
The other trailers used by the Kettenkrads could be used for other lightweight vehicles such as the Kubelwagon and the Schwimmwagon. One of these was designed specially for use with Gebirgsjager units and was a modification of the standard infantry cart (Infanteriekarren). The infantry cart had exchangeable tow bars. One with handles for human power towing, one with a "lunette eye" for the towing pintle as on the Kettenkrad, and one for dog towing
The Kettenkrad has enjoyed, from what I can tell, a bit of a reputation as a poorman's war vehicle. There are for the, relativly few numbers manufactured, quite a few of them still around and running. Check out the Educational sources for more info on the civie versions of the Sd.Kfz 2 Kettenkrad.
Programming note from alfa6 for the Foxholer's
With a bit of luck I will be able to post a two part Foxhole on Wednesday and Thursday evenings this week. I have rotated back to nights as of Friday Night this week so I will not be able to post any Foxholes for about a week or so.
Y'all have a great day and I'll be around he he
Bitty girl is looking good there P.E.
Now PE, this is just too, darned cute.
Any Excuse to get the armor out, eh there bentfeather
Might this interest you and you merry band of Motorcycle Holligans :-)
Right you are alfa, I have been trying out a couple new tanks, may show them off in the next few weeks.
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PING Das Motorrad Rowdys
It takes a secure man to ride a pink Vespa.
Just the thing for getting through the rush hour traffic :-)
I will have to see about doing on Foxhole on the German cycles of WW-II.
1942 Harley XA (750 cc) -- peep that boxer engine!
"It looks just like a Telefunken U47"
Good morning to everyone at the Foxhole.
Hitler often boasted about the Kettenkraftrad's enviro-friendly, tread design.
And some off road action, this pic is from (www.kettenhrd.de) IIRC
Well ain'tchoo sumpin', Miss Thang...!
Good morning every one.
Good Tuesday morning to everyone! Interesting topic & great thread. Thanks for making it possible today, alfa6.
When I saw the topic pics, I immediately thought of the great movie, "Saving Private Ryan." The scene when our guys were on the kettenkraftrad in it is still vivid
in my mind.
Have a good one.
|October 18, 2005
Courage In The Crisis
Through the centuries, some of God's servants have faced the possibility of an agonizing death unless they renounced their faith. They knew that God could deliver them, but they also knew that in keeping with His own purposes He might not answer their pleas for supernatural help.
In the book of Daniel, three young Hebrew captives faced a life-and-death choice: Worship the king's gold image or be thrown into the fiery furnace. Their response was unhesitating: "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace." They added, "But if not, . . . we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up" (Daniel 3:17-18).
But if not! Those words challenge our allegiance. Suppose we face crippling disease. Suppose we are facing shameful disgrace. Suppose we are facing painful loss. We plead for God's intervention, yet in every threatening circumstance our plea should carry the proviso, "But if not!"
Is our attitude that of Jesus in Gethsemane? "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39).
Are we willing to endure whatever will glorify God and work out His holy purposes? Vernon Grounds
When conviction runs deep, courage rises to sustain it.
I can only post some many pice in the thread, he he he
Good mornin Miss Gail, hope things are going well for you there in ol Memphis Town :-)
Fine sermon, as usual, this morning Mayor.
Hows every thing up New York way, got plenty of inside jobs lined up for the winter.
yeah....that pic is from the scene I am referring to.
Despite being somewhat knowledgeable or aware of WWII history - mainly from reading books & watching Hollywood movies - I dont recall ever seeing one of those vehicles pictured until I saw that movie.
I was kind of surprised to find that there are so many still around. Even here in the United States. The picture at the end of the opening post of the 9 Ketts was taken here in the States IIRC
I found quite a few wartime pics of the Kettenkrad but most of them were of pretty poor quality so I did not use them.
I'm tryin, I have estimates out for a couple additions, one big one for $70,000 I hope that one comes in.
Otherwise politics coming up on the Nov 8th election.
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on October 18:
1239 Stefanus V prince of Transylvania/king of Hungary (1270-72)
1405 Pius II [Aenea S Piccolomini], Italian pope (1458-64)
1697 Canaletto Venetian painter (Venicei A Regatta on Grand Canal)
1804 Rama IV [Phra Chomklao Chaoyuhua], king of Thailand (1851-68)
1806 John Breckinridge Grayson Brig Genl (Confederate Army), died in 1861
1811 Hugh Thompson Reid Brig General (Union volunteers), died in 1874
1818 Edward Otho Cresap Ord Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1883
1824 Juan Valera bon Alcal Galiano Spanish author (Pepita Jimnez)
1829 Charles Sidney Winder Brig General (Confederate Army), died in 1862
1829 Lucius Marshall Walker Brig General (Confederate Army), died in 1863
1859 Henri Bergson France, philosopher (Creative Evolution-Nobel 1927)
1877 Florence Dahl Walrath humanitarian, founded Cradle society
1898 Lotte Lenya Vienna Austria, actor/singer (Appointment, Semi-Tough)
1915 Victor Sen Yung SF Calif, actor (Bonanza, Bachelor Family)
1918 Bobby Troup Harrisburg Pa, pianist/actor (Emergency, Acapulco)
1919 Pierre Elliot Trudeau (L) 15th Canadian PM (1968-79, 1980-84)
1921 Jesse Helms (Sen-R-NC) (evil ultra extreme radical right-winger)
1922 Little Orphan Annie comic strip character
1925 Melina Mercouri Athens Greece, actress/politician (Never on a Sunday)
1926 Chuck Berry St Louis, rocker (Roll over Beethoven)
1926 George C Scott Wise Va, actor (Patton, Bible, Taps, Hardcore)
1927 Katherine Fanning Chicago, editor (Christian Science Monitor-1983)
1928 Keith Jackson Carrolton Ga, sportscaster (ABC Monday Night Football)
1933 Forrest Gregg NFL tackle (Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys)
1933 Peter Boyle Phila, actor (Young Frankenstein, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, "Everybody Loves Raymond")
1934 Inger Stevens Stockholm Sweden, actress (Katy-Farmer's Daughter)
1939 Lee Harvey Oswald JFK assassin
1939 Mike Ditka coach/tight-end (Da Bears, Cowboys, NFL rookie year 1961)
1947 Laura Nyro Bronx, singer/songwriter (Eli's Coming, Stoney End)
1951 Pam Dawber Detroit, actress (Mindy-Mork & Mindy, My Sister Sam)
1956 Martina Navratilova Prague Czech, tennis (Wimbledon 1989,79,82-87)
1961 Erin Moran Burbank Calif, actress (Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi)
1961 Wynton Marsalis New Orleans La, jazz trumpeter (Grammy 1983)
1971 Karen J McNenny Missoula Montana, Miss Montana-America (1991)
1977 Chris McKenna Queens NY, actor (Joey-One Live to Live)
MOTORCYCLE OR HALFTRACK?
By Wild Bill Wilder
The German SdKfz 2 kleines Kettenrad (special small wheeled or tracked vehicle) was put into use in the beginning as a handy means of moving small caliber guns and equipment for the German paratroopers. It could be safely airdropped with them and increased their maneuverability.
About 8 1/2 feet long and with a road speed of around 40 miles per hour, it went into action in 1941. It was a small but complex vehicle that could carry three men. It was powered by tracks instead of wheels in the rear. This gave it a most interesting look and was quite unique on the battlefield.
Throughout the war its primary purpose was the movement of small amounts of supplies to areas otherwise unreachable by a larger transport. Only a few dozen were ever used in North Africa. They were never produced in great quantitities, as the German war effort had greater needs for larger combat vehicles.
Those always looked like they'd be a riot to drive.
Morning tanker Feather
Thanks alfa6. We certainly know what work goes into putting up a thread. Today's is really neat. What a cool vehicle.
Adorable as always.
Good morning feather.
Das isa goot von!
You gonna buy one for your old uncle blackie? ;)
Cool machine. I've been enamoured with these with some time.
Hi miss Feather