The SdKfz 251 half-track was an armored fighting vehicle used by Germany during World War II
About this creation
During the development of the Panzer divisions in Germany throughout the 1930s, it was very quickly realized that an armoured personnel carrier would be required and that this would have to have very good cross-country capability to keep pace with the tanks. Development started in 1937 at Hanomag, and the SdKfz 251 would enter production in 1939, with around 14,000 vehicles of all marks produced throughout the war.
This is Dan Siskend of Brickmania's SdKfz 251 kit, in the interest of copyright, no model will be provided.
General Heinz Guderian, the overall architect and master of the "Blitzkrieg" theory and armoured division development, was unhappy with the ultimate result, as he thought that the troops would have to often fight from within the vehicle, and that the large open top was a great disadvantage on the modern battlefield.
The chassis was very strong and well-protected for its time, offering protection from small arms and shell splinters. The body was bolted to the chassis in the early marks and made in two separate parts, being bolted together just behind the driver's position. The A, B, and C marks of the SdKfz 251 had very good ballistic shape, being made of mulitiple slanting pieces of armor, but this was time consuming work, and this original shape was dropped by the time the Ausf D mark came out.
The SdKfz 251/1 II was a mobile MLRS, or multiple launch rocket system, having six side mounted frames along the vehicle for launching 280mm or 320mm rockets. Called called the "Walking Stuka" by troops, it was officially named as the "Wurfrahmen 40," or "launch frame 40." The rockets were the same as those used by the Nebeltruppen, in the Nebelwerfer multiple rocket launcher. The Nebeltruppen had responsibility for poison gas and smoke weapons that were used instead to deliver high-explosives during the war.
The SdKfz. 251/9, or Schützenpanzerwagen was a specially designed support version of the standard SdKfz 251. Equipped with a 75 mm L/24 low velocity gun, it using the same pedestal gun mount employed on the StuG III. Nicknamed "Stummel" (stump), by troops, this model served in all theaters of the European War. In 1944, a revised modular gun mount was introduced to facilitate production that also incorporated a coaxial MG42. This gun mount was also used to create the Sd.Kfz. 250/8 variant, which served similar purpose, but on the SdKfz 250 chassis.
The SdKfz 251/10 was also a fire support version, but mounted the smaller 3.7cm PaK 36 anti-tank gun. This version was issued to platoon commanders
The SdKfz 251/22 was the heaviest of the fire support versions of the SdKfz 251 made. It mounted the much larger and more powerful 7.5cm anti-tank gun, which had much greater anti-armour capability. It was referred to as the 7.5 cm KwK 40L/46 auf Mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen. This gun was effective against almost every Allied armoured vehicle until the end of the war, making the SdKfz 251/22 a very potent weapon in the Wehrmacht's arsenal.
Weight - 8 tons
Length - 5.8 m
Width - 2.1 m
Height - 1.75 m
Crew - 2 + 10 passengers
Armor - 6-14.5 mm
Main armament - MG 34 or MG 42
Engine - Maybach HL 42 6-cylinder petrol engine w/99 hp
Range - 300 km
Speed - 52.5 km/h