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SdKfz 251 mittlerer Schutzenpanzerwagen

Halftrack Multi-Purpose Vehicle / Medium Armored Personnel Carrier

The Sd.Kfz 251 series was the definitive German halftrack of the Second World War.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/12/2016
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Year: 1939
Manufacturer(s): Hanomag / Bussing-Nag - Germany
Production: 15,252
Capabilities: Troop-Carrying; Utility; Support/Special Purpose;
Crew: 2
Length: 19.00 ft (5.79 m)
Width: 5.12 ft (1.56 m)
Height: 5.74 ft (1.75 m)
Weight: 9 tons (8,527 kg); 18,799 lb
Power: 1 x Maybach HL 42 TRKM inline 6-cylinder water-cooled engine developing 100 horsepower.
Speed: 33 mph (53 kph)
Range: 199 miles (320 km)
Operators: Hungary; Italy; Nazi Germany; Romania
A 1932 directive set about to provide German infantry with a versatile vehicle able to keep pace with the mobile Panzer tank units while fulfilling other roles in the process. The resulting 1935 design of the Gp MTW appeared and was placed into production by 1938. The SdKfz would become one of the more important German vehicles of the war, appearing virtually wherever a German infantry presence was spotted.

Initial production models of the SdKfz 251 appeared just in time to take part in the Invasion of Poland, though production totals at the beginning of the war were slow to keep up with demand. The SdKfz proved a robust and reliable halftrack system, able to ford up to 20 inches of water and carry 2 crewmembers plus up to 10 passengers.

So versatile the SdKfz 251 had become that no fewer than 22 official variants were welcomed, each with a specialized battlefield role - not counting any field-customized unofficial variants. Among the more notable SdKfz 251 models were the 251/1 basic infantry carrier, the 251/2 mortar carrier, 251/5 assault engineer carrier and the 251/6 commander's vehicle. The 251/16 "Flammpanzerwagen" appeared with twin flame projectors of 14mm caliber and fitted with twin 154 gallon tanks. Other variants became gun platforms such as the 251/9, mounting the 75mm KwK 37 L/24 gun, and the 251/10 - mounting the 37mm PaK 36 gun. The 251/17 and 251/18 comprised of Flak Gun platforms for anti-aircraft duty and the 251/21 was similarly used but with 3 x 1.5cm/2cm guns. The 251/20 Uhu (or "Owl") appeared as an integral component to night-fighting Panther tanks, these halftracks fitted with infra-red searchlights and other specialized equipment.


1 OR 2 x 7.92mm MG34 OR MG42 machine gun(s)

2,010 x 7.92mm ammunition

Variants / Models

• Gp MTW - Prototype Model "Gepanzerter MannschrafTstransportWagen".
• SdKfz 251 "Mittlerer Schutzenpanzer wagen" - Series Production Designation.
• SdKfz 251/1 - Basic Infantry Carrier
• SdKfz 251/2 - 80mm Mortar Carrier
• SdKfz 251/3 - Fitted with radio
• SdKfz 251/4 - Gun Tractor
• SdKfz 251/5 - Assault Engineer Carrier; storage for inflatable boats and assault bridges.
• SdKfz 251/6 "Kommandopanzerwagen" - Command Vehicle; fitted with map board and coding/deciphering machines.
• SdKfz 251/7 "Pioneerpanzerwagen" - Derived from the assault engineering 251/5 model; storage for inflatalbe boats, assault ramps and demolition equipment.
• SdKfz 251/8 "Krankenpanzerwagen" - Armored Ambulance.
• SdKfz 251/9 - Fitted with 75mm KwK 37 L/24 cannon.
• SdKfz 251/10 - Fitted with 37mm PaK 36 cannon.
• SdKfz 251/11 - Telephone Cable-Layer
• SdKfz 251/12 - Artillery Vehicle
• SdKfz 251/13 - Artillery Vehicle
• SdKfz 251/14 - Artillery Vehicle
• SdKfz 251/15 - Artillery Vehicle
• SdKfz 251/16 "Flammpanzerwagen" - Flamethrower Variant; fitted with 2 x14mm flame projectors and 2 x 154 gallon fuel tanks.
• SdKfz 251/17 - Flak Gun Platform
• SdKfz 251/18 - Flak Gun Platform; Artillery Observation.
• SdKfz 251/19 - Mobile Telephone Exchange
• SdKfz 251/20 "Uhu" (Owl) - Fitted with Infra-red searchlight; used in conjunction with night-fighting Panther tanks.
• SdKfz 251/21 - Anti-Aircraft Variant; fitted with 3 x 1.5cm OR 2cm guns on single mount.
• SdKfz 251/22 - Final SdKfz 251 production model; anti-tank focus fitted with PaK 40 75mm cannon.
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