The SdKfz 250 series was just one in the long line of German-produced halftrack systems in World War 2. The 250 system went on to see much use and success in a variety of base and altered platform states, showing off its versatility and adaptability in wartime. By 1945, some 7,500 examples of the 250 had been produced.
The SdKfz 250 system was a multi-purpose carrier mating a traditional truck-style front end with a tank-like tractor system at rear. Crew accommodation traditionally amounted to the driver plus passengers though this would change depending on the systems intended use and modification. The rearward section was served by a 6-wheeled track system and provided very good off road and muddy terrain performance with good on road performance as well. The driver and passenger sections were mounted at middle and rear, leaving the front room for the 100 horsepower Maybach engine.
The initial 250 was based on the chassis of the SdKfz 10 series. The basic design featured a completely armored hull for protection against small arms fire and an open top crew compartment for easy access and exit. The base model traditionally mounted a single 7.92mm machine gun in the MG34 or MG42 formats. Production began as early as 1939 to which the system was immediately placed into operational service against French defenders by 1940.
The SdKfz appeared in 14 "official" variants that consisted of dedicated systems including telephone line communications layers, observation posts, VIP armored carriers, armored scout cars, antitank gun platforms and mortar carriers. "Unofficial" variants, that is to say halftrack systems undergoing custom battlefield-type modifications, would push the number of subvariants well into the 200s.
As uneconomical as the SdKfz 250 series was to produce (despite attempts to curve raw materials waste in the production process), the systems were still coming off factory lines until the end of the war - such was the importance of the 250 series to the German war effort. Shortly after World War 2, design and usage of halftrack type vehicles waned and the classification type disappeared from operational service, along with systems such as the dedicated dive bomber. Nevertheless, the SdKfz 250 would go on to become an icon for the mobility and speed to which the German Army operated at, particularly in the opening salvos of the Second World War.
(Showcased structural values pertain to the SdKfz 250/1 production model)
1 x Maybach HL 42 6-cylinder petrol engine delivering 100 horsepower.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the SdKfz 250/1 production model)
37 mph (60 kph)
186 miles (299 km)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the SdKfz 250/1 production model; Compare this entry against any other in our database)
Typically 1 OR 2 x 7.92mm MG34/MG42 machine gun.
1 x 75mm (7.5cm) anti-tank gun
1 x 50mm (5cm) anti-tank gun
1 x 28mm (2.8cm) "taper-bore" anti-tank rifle
1 x 80mm Mortar
Ammunition: Variable - Armament Dependent:
70 x 75mm projectiles (250/6)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the SdKfz 250/1 production model)
252 - Light Ammunition Carrier; early version of the SdKfz 250 system; fully-enclosed crew compartment; limited quantity production.
250/1 - Basic Model
250/2 - Telephone Line Layer; Observation Model
250/3 "Leichter Funkpanzerwagen" - Specialized Radio Vehicle; Commanders Vehicle; fitted with aerial antenna.
250/4 - Observation post Vehicle; Air Liaison Vehicle.
250/5 "Leichter Beobachtungspanzerwagen" - Observation Post Vehicle; fitted with specialized radio equipment.
250/6 - Assault Gun Ammunition Carrier
250/7 - Dedicated 80mm Mortar Mobile Platform; Panzer Grenadier Platoon Transport.
250/8 - 75mm Short Gun Platform
250/9 - Dedicated Armored Car; fitted with turret assembly from the SdKfz 222.
250/10 - Armed with 37mm PaK gun
250/11 - Armed with front-mounted 20mm Schwere Panzerbusche 41.
250/12 "Leichter Messtruppanzerwagen" - artillery spotter; fitted with specialized equipment in the way of range finders, signaling equipment and periscopes.
SdKfz 250 "Leichter Gepanzerter Beobachtungskraftwagen - Light Armored Observation Vehicle; operated in conjunction with assault gun groups.
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