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SdKfz 251 mittlerer Schutzenpanzerwagen

Halftrack Multi-Purpose Vehicle / Medium Armored Personnel Carrier [ 1939 ]

The Sd.Kfz 251 series was the definitive German halftrack of the Second World War.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/12/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Nazi Germany national flag graphic
Nazi Germany


Hanomag / Bussing-Nag - Germany
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of Italy National flag of Romania Hungary; Italy; Nazi Germany; Romania
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
General utility-minded design to accomplish a variety of battlefield tasks, typically in a non-direct-combat fashion.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

19.0 ft
5.79 m
5.1 ft
1.56 m
5.7 ft
1.75 m
18,799 lb
8,527 kg
9.4 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the SdKfz 251/1 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Maybach HL 42 TRKM inline 6-cylinder water-cooled engine developing 100 horsepower.
32.8 mph
(52.8 kph)
198.8 mi
(320.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the SdKfz 251/1 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 OR 2 x 7.92mm MG34 OR MG42 machine gun(s)

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
2,010 x 7.92mm ammunition

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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