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Sd.Kfz. 250 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack

The Sd.Kfz. 250 was a German light and armored halftrack developed from 1939 and the personnel carrier was used by the Wehrmacht from 1941. It was a supplement to the larger Hanomag Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack. Developed and manufactured by Demag it was used throughout the war. As usual in the German fabrication proces it was produced by more factories over time. An update of the vehicle came in 1943, the vehicle was simplified in construction, slanting sides were replaced by straight lines. The designation changed to Sd.Kfz..250 Alt and Sd.Kfz. 250 Neu – old and new.

Sd.Kfz. 250 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack – photo 2019
Sd.Kfz. 250 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack – photo 2019
Sd.Kfz. 250 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack – photo 2019

The vehicle was open topped as most halftracks were during war time, sometimes a canvas cover shielded users from wind and rain. The only entrance was at the rear of the vehicle. The six cylinder Maybach water cooled engine gave the vehicle a top speed of 76 km/h and a reach of 350 km on roads, 200 km cross country. It had a standard crew of 2 and 4 persons could ride along in the back. Its armament was 5,5 to 14,5 mm thick, enough to stop light small arms fire, heavy machine gun fire could penetrate parts of the vehicle. As defence the halftrack had one or two MG 34 machineguns.

Sd.Kfz. 250/1 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – Demag Halftrack – photo 2019
Sd.Kfz. 250/1 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack – photo 2019

Beside the old and new troop carrier Sd.Kfz. 250/1, the light armored halftrack came in a lot of versions, from a observing vehicle for panzer divisions or artillery fire guiding vehicle to a command halftrack version with radio equipment, or a cable laying vehicle for communications. There were versions with 7,5 cm cannons, a 2 cm autocannon, ammunition carriers and so on. These different halftrack versions had desinations from Sd.Kfz. 250/2 to Sd.Kfz.250/12.
Erwin Rommel used a halftrack command version with radio equipment with his Afrikakorps in North Afrika. He named his Sd.Kfz. 250/3 Greif or Griffin. The metal construction on top was used as extra antenna besides the vertical antenna.

Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel in his Sd.Kfz. 250/3 Command Car – Greif or Griffin – courtsey Wikipedia
Sd.Kfz. 250 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack – photo 2019
Sd.Kfz. 250 – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack – photo 2019
Sd.Kfz. 250/1 Neu – Light Armored Personnel Carrier – Demag Halftrack – photo 2019

In total 6628 of the Sd.Kfz. 250 light armored halftracks were made from 1941 to 1945. The Sd.Kfz. 250 we photographed is a Neu version. It was on route to the Normandy beaches during the battles of D-Day in 1944. It was abandoned in Lanarce, France, while trying to reach the Normandy front and it was recovered in 1980.

Sd.Kfz. 250 Neu– Light Armored Personnel Carrier – German Halftrack – photo 2019

Two shorts on the Sd.Kfz. 250 Halftrack

 

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