SdKfz 250 half track: Picture donated by Jonathan Cuschieri (OT810)
SdKfz 250 half track:
SdKfz 250/1 half track:
SdKfz 250/2 half track:
SdKfz 250/2 half track:
SdKfz 250/5 half track: Imperial War Museum, MH10101
SdKfz 250/5 half track, part of Artillerie Regiment 74 of the 2nd Panzer Division at Kursk in 1943. Passing a Russian 76.2 ZiS-3:
SdKfz 250/7 half track, with forward facing mortar8:
SdKfz 250/8 half track, with a 7.5cm KwK37 L/24:
SdKfz 250/9 half track: Imperial War Museum - MH8957
SdKfz 250/10 half track:
SdKfz 250/10 half track: Imperial War Museum, MH6107
Captured, SdKfz 250/10 half track, with Polish 13th Self Propelled Artillery Regiment in Pomerania, 1945:
5 cm Pak 38 auf leichter Schützenpanzerwagen SdKfz 2508:
SdKfz 250 half track with a radio aerial:
SdKfz 252 half track: Imperial War Museum, PC411
In 1932 an order from the Army was received by Demag AG of Wetter for an all terrain tractor that could tow a ton.3,7 Later, after the SdKfz 251 appeared, the Heer had requirements for three vehicles that were to be smaller.7 One was to be a reconnaissance vehicle that could carry half of a squad.7 The second was to be an ammunition carrier which became the SdKfz 252.7 The third was to be an observer vehicle for Sturmgeschütz battalions.7
The design of the SdKfz 250 was based on the 1 ton artillery tractor, SdKfz 103, that had one less road wheel on each side.6,7 With the success of the SdKfz 251 it was decided an armored superstructure could be added to the SdKfz 10.7
The front axle was not powered which contributed to fatigue in the driver.7 When a hard turn was needed the steering wheel caused not only the front axle to turn, but would cause the brakes in the tracks to help with steering.7
The engine provide power to only the tracks and not the front wheels.6
With its experience with the SdKfz 251 superstructures, Büssing-NAG of Berlin was to design the armored superstructure for the SdKfz 250.7 It was to have 14.5 mm in front, 8 mm on the sides, and room for the commander, driver, and four soldiers.7
The SdKfz 250 superstructure was assembled from a front piece, for the engine, and a back piece that were bolted together during final construction.7
The driver sat on the left side where he had a vision port, with shatter proof glass to look through.7
The commander also had a vision port on the right side where he usually had the Fu Spr.Ger.f radio set.7
On the left was a bench for three soldiers and in the rear center was one seat in front of the gasoline tank.7 The right side had a storage box.7 Most often, the soldiers would exit out the top of the SdKfz 250 when in action instead of through the rear door.7
The SdKfz 250 had a 7.62 mm machine gun, with a shield, mounted on the roof of the driver's compartment.7 On the rear wall was another mount for a machine gun to be used for anti-aircraft fire.7
In 1943, along with the SdKfz 251, it was decided to update the design to simplify production.7 The superstructure was simplified in the number of armored plates necessary to construct it.7
Demag AG built the D II to meet the Heer's specifications by 1934.7 This eventually led to the Demag D6 prototype that was produced from 1937 to 1938.7 The Demag D 7 was to be mass produced, and this was the SdKfz 10.7
Trials of the Demag D 7p prototype were conducted at Kummersdorf and an order was placed immediately.7 It was assigned the designation Leichter Gepanzerter Mannschaftkraftwagen and given the number Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250.7
SdKfz 250: 6,500
1942 - 1944: 5,9303,7
Production: 1939 - 19449
Manufacturer: Demag AG of Wetter3,6
Tractor: Saurer Werke of Vienna7
Chassis: Büssing-NAG7, Adler7
Superstructure: DEW Hannover7, Steinmueller of Gummersbach7
Armor plate: Bismarckhuette of Upper Silesia7
Assembly: Evens & Pistor of Helsa7
SdKfz 250 Alte: 4,2502
Production: June 1941 - October 19432
Manufacturer: Büssing-NAG2, Weserhütte2, Wumag2, Wegmann2, Ritscher2, Deutsche Werke2
SdKfz 250 Neu: 2,3782
Manufacturer: Weserhütte2, Deutsche Werke2, Wegmann (to 1945)2, Wumag (to July 1944)2
SdKfz 252: 4132
Manufacturer: Demag/Wegmann (June 1940 -? )2, Deutsche Werke (January 1941 - September 1941)2
Superstructure: Waggonfabrik Wegmann AG of Kassel7
SdKfz 253: 4132
Manufacturer: Demag2,7, Wegmann2,7
Production: March 1940 - June 19412
Alte ("Old"): Early models. In 1939 the Army put out a requirement for a vehicle that could transport a Halbgruppe (1/2 platoon) for the purpose of reconnaissance. Büssing-NAG developed the armored body, and Demag made the chassis based on the SdKfz 10. Delays caused production to not start until June 1941 when 39 vehicles were completed. Only minor modifications were made up until October 1943.
It was built on a modified Demag D7 tractor chassis. The chassis was shortened and the forward wheel and torsion bar were removed.
Neu: The Alte models were complex in shape and required many man hours to build. In mid-1943 it was decided to use as many straight armored plates as possible. The 19 main armor plates were reduced to 9. This model also had permanent storage boxes placed along side. The new model entered production in October 1943.
SdKfz 250/1 leichter Schützenpanzerwagen, Gerält 891: Used to transport the Halbgruppe of 4. Was armed with 2 MG34s with 2,010 rounds. The height with the MG shield was 1.98 m.
SdKfz 250/1 leichter Schützenpanzerwagen (s MG): Carried the support Halbgruppe of 4 with 2 MG34s in heavy field mountings. Crew of six.3 Two machine guns.3,7 One machine gun was mounted over the driver and it didn't have a shield.7 The second could be placed on the anti-aircraft pivot or mounted on a field mounting outside the half track.7
SdKfz 250/2 leichter Fernsprechpanzerwagen, Gerält 892: Equipped with telephone cable.3,6,7 Had one MG34. The telephone reels were located on the front mud guards and above the fuel tank at the rear right of the half track.7 There were long poles that assisted in the laying of the cables.7
SdKfz 250/3 leichter Funkpanzerwagen, Gerält 893: Radio vehicle.3,6 Had one MG34.7
SdKfz 250/3.I: Equipped with FuG12 radio for controlling motorized formations.7 Initially had a 2 m rod and later with a 2 m star aerial.7
SdKfz 250/3.II: Luftwaffe ground units used a version that had the FuG7 radio for air support control.7 Used a 2 m rod.7
SdKfz 250/3.III: Luftwaffe had a version that was a ground-to-air communications unit that used a FuG7 and a FuG8 for divisional command link-up.7 The FuG8 antenna was a frame in early models and later a 8 m star aerial.7
SdKFz 250/3 IV: General model had Fu15 or Fu16 to be used with assault gun units.7
SdKfz 250/4 leichte Truppenluftschützpanzerwagen, Gerält 894: Air support.6 Was going to be a light antiaircraft vehicle armed with a dual mount MG34 (Zwillingslafette), however it was never put into production.7
SdKfz 250/4 leichte Beobachtungspanzerwagen: In 1943 this model was to act as an observation vehicle for a Sturmgeschütz detachment. Radios that were installed were the FuG15 and FuG16. It also had a MG34 or MG42.
SdKfz 250/5 leichte Beobachtungspanzerwagen, Gerält 895: Armored observation post.6,7 This was to replace the SdKfz 253.7 Had scissors periscope type 14 Z Si.7 Had Fu15 and Fu16 radio sets.7 There were two 2 m rod aerials.7
SdKfz 250/5 leichte Beobachtungspanzerwagen: FuG12 replaced earlier radio. In 1944 name was changed to Leichter Aufklärungspanzerwagen.
SdKfz 250/5.I Leichter Beobachtungspanzerwagen: Had Fu4 and Fu8 radios and was used with artillery batteries.7 The Fu8 used a frame antenna.7
SdKfz 250/5.II Leichter Aufklärungspanzerwagen: Had Fu12 radio set.7
SdKfz 250/6 leichte Munitionspanzerwagen Ausf A für Sturmgeschütz 7.5 cm Kanone Ausf A bis E, Gerält 896: Ammunition carrier.6,7 Had 1 MG34 with 1,100 rounds. This replaced the SdKfz 252 in September 1941. Carried 70 StuK L/24 75 mm rounds.7 Most times had an ammunition trailer. Had a FuG16 radio.
SdKfz 250/7 leichte Schützenpanzerwagen (schwerer Granatwerfer), Gerält 897: Mortar carrier.3,6,7 Issued to 4th platoon of Leichter Panzer Aufklärungs companies. The 8cm GrW34 was used to support the other platoons.7 Carried 42 rounds. Also had a MG34 or 42. There was a mortar base was fixed internally and a mortar base that could be used with the 8cm once dismounted.7
SdKfz 250/7 leichte Schützenpanzerwagen (Munitionsfahrzeug); 8cm GrW Wagen (Granatewerferwagen): Carried 66 rounds of mortar ammunition.7 Had two MG34s with 2,010 rounds. These were issued to section leaders or platoon commanders. Often it had additional radio equipment. Mortar could be fired from within half track or could be removed as a plate was carried on the rear of the half track.8
SdKfz 250/8 leichte Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5cm), Gerält 898: Self-propelled gun.3,6,7 Had a 7.5cm KwK37 L/248 installed in early models and a 7.5cm K51(Sf) in later models.7 Carried 20 rounds. Some using the Alte chassis were issued in the spring of 1943. In October 1944 the SdKfz 250/8 was reintroduced with the K51 gun and a coaxial MG 34 or MG 428.7
Issued to the 4th Platoon of the Leichter Panzer Aufklärungs companies.
SdKfz 250/9 leichte Schützenpanzerwagen (2cm), Gerält 883: Armored reconnaissance.3,6,7 In March 1942 30 were ordered. Three of the prototypes were sent to Russia to see if their cross country performance was better than armored cars. As a result the SdKfz 222 was discontinued and mass production for the 250/9 was started in May 1943.
Had a 20 mm KwK 38 installed with 100 rounds of ammunition. Also had a MG34 or MG42. Early models had the turret from the SdKfz 222 and later models had the Hängelafette (swinging mount) 38.7 It also had a FuG12 radio.
SdKfz 250/10 leichte Schützenpanzerwagen (3.7cm PaK), Gerält 881: Self-propelled gun.3,6,7 A 37 mm PaK 35/36 was installed with 216 rounds of ammunition and had a 7.92 mm MG34 with 1,100 rounds. Issued to platoon leaders to provide heavier support.7
SdKfz 250/11 leichte Schützenpanzerwagen (schwere Panzerbüchse 41), Gerält 882; Leichter Schützenpanzerwagen (Schwere Panzerbüchse 41) SdKfz 250/11; leSchtzPzWg (sPzB 41): Anti-tank vehicle.3,6,7 Had a 2.8cm sPzB41 taper bore7,8 (168 rounds) and a 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 with 1,100 rounds installed. It was issued to platoon leaders. The field carriage was also carried and the main gun could be dismounted.8 The carriage for the gun was carried at the rear of the vehicle and the trail at the front.8
SdKfz 250/12 leichte Messtruppanzerwagen, Gerält 899: Artillery survey vehicle.3,6 Had a 7.92 mm MG34 or MG42 installed. It was used as a survey and artillery range spotting vehicle with artillery troops. The radio was a FuG8 in early models and the FuG12 in later models.
SdKfz 252 leichte Gepanzerte Munitionskraftwagen, Leichter Gepanzerter Munitionstransportkraftwagen: Ammunition carrier.3,6,7 Had a trailer that carried additional ammunition.3 Top of the superstructure was lower in the rear, to save weight, and double doors were installed.7
The initial order for 30 was built between June and August 1940. Production ended in September 1940 and was replaced by SdKfz 250/6.
Ammunition carrier for Sturmgeschütz. Had a closed roof with two hatches for access to crew compartment.7 Pistol ports were under the side vision ports. Usually a Sonder Anhänger 3 1/1 was towed.
Used the FuG15 or FuG16 radio.2
Was issued to Sturmartillerie batteries.3 Served with Sturmartillerie Batterien 640, 659, 660, and 665 in France in 1940. Was used in Sturmgeschütz batteries.
SdKfz 253 leichte Gepanzerte Beobachtungskraftwagen: Observation post for artillery.3,6,7 It was basically a SdKfz 250 with a roof.7 The initial order was for 25 and were built between March and June 1940. Observation was through a circular hatch in the roof.7 The FuG15 and FuG16 aerial was on the right and folded down into a channel when not in use.7 Had the FuG15 and FuG16 installed.2
5cm Pak 38 Auf leichter Schützenpanzerwagen SdKfz 250: A 5 cm Pak 38 was mounted in the back of a SdKfz 250.8 May have only been a prototype.8
Most of the sub-varients were issued to Panzer Aufklärungs detachments of Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions. The light reconnaissance company of a Panzer division had 28 issued to them and a Panzergrenadier division had 18.
Battle of France
The SdKfz 250 was first used in the Battle of France.9
There were SdKfz 252s and SdKfz 253s used in the invasion of France.7