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Sd.Kfz.250/9 Leichter Schutzenpanzerwagen (2cm)

Country of origin:Ukraine
In stock
This product was added to our catalog on 13 September, 2011
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Sd.Kfz.250/9 Leichter Schutzenpanzerwagen (2cm)

The Sd.Kfz. 250 was a light armoured halftrack, very similar in appearance to the larger Hanomag-designed Sd.Kfz. 251, and built by the DEMAG firm, for use by Nazi Germany in World War II.

Compared to U.S. halftracks, the SdKfz 250 series was less mobile, with unpowered front wheels. However, its tracks made it far more mobile than the armoured cars it replaced, and it was a popular vehicle. Most variants were open-topped and had a single access door in the rear.

The Sd. Kfz 250 was adopted in 1939 to supplement the standard halftrack. Production delays meant the first 250 did not appear until mid-1941.
In 1939 the Inspectorate for Motorized Troops (AHA/In 6) decided that small armored half-tracks would be useful to accompany tanks in the attack. They could satisfy requirements for which a larger vehicle wouldn"t be needed such as headquarters, artillery forward observer, radio, and scout vehicles. Demag, the designer of the smallest half-track in service, the Sd.Kfz. 10, was selected to develop the light armored troop carrier (leichter gepanzert Mannschaft-Transportwagen) or Sd.Kfz. 250. The D7 chassis of the Sd.Kfz. 10 was shortened by one roadwheel station, an armored hull (Panzerwanne) replaced the sheet steel hull and almost every component was specially designed for the D7p, as the armored chassis was designated.

Power for the Sd.Kfz. 250 was provided by a Maybach 6-cylinder, water-cooled, 4.17 litre (254 cu in) HL 42 TRKM gasoline engine of 100 horsepower (100 PS). It had a semi-automatic pre-selector Maybach VG 102 128 H transmission with seven forward and three reverse gears. Gears were first selected and then the clutch depressed to change the ratio, the next gear could then be selected in advance. In effect the clutch acted as a gear change "switch". It could attain 76 km/h (47 mph), but the driver was cautioned not to exceed 65 km/h (40 mph).

Both tracks and wheels were used for steering. The steering system was set up so that shallow turns used only the wheels, but brakes would be applied to the tracks the farther the steering wheel was turned. The drive sprocket had rollers rather than the more common teeth. The rear suspension consisted of four double roadwheels mounted on swing arms sprung by torsion bars. An idler wheel, mounted at the rear of the vehicle, was used to control track tension. The front wheels had transversely-mounted leaf springs and shock absorbers, the only ones on the vehicle, to dampen impacts.

The Sd.Kfz. 250 was unique among German half-track designs as it, and its parent Sd.Kfz. 10, used a hull rather than a frame.

Service history
The vehicle was used in a wide variety of roles throughout World War II. The basic troop carrier version was used as an armored personnel carrier for reconnaissance units, carrying scout sections. This basic variant usually mounted one or two MG34 machineguns. Later variants carried 20mm, 37mm, and even 75mm guns to support the more lightly-armed versions (see table below).

Several special-purpose variants were seen early in the war. The 250/3 and 250/5 were command variants, equipped with fewer seats but with long-range radio equipment. These were used by battalion and higher commanders as personal command vehicles, most famously the 250/3 used by Erwin Rommel in the North African campaign. Early versions had large "bedframe" antennas easy to spot at long range, making them more vulnerable to artillery fire. Later variants dispensed with this and used a whip antenna instead.

The Sd.Kfz. 253 variant was fully enclosed, and was used by artillery forward observers to accompany tank and mechanized infantry units.

The initial design had an armoured body made of multi-faceted plates which gave good protection against small arms fire, but which made the design both expensive to manufacture and quite cramped. Production of this early version stopped in October 1943 with some 4,200 built, and a second version (neue art or "new version"), greatly simplified to speed up manufacture, began replacing it. In both variants, the armour was useful only for stopping small-arms fire and small artillery fragments. Heavy machinegun fire, anti-tank gun fire, or almost any tank gun could penetrate the Sd.Kfz. 250 at long range.

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