|Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250/3 (SdKfz 250)|
|Type||Half-track Armored Personnel Carrier|
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Armor||5.5 - 14.5 mm|
| 1x 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 |
|Engine|| Maybach 6-cylinder, water-cooled HL42 TRKM petrol|
The Sd.Kfz. 250 (German: Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250; 'special motor vehicle') 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. 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.
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 20 mm, 37 mm, and even 75 mm guns to support the more lightly armed versions.
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, which were 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.