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mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251)

 

 

 

 

 

In 1937, development of armoured personnel carrier was started which was based on the chassis of the le. Zgkw. 3t (Sd. Kfz. 11). A pilot series was ordered in 1938. The first serial vehicles of the Ausführung A were designated as mittlere gepanzerte Mannschaftstransportwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) – which means middle armoured personnel carrier – and reached the troop in 1939. Beginning in 1941, it was named mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen – which means literally translated middle rifleman’s armoured vehicle. The first 232 serial vehicles were manufactured in 1939. Additionally, 305 exemplars of the mittlere ungepanzerte Mannschaftskraftwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) – an unarmoured variant of the Sd. Kfz. 251- were also made in 1939. 347 vehicles were produced in 1940. Around the beginning of 1940, the Ausführung B entered serial production. The Ausführung C was manufactured beginning most probably in January 1941. In 1941, 424 vehicles were made and 1,200 vehicles in 1942. The Ausf. C was made until August 1943. The Ausf. D of the m. SPW (Sd. Kfz. 251) entered serial production in July 1943 first as Sd. Kfz. 251/9. 4,258 exemplars of the Ausf. C and Ausf. D were made this year. In 1944, further 7,785 exemplars were manufactured and 1,016 vehicles in 1945. In total, about 15,570 vehicles were made till the end of war. No differentiation between the different versions was made in the production statistics. Because changeover between the different versions was flowing, no exact production numbers can be specified for the different versions. For this reason, a table with the monthly production statistics was created.
In total, 23 official variants of the Sd. Kfz. 251 were developed or introduced. In the years 1939 and 1940, the Sd. Kfz. 251 was only delivered to the troop in the standard version. Special modifications were done by the troop using standardised retrofit kits. At that time, special variants of the Sd. Kfz. 251 had no separate Sd. Kfz. numbers. The first eight variants of the Sd. Kfz. 251 (Sd. Kfz. 251/1 – 251/8) were introduced with the A.H.M. of 16th November 1940 (therefore, production timeframe of some versions starts at that date in the table below). Six further variants (Sd. Kfz. 251/9 – 251/15) appeared in the D660/7 from 13th August 1942. Some of these variants were still under development at that time. According to D600 from July 1943 the versions Sd. Kfz. 251/ 12 – 251/15 were still under development. In a list from In 6 from March 1944, these variants were listed as officially introduced but these versions were totally missing in an In 6 list from August 1944. These versions do not appear in any production statistics. Most probably, serial production was never started. Interestingly, the Sd. Kfz. 251/3 number was newly assigned in 1943. Two further variants were registered in the D600 from 6th July 1943 (Sd. Kfz. 251/16 & 251/19) but the Sd. Kfz. 251/19 was still listed as under development in November 1944. This version is not listed in a list of the introduced variants from 22nd January 1945. Therefore, an officially introduction or a serial production is questionable. The Sd. Kfz. 251/20 (Uhu) was first mentioned by In 6 in August 1944. Serial production started in 1945. During a meeting on 26th July 1944 – where a member of In 6 was present – the Sd. Kfz. 251/21 was mentioned for the first time. Serial production started most probably one month later because a stock of four vehicles was recorded on 1st September 1944. The Sd. Kfz. 251/22 – which was armed with a 7.5cm Pak 40 – entered serial production in December 1944 on explicitly command of Hitler. In a copy of the secret D 97/1+ from July 1943, the m. SPW (2cm KwK mit Hängelafette) Sd. Kfz. 251/23 (Gerät Nr. 923) appeared as a handwritten addition from 28th December 1944. This version should replace the Sd. Kfz. 250/9 because the Sd. Kfz. 250 series should run out at the end of 1944. A serial production of this version is questionable because the Sd. Kfz. 250 series was manufactured until March 1945.
The Sd. Kfz. 251 evolved to the most important fighting vehicle of the motorised and mechanised infantry. Derivates of the Sd. Kfz. 251 series were used by many other branches.

 

 

 

 

 

Production models:

Production timeframe:

 

 

mittlerer ungepanzerter Mannschaftstransportwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251)

June 1939 - December 1939

 

 

mittlerer gepanzerter Mannschaftstransportwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) Ausf. A

June 1939 - December (?) 1939

 

 

mittlerer gepanzerter Mannschaftstransportwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) Ausf. B

January (?) 1940 - December (?) 1940

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) Ausf. C

January (?) 1941 - August 1943

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) Ausf. D

July 1943 - March 1945

 

 

Variant:

Model (series & retrofit):

Production timeframe:

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/1)

A + B + C + D

November 1940 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzer (Granatwerfer) (Sd. Kfz. 251/2)

A + B + C + D

November 1940 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (IG) (Sd. Kfz. 251/3)

A + B + C

November 1940 - early 1943

 

 

mittlerer Funkpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/3)

C + D

early 1943 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (IG Mun) (Sd. Kfz. 251/4)

A + B + C + D

November 1940 - ? 1944

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (Pi) (Sd. Kfz. 251/5)

A + B + C

November 1940 - ? 1944

 

 

mittlerer Kommandopanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/6)

A + B + C + D

November 1940 - late 1943

 

 

mittlerer Pionierpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/7)

C + D

November 1940 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Krankenpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/8)

A + B + C + D

November 1940 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (7,5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 251/9)

C + D

May 1942 - December 1944

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (3,7 cm Pak) (Sd. Kfz. 251/10)

A + B + C + D

July 1941 - October 1943

 

 

mittlerer Fernsprechpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/11)

C + D

August 1942 - February 1945

 

 

mittlerer Messtrupp- & Gerätepanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/12)

Prototypes

possibly never introduced

 

 

mittlerer Schallaufnahmepanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/13)

Prototypes

possibly never introduced

 

 

mittlerer Schallauswertepanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/14)

Prototypes

possibly never introduced

 

 

mittlerer Lichtauswertepanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/15)

Prototypes

possibly never introduced

 

 

mittlerer Flammpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/16)

C + D

January 1943 - February 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (2 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 251/17)

D

August (?) 1944 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Beobachtungspanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/18)

D

October 1944 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Fernsprechbetriebspanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251/19)

Prototypes

possibly never introduced

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (IR Scheinwerfer) (Sd. Kfz. 251/20)

D

January 1945 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (M.G. 151/20 Drilling) (Sd. Kfz. 251/21)

(C) + D

August 1944 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (7,5 cm Pak) (Sd. Kfz. 251/22)

D

December 1944 - March 1945

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (2 cm KwK 38) (Sd. Kfz. 251/23)

(D)

possibly never introduced

 

 

mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) mit s. WG 40

A + B + C + D

March 1941 - ?

 

 

2cm Flak auf Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd. Kfz. 251) of the Luftwaffe

C

?

 

 

Special variants of the Sd. Kfz. 251

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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