SdKfz 251 Halftrack
The multi-purpose SdKfz 251 mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen halftrack was designed to fulfill numerous roles on the battlefield and was the primary armored personnel carrier of the SS Panzergrenadier units.
The SdKfz 251 was constructed in 22 different variants which all used the same basic chassis design, the SdKfz 11 leichter Zugkraftwagen artillery tractor. Thousands of these vehicles were constructed in part by both Hanomag and Büssing-NAG.
The basic SdKfz 251/1 was in such demand that four main hull variants (A-D) were produced. Standard armament on the 251/1 consisted of two machine guns, as well as the weapons carried by its infantry. The SdKfz 251 and its variants were used on all German fronts and were a common sight in the German army. Along with the official variants listed below, many SdKfz 251s were altered and modified in the field to fit specific situations.
|SdKfz 251/1:||Armored personnel carrier (standard design)|
|SdKfz 251/2:||8cm mortar carrier|
|SdKfz 251/3:||Radio vehicle|
|SdKfz 251/4:||Munitions carrier|
|SdKfz 251/5:||Radio control for engineer platoon vehicle|
|SdKfz 251/6:||Command vehicle|
|SdKfz 251/7:||Engineer stores vehicle|
|SdKfz 251/9:||75mm self propelled gun|
|37mm self propelled gun|
|Telephone exchange and cable laying vehicle|
|Artillery survey vehicle|
|Artillery sound recording vehicle|
|Artillery sound ranging vehicle|
|Artillery flash spotter and recording vehicle|
|Observation post vehicle|
|Mobile telephone relay|
|Infrared searchlight carrier (paired with Panzer tanks)|
|75mm PaK 40|
Captain Miller's squad encountered a SdKfz 251 in a field outside the town of Ramelle during their search for Private Ryan. The halftrack and its crew were destroyed with the assistance of three 101st Airborne Division paratroopers. Later that day another SdKfz 251 participated in the failed German attempt to capture Ramelle.