The Sd.Kfz. 251 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251) half-track was an armored fighting vehicle designed and first built by the Hanomag company during World War II, and based on their earlier, unarmored Sd.Kfz. 11 vehicle. The larger of the pair (the Sd.Kfz. 250 being the lighter one) of the fully armored wartime half-tracks of the Wehrmacht, the Sd.Kfz. 251 was designed to transport the panzergrenadiers of the German mechanized infantry corps into battle. Sd.Kfz. 251s were the most widely produced German half-tracks of the war, with at least 15,252 vehicles and variants produced by various manufacturers, and were commonly referred to simply as "Hanomags" by both German and Allied soldiers.
SdKfz 251 in The War That Came EarlyEdit
In 1943, during a German retreat in the USSR during the rasputitsa season, Adam Pfaff remarked to Corporal Arno Baatz that he wouldn't mind being with the Panzergrenadiers and riding in a SdKfz 251. Baatz, who was equally tired of slogging through the thick mud, agreed that he had heard ideas he liked less. About 10 minutes later, they tramped past a SdKfz 251 buried in mud to its front axle, with the crew and passengers trying to get it out. Pfaff announced he had changed his mind, that he was happy to not be a Panzergrenadier.