Sd.Kfz.252, full name leichter gepanzerter Munitionstransportwagen (Sd.Kfz.252) was a light armored ammunition carrier used by Germany during World War 2.
As German Army began its massive expansion and rearmament in the 1930s., its requirements likewise grew. By the time of invasion of Poland, experiences of mobile warfare had made clear the need for an ammunition carrier that could keep up with armored fighting vehicles.
Sd.Kfz.252 was based on the Sd.Kfz.250 half-track and used the same chassis. Its hull however was shortened for the role, losing one set of wheels. Hull was dominated by superstructure which featured a long-running nose with mid-set crew compartment and a faceted hull with sloping sides and rear. It was one of very few half-tracks in German service with a completely enclosed crew compartment, necessitated due to the very valuable cargo contained within. It could be equipped with optional defensive MG34 machine gun, and communication was performed through an Fu 15 series wireless. The 6-cylinder Maybach HL 42 TRKM engine fitted to a forward compartment provided the vehicle with 100 horsepower. This allowed top speed of 65 kilometers per hour on the road and an operational range of 320 kilometers.
Demag and Bussing-NAG jointly developed the D7p pilot vehicle. Serial production through Demag and Wegmann began as early as 1936., though full-scale production only run from June through to December of 1940. Armored superstructure was produced by Boehler. Production of the vehicle was moved to Deutsche Werke facilities in January 1941., and production of the vehicle ceased completely in September 1941. A total of 413 vehicles were manufactured, all of them being issued to Sturmartillerie batteries as ammunition resupply vehicles.
In order to increase ammunition capacity, ammunition trailer Sonder-Anhanger fur Munition (7,5 cm) or Sd. Ah. 31/1 7,5 cm was developed for towing behind the Sd.Kfz.252, with capacity for additional 36 rounds of 75 mm ammunition.
Sd.Kfz.252 was intended to operate in conjuction with mobile German assault batteries (“Sturmartillerie”), particularly the Sturmgeschutz self-propelled assault guns. During the Battle of France, Sd.Kfz. 252s were used by Sturmartillerie Batteries 640 and 659. Due to production delays with the new Sd. Kfz. 252, Sturmartillerie Batteries 660 and 665 went into battle using “turretless” Panzerkampfwagen I munitions carriers.
On the Eastern front, units using the Sd. Kfz. 252 included the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 184, 190, 191, and 210.
The Sd.Kfz.252 was eventually replaced by the Sd.Kfz.250/6 in 1942., though some Sd.Kfz.252s were still in operation as late as 1944.
- Length: 4,7 m
- Width: 1,95 m
- Height: 1,8 m
- Crew: 2
- Mass: 5,73 t
- Engine: Maybach HL42 TRKM, 110 hp (82 kW), 7 forward + 3 reverse gears
- Operational range: 320 km (200 mi) (road), 175 km (109 mi) (off-road)
- Maximum speed: 65 km/h (40 mph)
- Armament: 1 x 7,92 mm MG34 with 500 rounds
- Upper front hull: 18 mm @ 30 deg
- Lower front hull: 18 mm @ 12 deg
- Upper hull sides: 8 mm @ 30 deg
- Lower hull sides: 8 mm @ 30 deg
- Rear hull: 8 mm @ 45 deg and 8 mm @ 55 deg
- Top hull: 8 mm @ 90 deg
- Bottom hull: 8 mm @ 90 deg
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