The Sd.Kfz. 251 "Hanomag" was the German standard APC of World War Two and it was an armored version of the Sd.Kfz. 11. Built by Hanomag, the apc have be used as infantry transport but also for carry weapons! Over 22 different variants are be designed on this vehicle wich becomes the German vehicle with the most variants! In Forgotten Hope Secret Weapon, we can introduce you seven variants included this one. It is designed for transport ten troops or 1.5 tonnes of cargo. it can also tow artillery. They saw action on all the battlefields were the German are be active.
Sd.Kfz. 251 "Hanomag" Variants in Forgotten Hope Secret Weapon
There were four main model modifications (Ausführung A through Ausf. D), which formed the basis for at least 22 variants. The initial idea was for a vehicle that could be used to transport a single squad of panzergrenadiers to the battlefield protected from enemy small arms fire, and with some protection from artillery fire. In addition, the standard mounting of at least one MG 34 or MG 42 machine gun allowed the vehicle to provide support by fire for the infantry squad once they had disembarked in battle.
Positive aspects of the open top included greater situational awareness and faster egress by the infantry, as well as the ability to throw grenades and fire over the top of the fighting compartment as necessary while remaining under good horizontal cover. Downsides to the open top were a major vulnerability to all types of plunging fire; this included indirect fire from mortars and field artillery as well as depressed-trajectory small arms fire from higher elevated positions, lobbed hand grenades, and strafing by Allied aircraft.
The first two models were produced in small numbers from 1939. A and B model can be identified by the structure of the nose armor which comprises two trapezoids. The lower trapezoid has a cooling hatch. Production of the B modification from 1940 eliminated the fighting compartment's side vision slits. The C modification introduced into production in mid-1940 featured a simplified hexagonal-shape forward armoured plate for the engine. Ausf. A through C had rear doors of the vehicle bulging out. The C variant had a larger production run, but was a quite complex vehicle to build, involving many angled plates that gave reasonable protection from small arms fire. From early 1943, the Ausf D variant was developed with a purpose of reducing the number of angled body plates by 50%, simplifying the design and thus speeding up the production. Ausf D can be easily recognized by its single piece sloping rear (with flat doors).
The standard personnel carrier version was equipped with a 7.92 mm MG 34 or MG 42 machine gun mounted at the front of the open compartment, above and behind the driver. A second machine gun could be mounted at the rear on an anti-aircraft mount.
Variants were produced for specialized purposes, including with anti-aircraft guns, light howitzers, anti-tank guns and mortars or even large unguided artillery rockets, as well as a version with an infrared search light used to spot potential targets for associated Panther tanks equipped with infrared detectors.
Another potentially good design feature of the Sd.Kfz.251 was the large track area, with the characteristic "slack track" design with no return rollers for the upper run of track, and overlapping and interleaved main road wheels common to virtually all German halftracks of the period. This lowered ground pressure and provided better traction, giving the Sd.Kfz.251 better cross country performance than most other nations' half-tracked vehicles. The interleaved and overlapping main road wheels, however, shared a chief problem with the Tiger I and Panther main battle tanks that also used such roadwheel configurations - in muddy or winter weather conditions, such as those during a rasputitsa mud season or the coldest Russian winter conditions, accumulated mud and/or snow could freeze solid between the road wheels, possibly immobilizing the vehicle.
In 1944, a new weapon will be do his debut; it is the Night Vision. A special German unit, will enter the battlefield with modern equipment. Five Panther Ausf A and G's will be equipment with the new 30cm Sperber FG 1250 infrared searchlight with range of 600m. However, some other vehicles will also be equipment with this new weapon. Such like the Sd.Kfz. 251 wich will have two variants! One of them was the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 "Falke". This was a simple Sd.Kfz. 251/1 equipment with an 7.92mm MG 42 machinegun. The driver and even also the machinegunner will have the FG 1250 infrared searchlight. This vehicle can town a 7.5 cm Pak 40 with also an FG 1250 infrared searchlight.
This variant was the Sd.Kfz. 251/1-II nicknamed "Stuka zu Fuß". The nickname wast levied by the guns that mount on the vehicle. On each side three 280mm or 320mm sWuR 40, wich had the nickname Stuka zu Fuß ("Stuka on Foot" or "Walking Stuka") and Heulende Kuh ("Bellowing Cow"), are be mount. The elevation was +33° to +70°, but the traverse was 0°. This because the vehicle must aim his front to the target, such like a typical German tank destroyer like the Jagdpanzer IV. Ingame the sWuR 40 use the 28cm Wurfkörper Spr. High Explosive Rocket. They had a weight of 84.7 kg included the 45.4 kg TNT and can reach a range of 1925 metres.
This variant was the SD.Kfz. 251/2 and carry an 81 mm Granatwerfer 34/1 in the open hull in the back. From outside, it looks like an normal Sd.Kfz. 251/1, but inside you can of course find the mortar back. The 62 kg heavy mortar shoots 81.4 mm HE grenades with a weight of 3,4 kg. The elevation is 45° to 90°, but it is not sure it can reach the same elevation in the vehicle. The grenades can reach a range off 2.400 metres (outside the vehicle) with a rate of fire off 15 until 25 rpm!
The 7.5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 37 L/24 have be used on many tanks. First on the Neubaufahrzeug V and VI and later on the Panzer III Ausf N, Panzer IV Ausf A, C, D, E and F and the StuG III Ausf. A, B, C, D, and E. The gun also used on armored cars like the SdKfz.233 and SdKfz.234/3. Both also know as the Stummel. But there is still another Stummel and this was the Sd.Kfz. 251/9. By removing the co-driver spyhole, the 7.5 cm KwK 37 have be place as mainweapon. The machineguns are be removed. The vehicles works like a Stug, it most aim his weapon by stearing the complete vehicle.
The Sd.Kfz. 251/10 and the Sd.Kfz. 251/22 are the only two official anti-tank versions of the Hanomag. Meanwhile the Sd.Kfz. 251/22 have a strong 7.5 cm Pak 40, the Sd.Kfz. 251/10 have a 3.7 cm Pak 36. The front machinegun from this Schützenpanzerwagen have be removed and the Pak have be place in the vehicle.
- Night Vision abilities - Radar Detection available
Infrared Illuminator and Radar Detection
Like we already say before (see Sd.Kfz. 251/1 "Falke"), the Germans have equipment vehicles with night vision in 1944. Those vehicles are the Panther Ausf A and G, Marder II and some Jagdpanthers. But also the 7.5 cm Pak 40 will be equipment with the a night vsion wich be can tow by the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 "Falke". This vehicle have an 30cm Sperber FG 1250 infrared searchlight with a range of 600 metres. However, another variant of the Sd.Kfz. 251 have been designed for doing reconnaissance jobs and this is the Sd.Kfz. 251/20, only 60 vehicles of this variant produced. This was an big searhlight wich be mount in the passenger back. This enormous searchlight have a diameter of 60 cm and its know as the Beobachtungs Gerät 1251 Infrarotscheinwerfer. It have a range of 1.000 metres and can spot targets for artillery ingame. Also an radar detector is available ingame. Because his good eye, it had the nickname Uhu wich means Owl. The vehicle have no weaponry, so defending against enemy infantry can only be done by handweapons or via the machinegun wich the Uhu can drop.