by: Gary Kato [ ]
Overview"Panzer Tracts 15-1: leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen" was created by Thomas Jentz with Scale Plans by Hilary Louis Doyle. It was published in 2008 by Panzer Tracts (ISBN 0-9815382-0-7). The book has 84 8.5"x11" pages. All scale drawings are 1/35 scale. Most are 4-view only with 70 black and white photos. As always with Panzer Tracts, only period photos are used since the authenticity of museum pieces can be questionable. This is the first of four volumes covering the development and evolution of German Armored Personnel Carriers and covers all production Sd.Kfz.250 variants. The Sd.Kfz.250 was one of the major vehicles of the reconnaissance units of the German Army. Although very similar, the Sd.Kfz.252 and 253 are covered in other books (Panzer Tracts 17 and 11-1 respectively).
As for the Sd.Kfz.251, the documentation showing the reasoning behind the need for the Sd.Kfz.250 was lost in the war.
This short chapter describes the basic vehicle. There are 2 photos and one 4-view plan of the 0 series (prototype).
This chapter enumerates what companies produced the hull, chassis, armored superstructure, and who assembled them into complete vehicles with some production figures. There are plans of the armored hull (both riveted and welded) that held the suspension components and 1 photo of a chassis with the suspension and engine installed.
This chapter describes all the modifications that were made on the production line. The three major items are the different armored bodies. There were actually two different Ausf.A bodies: 400 Z types which were modeled after the Sd.Kfz.253 body and the E which was the main production type. The Ausf.B was the mid-war body that was easier to produce. There are 6 photos and three 4-view plans: Ausf.A/Z, Ausf.A/E, Ausf.B.
leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250/1) Ausf.A and B
This is the basic personnel carrier. There were two types of front machinegun mount, as the Sd.Kfz.251 had. There was the normal pivot mount and the heavy mount (sMG). There are 9 photos with 2 showing the interior and a 4-view plan of an Ausf.A. The reader is referred to Panzer Tracts 15-3 for 1/20 scale plans of the Panzerschild, AA, and sMG mounts.
leichter Fernsprechpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250/2) Ausf.A and B
This was a mobile field telephone switchboard. There are 3 photos with 2 showing the interior.
leichter Funkpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250/3) Ausf.A and B
This was a radio version. There are 5 photos with 2 showing the interior and a 4-view plan of an Ausf.A.
leichter Truppenluftschutzpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250/4) Ausf.A
This was an AA version carrying a dual MG34 mount. There are 2 photos, 1 showing the mount.
leichter Beobachtungspanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250/5) Ausf.A and B
This was an artillery observation version. This version replaced the Sd.Kfz.253. There are 7 photos with 3 showing the interior and a 4-view plan of an Ausf.B.
leichter Munitionspanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250/6) Ausf.A bis D
This was an ammunition carrier version for Sturmgeschuetz units. It replaced the Sd.Kfz.252. Usually the Ausf A/B designation meant which armored body that the version was based on, but in this case it denotes the difference in the ammunition the version was configured to carry. The Ausf.A carried rounds for the 7.5cm short-barrel gun while the Ausf.B carried rounds for the 7.5cm long-barreled gun. There are 5 photos with 4 showing the interior.
leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen (s.Gr.W) (Sd.Kfz.250/7) Ausf.A and B
This was an 81mm mortar carrier. There were three sub-types of this vehicle, although the text also mentions four. It looks as if there were two types of Troop Leader's vehicle but the differences are not listed. The Troop Leader's vehicle actually had the mortar. Both the Group Leader's and Munitions vehicles had the mountings for the mortar but not the mortar itself. The latter two also had a machine gun in the regular armored shield mount on the front of the fighting compartment. There are 5 photos with 2 of the interior and a 4-view plan of an Ausf.A. The reader is referred to Panzer Tracts 15-3 for 1/35 scale plans of the mortar, vehicle mount, bipod, and base plate.
leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen (7.5cm) (Sd.Kfz.250/8) Ausf. B
This was an infantry support version mounting a short-barreled 75mm gun. There are 2 photos and a 4-view plan of an Ausf.B. The reader is referred to Panzer Tracts 15-3 for 1/20 scale plans of the gun and mount.
leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen (2cm) (Sd.Kfz.250/9) Ausf. A and B
This was a reconnaissance version mounting a turret with a 20mm gun and co-axial machine gun. There are 5 photos and 3 4-view plans of an Ausf.A/Z, Ausf.A/E, and Ausf.B.
leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen (3.7cm PAK) (Sd.Kfz.250/10) Ausf. A and B
This was a section leader's vehicle mounting a 37mm anti-tank gun. There are 5 photos with 1 showing the interior and a 4-view plan of an Ausf.A/Z. The reader is referred to Panzer Tracts 15-3 for 1/20 scale plans of the gun and mount.
leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen (s.Pz.B.41) (Sd.Kfz.250/11) Ausf. A
This version was developed to add anti-tank firepower to Sd.Kfz.250 units by mounting a squeeze bore 28mm anti-tank gun. There are 4 photos.
leichter Messtruppenpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.250/12) Ausf. A
This version was for troops using flash and sounds to pin point enemy artillery for counter battery fire. There are 4 photos with 2 showing the interior.
Organization and Strength
This chapter lists the tables of organization for Sd.Kfz.250 units and how many the units had at various points in time. Sturmgeschuetz units are not mentioned here, probably as all of them were equipped with the 250/6. There are 2 photos, one of which shows Rommel's famous Sd.Kfz.250/3 "Greif".
Translated Experience Reports
This chapter has reports sent back from the field on how well the vehicles operated and suggested improvements. There are 8 photos with several showing vehicles with the sMG mount (leading to the author's wondering if they were the dominant armament for the early 250/1) and two of the Sd.Kfz.250/9.
ConclusionI hadn't realized how little I had in my library on the 250. I relied on a Bellona Print on the 250 so I was surprised to read that the 250 wasn't sent to troops until the last few months of 1941. I had thought these had gone into service at the same time as the 251. Whereas the 251 has had quite a bit of coverage in other books, it seems the 250 has been overlooked. I'm glad Panzer Tracts has rectified this.