GA-251-7 Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Mittlerer Pionierpanzerwagen
The Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagen was the specialized version issued to Panzerpionier of Panzer units. Pioniere were infantry unique to the German forces. While similar to combat engineers, they are more accurately described as heavy assault infantry with specialized engineering skills. The Pioniere supported the assault parties with explosives expertise and by clearing mines, clearing obstacles. The Sd.Kfz. 251/7 was the third abundantly produced version of the SPWwas designed to assist the Panzerpionere in their duties by carrying the extra explosives and specialized tools in its stowage bins. However, the most striking difference between an Sd.Kfz. 251/7 SPW and a standard Sd.Kfz. 251/1 SPW was the addition of two 8-ton Uebergangsschienen (small bridge sections) carried on the upper sides of the SPW. The JJD Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagen carries the markings and Panzerpioniere from 9. Kompanie (Pioniere) of SS-Pz.Rgt. 1.
The Sd.Kfz. 251 mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen was an armored and fully tracked infantry fighting vehicle designed specifically to provide infantry the capability to match pace with German Panzers during armored operations. No other nation employed a similar vehicle during the war. It was purpose built to truly serve as a vehicle the Panzergrenadiers actually fought from. Its armored body could withstand small arms fire, protecting the mounted troops while they employed the two onboard machineguns along with the soldier’s own personal small arms. The SPW was also fully tracked, meaning each of its tracks could be operated independently from the other track, just like a tank. This capability provided the SPW with excellent cross country mobility and allowed the Panzergrenadiers to accompany tanks even in the muddiest conditions. Lastly, the excellent capabilities of the SPW led to numerous specialized variants including versions mounting 7.5cm cannons and versions carrying small bridge sections for the Pioniere (specialized heavy assault troops with engineering skills).
The SPW spearhead of Kampfruppe Peiper was historically organized as follows:
– 10. Kompanie of SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 2 equipped with thirteen Sd.Kfz. 251 SPWs
– a half platoon of Panzerpioniere from 9. Kompanie (Pioniere) of SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 equipped with two Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagens
– a heavy weapons platoon of 12. Kompanie of SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 2 equipped with seven Sd.Kfz. 251/9 SPWs mounting 7.5 cm cannon
The latest JJD PRE-ORDER includes three SPW halftracks meant to represent each of these unique SPW variants of Kampfgruppe Peiper’s spearhead.
While designed to represent vehicles from Kampfgruppe Peiper and to be used with the previously released JJD King Tigers,. The JJD Sd.Kfz.251 SPWs work equally as well to represent LSSAH Panzergrenadiers during Normandy in 1944 (were equipped with these same SPW variants) and work with the previously released JJD GA-21 Stug III Ausf G Late 1943 from LSSAH’s Stüg Abteilung.
All three JJD Sd.Kfz. 251 variants also include:
– historically accurate camo paint schemes
– fully detailed engine bays with opening and closing hatches (to aid in cooling, the Germans often left the engine hatches open)