GA-251-9 Sd.Kfz. 251/9 Mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5 cm Kanone)
Sd.Kfz. 251/9 Mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5 cm Kanone)
John Jenkins Designs
Not yet released – expected in August 2023. SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PERIOD UNTIL FEBRUARY 28, 2023.Model Size 8 ” x 3” x 3”
The Sd.Kfz.251/9 SPW was intended for the heavy weapons companies of Panzergrenadier units to provide fire support for the panzergrenadiers. It mounted a short barreled 7.5 cm L/24 cannon. This is the same cannon found on the early Stürmgeschutz assault guns. When StüG cannon production shifted to the long barrel StuK L/43 in March 1942, the leftover short barrel L/24 cannons were adapted for installation on SPWs. Originally, this cannon was munted low in a cutout to the right side of the upper front superstructure. However, this solution gave the cannon a limited traverse of only 12 degrees to the right and 10 degrees to the left. Starting in December 1943, a purpose built gun (7.5 cm Kanone 51) replaced the earlier expedient gun mount. Instead of cutting out a section of the SPW hull, the new cannon was mounted directly onto the top of the superstructure of a normal SPW, along with an armored shield to provide the cannon crew with protection from small arms. This improved solution provided the cannon with a left and right travers of 20 degrees. The Sd.Kfz.251/9 carried 32 shells for the cannon, mixed between high explosive (both impact and delayed fuses), smoke rounds, and shaped charge armor piercing rounds. The shape charged rounds provided the Sd.Kfz.251/9 with an anti-armor capability effective to 800 meters against standard Allied tanks like the Sherman and T-34. Because it was a shaped charge, this round was equally effective at all distances. The Sd.Kfz.251/9 provided the Panzergrenadiers with direct fire support and was a prized weapon employed at the most important areas.
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)