Graz, April 1945. Facing the prospect of certain defeat by advancing Russian troops the Foundation’s Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D was abandoned by remnants of the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking. This division was made up almost entirely of non-German volunteers drawn from across Europe. Nearly 30 years later in 1974 our Sd.Kfz.251 was discovered by a group of enthusiasts in a huge local scrap yard.
The Sd.Kfz.251 was discovered during the extensive clear up of Austria after the Russian occupation ended in 1955. The vehicle was dumped in a local scrap yard used for war materiel. The Sd.Kfz.251 was discovered along with two Sd.Kfz.250 Ausf. Bs. The vehicles were all in extremely poor condition, with the Sd.Kfz.251 in the worst shape. Much of the body had been crushed under the weight of the scrap metal above. A benefit of its position at the bottom of the scrap heap, meant that oil from the parts and vehicles above kept large sections of the body rust free. This not only helped preserve the paintwork but best of all, the unit and tactical insignia.
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