Leichter Schützenpanzerwagen Sd.Kfz.250/3 Ausf. B

In Detail

This very complete Sd.Kfz.250 B hull was discovered, by contractors in Eastern Europe, buried in an old shell hole. The vehicle retained all its thin metal internals and externals in addition to its armour. There was no trace of the vehicle’s original markings save for a white shield with what appeared to be an arrow on the rear access door. After some research this was confirmed to be the unit insignia of the 6th Panzer Division, which was engaged in fierce combat in Hungary in the winter of 1944-5. We do not know yet where exactly it was unearthed. The location is important as it could provide us with more clues as to when it was destroyed which in turn will assist in identifying the exact deployment within the 6th Panzer Division’s strength - company, section or even the people who served in this particular vehicle.

The external characteristics of the vehicle provide us with further insight. The upper rear left hand side panel where the antenna base is located shows a panel about 20cm in length protruding into the vehicle interior. This plate is specific to the body of the Sd.Kfz.250/3 Ausf.B or Sd.Kfz.250/5 and provides protection for the antenna cable at the point of entry into the antenna base area.

Due to a number of missing equipment fixing points, it was concluded that this vehicle was not an Sd.Kfz.250/5.

The 6th Panzer Division shield was faithfully recorded and the artwork is a faithful rendition of the original. The original photos of the time of 6th Panzer show various iterations of the symbol. We have replicated exactly what remained on the rear door to produce the unit symbol once more.

However due to the lack of additional tactical symbols, or markings. The establishment of where the vehicle was specifically deployed and to what section, or company will require in-depth research. This research involves both documentary and actual detail incorporated in, or on the vehicle.

The vehicle provided one of the very few plates fixed internally between the driver and passenger’s visors. This plate shows the Fahrgestellnummer (chassis number) 410071, Aufbaunummer (body number) 3617 and last of all the 3 letter manufacturer’s code for the assembler lsb.

LSB was the three letter code for Evans and Pistor in Kassel – the sole le.S.P.W. (Sd.Kfz.250) assemblers. The chassis number indicates that it was produced by MWC or Mechanische Werke Cottbus, who commenced the production of D7p chassis in July 1944. The chassis was completed in August 1944. The fact that the chassis tub is welded also points to late Sd.Kfz.250 production as does the absence of grey paint on the outside.

Tom Jentz our researcher and a Trustee calculated that the completed vehicle would have been delivered to the unit no later than October 1944.

By this stage in the war, 6th Panzer was predominantly operating Sd.Kfz.251 SPW (Schützenpanzerwagen ). The Sd.Kfz.250 was relatively rare in their muster so it narrows the field down, but only so much. However referring to the K.St.N (Kriegsstärkenachweisungen, war strength report) guidelines, gave us more information.

The K.St.N 1113 (gp. ) dated 1/4/44 lists the potential muster of a total of 31 Sd.Kfz.250s of which 21 could have radio equipment. Looking further there are 2 Sd.Kfz.250/3s listed – one is permitted to have a Fu 8 , Fu 5 and Fr.Spr.f and the other specified to have a Fu 5, Fu 4 and a Fr.Spr.f. Our Sd.Kfz.250 would therefore be one or the other of the two designated Sd.Kfz.250/3s if the K.St.N was fully adhered to by the unit. K.St.N 1162c of 1/4/44 also provides further information giving the potential location of this Sd.Kfz.250 within the ‘unit’. 25 are listed within the Panzer Spähwagen Kompanie c. and K.St.N 1113 of the same date lists 30 within the le.Pz. Aukl.Kp.

Another report dated 30 December 1944 lists the Pz.AA 6 le SPW Abteilung as having 4 Sd.Kfz.250/3s. It is extremely likely that the vehicle, would have been one of these 4 if it was still around when the muster was taken. Delivered in October still around in December. The same report lists the strength within the Panzer Aufklärung Abteilung Pz A.A 6 (6th Pz Reconnaissance Unit): 1st company Pz. Späh (Armoured Car) Kompanie had 25 le. SPW, 2nd Company 26 le. SPW and 3rd Company 30 le. SPW.

Given that the Sd.Kfz.250/3 was delivered in approximately October the unit Gliederungen we have seen provide only one which could fit the date line. This report appears to be dated 17/1/45. The Gruppe Führer strength includes 16 Schwere SPWs, 3 le. SPWs. The quality of the copy is poor. Therefore, a fresh look at the archive is required; together with any OQu (Oberquartermeister) strength reports for the period October to the end of March, when the unit left Hungary for Austria.

The hunt for where the vehicle was unearthed is ongoing.

Become a Member - Access the Full Article

Members gain access to the full content of our articles, including photo galleries.