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"SdKfz 251 and 250 - LMG ammunition stowage" Topic


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528 hits since 18 Nov 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Starfury Rider18 Nov 2020 8:35 a.m. PST

I asked this over on Axis History Forum but didn't get much response, so am trying here.

Is there a description available of the 'authorised' stowage for light machine gun ammunition in both the SdKfz 251 and 250 halftracks, particularly as regards those in the Squad carrying role?

The 'Encyclopaedia of German Tanks' by Chamberlain and Doyle quotes 2010 rounds for both the 250/1 and the 251/1, which is supported for the 250 at least by the solitary Panzer Grenadier KAN (equipment table) that I've seen to date, posted on the germandocsinrussia site;

https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de … rid/zoom/1

This shows 1005 rounds each of SmK (armour piercing) and SmK L'spur (AP tracer) for each LMG used as a halftrack mounted weapon. The sole reply on AHF reminded me that 7.92-mm was packed in cartons of 15 rounds, so the odd 1005 figure appears to equate to 67 cartons.

There is another contemporary document on germandocsinrussia (and I cannot recall the location) that lists the variants of both types of armoured halftrack and gives a figure for ammunition carried. Across all the vehicles mounting a machine gun the total is 1100 rounds.

I was wondering then whether there is a good contemporary description that shows the stowage for LMG ammunition in at least one of the two halftrack types that may hopefully match one or other figure?

On a related note, I've never seen anything approaching a stowage scheme or diagram for either the SdKfz 251 or 250. Can anyone recommend anything on the subject?

Thanks,

Gary

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2020 10:00 a.m. PST

Are those ammo boxes stacked on the floor?

link

Starfury Rider18 Nov 2020 10:55 a.m. PST

I'm not sure I'm looking at the same pic as you've linked to, my AV didn't like it but I think I found it cached. This seems to be another version of the shot;

picture

If that's the same image then the five or so boxes blocking the aisle should be ammunition cases, which I think had a 300 round capacity (loose ammo). I understand there was some storage under the bench seats and would imagine the 'book' method of carrying kit was a bit neater than seen in that museum display!

Gary

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2020 2:41 p.m. PST

Yes, that's the one.

Personal logo Schulein Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2020 9:26 p.m. PST

osprey new vanguard quotes 1425 for 251, no source

Skarper19 Nov 2020 1:55 a.m. PST

There was a website with a lot of data about AFVs including ammo loads. It's not working any more.

From that I got a figure of around 2000 rounds for both the 251 and 250. No idea what the source was but it was a serious website.

deephorse19 Nov 2020 4:09 a.m. PST

Gary, there is an excellent three-volume set on the 250 published in 2004 by Total Detail Publications. Due to extraordinary foresight (!) I bought all three volumes back then, and they are a treasure trove of information about the 250 series of vehicles.

For copyright reasons I will not be posting photos from the books here, but I will try to give some written description of what might be helpful to you.

Vol.1 concentrates on a restored 250/1 used by a 'GD Living History' unit. It shows that the 300 round ammunition tins were stored inside a purpose built box accessed by lifting the bench seat. Further ammunition in the 15 round card boxes were stored in the locker that was behind the bench seat backrest.

Vol.3 has what I take to be original annotated German storage plans for many of the variations of the 250. Fortunately a key has been provided in English, and this is what it says about ammo for the 250/1.

2 cartridge sacks 34 one in the ammo locker, one on left sidewall
4 belt drum carriers 34, with a total of 8 belt drums 3 carriers in the ammo locker, one on the left sidewall
16 cartridge cases 34- in the ammo locker
1 magazine bag with 6 magazines for MP38 on right sidewall.

Blutarski19 Nov 2020 4:26 p.m. PST

I checked my copy of "Schutzenpanzer" by Bruce Culver and Uwe Feist (great book!). For the SdKfz251/1 Ausf A, it states that "ten boxes of belted ammunition" for the MG34s were stowed under each of the four crew bench seats.

The cartridge sacks referred to in deephorse's above post are described as for use in storing spent cartridge casings.

If anyone is looking for some specific data, I will be happy see what the book has to say.

B

Blutarski19 Nov 2020 4:32 p.m. PST

BTW, in the afore-mentioned "Schutzenpanzer" it was mentioned that truck-borne German grenadiers were humorously and disparagingly referred to as "Gummi-Panzergrenadiere".

B

Starfury Rider20 Nov 2020 12:52 p.m. PST

Thanks for the replies all.

That description of the load for the 250/1 did tally up with a few things I've seen. The basic kit for an MG34 appears from a few contemporary sources to have been eight ammunition cases (300 rnds) and eight drum magazines, in four carriers, plus 56 belts, in the light role.

There's a prewar schematic here for the SdKfz 251 (or the medium MTW (3-ton), as it's referred to;

link

That shows MG ammn cases being carried under the bench seats (as per Culver) but with eight in one compartment and nine in the other, on each side, for total 34 cases. This is also pre the SdKfz being provided with its own LMG it would appear, as the two weapons indicated belong to the Squad.

The MP40 was initially considered as a 'board' weapon, to be used as required, either dismounted or from the vehicle. It latterly became the driver's personal weapon.

I hadn't realised just how sparse the interior was until I spent some time googling pics. There are then some general usage compartments behind the bench seats, sloping down in line with the hull profile? I hadn't noticed them before.

Deephorse, whereabouts does the ammo locker sit in the 250 diagrams? Is it under the seating as well?

Thanks,

Gary

deephorse21 Nov 2020 11:15 a.m. PST

Gary, the ammo locker is indicated under the bench seat, and in a large rectangular box at the right rear of the fighting compsrtment. This latter box is indicated as being in the HMG carrier version of the 250.

deephorse22 Nov 2020 4:47 a.m. PST

The clearest photo of the storage box that I can link to is on this website.

link

The photo is about tenth down the page. It is a model but illustrates the box exactly as it appears in the photos of the real vehicle in the books I have previously referred to.

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