SdKfz 251/2D Mortar Carrier
The Sd Kfz 251 Mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen (medium Armoured Personnel Carrier) was used as the basis for a number of specialist support vehicles required to equip the Panzergrenadiers. The first variant, the Sd Kfz 251/2C, was designed and trialled in 1941 and entered service at the beginning of 1942. The main modifications carried out were to add a reinforced base plate in the rear of the half-track to allow the 8cm schwere Granatwerfer 34 (mortar) to be fired from the vehicle and the removal of one troop seat to allow for ammunition storage. The forward MG mount was removed because the mortar fired to the front of the vehicle. A normal base plate for the mortar was carried inside the vehicle so that the weapon could be dismounted to fire if necessary.
In Flames Of War
Two of these half-tracks, along with an observer team in a Kubelwagen, are used to equip the mortar squad of the Panzergrenadier Armoured Heavy Platoon (page 104 Earth & Steel). Up to six can also be found in the Armoured Mortar Platoon (page 156 Earth & Steel) to provide even heavier support for your Gepanzerte SS-Panzergrenadiers if you choose to replace your trucks with the extra protection and mobility provided by armoured half-tracks. The 8cm mortar will provide you with high-explosive fire as well as the ability to fire smoke rounds, always popular for that bit of extra concealment at the critical moment! As with the standard Sd Kfz 251 half-track you also get the benefit of the rear mounted AA MG for protection from roving aircraft. The armour of the half-track will help keep out small arms fire, but stay away from anything with serious anti-tank capability.