Sdkfz250 at Arnhem

Hi all. A question that may well have been asked before, but has anyone ever deciphered the rationale, if any, behind the numbering of this “Hohenstaufen” half track? It is always associated with 9SS PD, so the numbers make no sense at all. Perhaps this is deliberate? However there are lots of pictures of 9SS vehicles with no numbers at all, so this seems a bit like gilding the lily - it would be easier just to leave them off!


@Hohenstaufen i think most of the numbers were taken off because either 9th or 10th was supposed to send its equipment to Germany for repair. If i remember correctly they had a hodge podge of mismatched equipment with Frundsberg and Hohenstaufen insignias.

I see your thinking, but although Hohenstaufen had loaded it’s equipment for return to the rear and “hidden” usable vehicles by removing the tracks etc, there is an exchange between Harzer and Grabner where they discuss how long it would take to get them battleworthy again. Grabner, after consulting his engineers says “three to five hours”, Harzer’s response is “get it done in three”. Thus the armour available to 9SS AA is basically their own, or what remained of it. In any case, the numbers still make no sense, even if it was a Frundsberg vehicle. It’s possible it is the third vehicle of the second company, this fits, as this company was equipped with the Sdkfz250, but the 7 still doesn’t work, unless it’s spurious to mislead, in which case I wonder if other vehicles in the unit were similarly numbered?


Perhaps a vehicle snaffled from some other unit? Or a quick repaint whilst ad hoc battlegroups - conceivably requiring some rapid renumbering - were formed? It would mean a bit of effort (getting the paints out, the stencils etc) but don’t underestimate the German mentality for Ordentlichkeit(!) - even in the midst of a battle perhaps?

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My guess always was that the vehicle was in the workshop being re-fitted and/or re-allocated when it was rushed into service, and the incomplete changes to the tactical numbers where left as they were. :thinking:

The use of 4-digit tactical numbers, while uncommon, can be seen on other vehicles.

I found this explanation in Panzer Colors II:

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Yes, this may be the answer. The “7” or the “72” are spurious, although the “2” could refer to the second company which did have these vehicles. The Aufklarungabteilung only had one battalion of course, but this doesn’t look like a command vehicle. However, contrast this to Panzerregiment commander Meyer’s PzIV command tank at Tarnopol, which was coded “K09” - bit of a giveaway!

As this vehicle is identified as a 250/3, (showing the star antenna for the FuG 12 but oddly missing the 2-meter rod antenna for the FuG 5), I’m a little unsure why this couldn’t be a command vehicle?

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Agh! Missed the antenna - it is even clearer in my photo! That may well be the answer then.