German WWII Sd.Kfz. 250 Halftrack Pulled Out of a River in Incredible Condition!

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by War History Online, 4-1-2016

Look at this amazing find that has just been recovered from the river Pilica in central Poland. This looks like it could be driven away. The level of preservation is unbelievable. Scroll down to page three for the video and also keep your eye out for one of the front tires – it will blow you away, it looks brand new. A big thank you to Tomek Basarabowicz of Poland.

The Sd.Kfz. 250 (German: Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250; ‘special motor vehicle’) was a light armoured halftrack, very similar in appearance to the larger Hanomag-designed Sd.Kfz. 251, and built by the DEMAG firm, for use by Nazi Germany in World War II. Most variants were open-topped and had a single access door in the rear.

The Sd. Kfz 250 was adopted in 1939 to supplement the standard halftrack. Production delays meant that the first 250 did not appear until mid-1941.

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In 1939, the Inspectorate for Motorized Troops (AHA/In 6) decided that it would be useful for small armored half-tracks to accompany tanks in the attack. They could satisfy requirements for which a larger vehicle wouldn’t be needed, such as headquarters, artillery forward observer, radio, and scout vehicles.

Demag, the designer of the smallest half-track in service, the Sd.Kfz. 10, was selected to develop the “light armored troop carrier” (leichter gepanzerter Mannschafts-Transportwagen) or Sd.Kfz. 250. The D7 chassis of the Sd.Kfz. 10 was shortened by one roadwheel station, an armored hull (Panzerwanne) replaced the sheet steel bodywork and almost every component was specially designed for the D7p, as the armored chassis was designated.

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Power for the Sd.Kfz. 250 was provided by a Maybach 6-cylinder, water-cooled, 4.17-litre (254 cu in) HL 42 TRKM gasoline engine of 100 horsepower (100 PS). It had a semi-automatic pre-selector transmission with seven forward and three reverse gears:

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Hitler’s Artillery 1939 – 1945

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by Hans Seidler

Hitler’s Artillery 1939 – 1945 is a highly illustrated record of the firepower of the German war machine between 1939 – 1945. Many of the photographs, all from the author’s collection, come originally from the albums of individuals who took part in the war.

The images and text cover the guns in service with the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS and provide a unique visual record of artillery pieces. These include the 7.5cm 1.IG18, the 10.5cm infantry gun, the powerful 15cm field howitzer, heavy 18cm and 21cm mortars and others including captured French, British and Russian guns.

These and other weapons are seen in action in Poland, the Low Countries, France, Balkans, North Africa, Italy and, of course, Russia. Initially a key part of the Blitzkrieg offensive concept. The emphasis became defensive as the tide turned against the Germans. Using over 250 rare and unpublished photographs together with detailed captions and accompanying text, this book provides a unique insight into German weaponry from early Blitzkrieg campaigns to the final demise of the Nazi empire.

Hitler’s Forgotten Children: A True Story of the Lebensborn Program and One Woman’s Search for Her Real Identity

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by Ingrid von Oelhafen & Tim Tate

Created by Heinrich Himmler, the Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. 

In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity. One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a “Child of Hitler.” Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.

Though the Nazis destroyed many Lebensborn records, Ingrid unearthed rare documents, including Nuremberg trial testimony about her own abduction. Following the evidence back to her place of birth, Ingrid discovered an even more shocking secret: a woman named Erika Matko, who as an infant had been given to Ingrid’s mother as a replacement child. 

Hitler’s Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program.