SdKfz 251 Halftrack
Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251 Halftrack
|Role||Medium Infantry Transport Vehicle|
|Upkeep per Minute||-5.37|
|Produced By||Krieg Barracks|
|Primary armament||2x Mounted MG42 machine gun(only when occupied)|
|Max. Speed||6.5 m/s|
Game Info Edit
SdKfz 251 Half-track or "Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251" is the half-track vehicle of the Wehrmacht. The SdKfz 251 Half-track is armed with 2 MG42 light machine gun and armor up to 12.5mm. The half-track is designed to transport Infantry such as Volksgrenadier Squad and Grenadier Squad. Similar to the M3 Halftrack, SdKfz 251 Half-track can reinforce a squad to full strength without the need of returning back to the HQ. SdKfz 251 Half-track has one MG42 light machine gun at both the front and rear. They can only be used if Infantry Unit are in the half-track itself. With good speed and armor protection from small arms fire, the SdKfz 251 Half-track can serve as a reconnaissance vehicle providing identification of enemy position, Infantry support, and other related tasks. Besides the standard transport role, SdKfz 251 Half-track can be upgraded with two types of upgrade. Both upgrades prevent the vehicle from transporting infantry once researched. The SdKfz 251 Half-track can be upgraded to a (Flammpanzerwagen) that arms it with two flamethrowers that are highly effective against Infantry in buildings and in the open. The SdKfz 251 Half-track can also be upgraded to the Stuka zu Fuß("Walking Stuka" or Wurfrahmen 40), a rocket launcher that fires the 320mm Wurfkoeper rockets. The 320mm Wurfkoeper rockets are a highly effective weapon, as they can fire into the fog of war. Although inaccurate the rockets can badly damage and even destroy anything they hit. Up to 3 SdKfz 251 launching in a multiple rocket barrage could create a "Scorching Rain" on the enemy base, severely disrupting the Allies base and breaking the Allies commander's morale. The SdKfz 251 Half-track is one vehicle Allies commanders don't take lightly.
Sdkfz 251 is a versatile vehicle and can use several weapons. The basic version of this vehicle is equipped with two machine guns. Other weapons are available after purchasing the correct upgrades.
As mentioned above, basic version of the Sdkfz 251 is equipped with 2 machine guns, where one is located on the rear and second is on the front of the vehicle. These weapons are active only, if soldiers are in the halftrack. Note however, that both gunners can die, if the vehicle is under heavy fire.
MG42 is an effective weapon against infantry. Its range is 35 meters, which is equal to the vehicle sight range. This machine gun fires from 15 to 30 bullets per burst. After firing 8 or 7 such bursts, the weapon must be reloaded, which takes about 6 seconds. In distances of 20 meters, each bullet has 45% chance to reach the target. If the target is farther from the vehicle, accuracy is noticeably smaller and its value is equal to 20%. Each hit inflicts 5 points of damage.
This weapon has good suppression power, and after a few bursts, enemy squads will likely be neutralized and incapable to fight, which can be very useful.
This weapon isn't able to damage enemy medium vehicles, not to mention about tanks. However, light vehicles aren't immune to this weapon, and can be destroyed in consequence.
After purchasing flammenwerfer upgrade, Sdkfz 251 will be equipped with 2 flamethrowers, where one is located on the left side of the vehicle, and second is one on the right. Each of them may engage different target, but both can attack the same for increased damage. This upgrade removes both machine guns, which are available for vehicle in its basic version.
Each flamethrower inflicts from 30 to 35 points of damage per second, what enables killing infantry at very fast rate. Unfortunately, damage against buildings is reduced to 50%. Still, if both flamethrowers are concentrated on target, it will be destroyed quickly. It is obvious, that this weapon is ineffective against most medium and heavy vehicles, which won't suffer any point of damage. However light vehicles aren't immune for flames, and this weapon can destroy them, if they will stay long enough under fire.
Another drawback of this weapon, is its range. Maximum range of this weapon is 25 meters, what means, that the Half-track must be very close to target in order to use this weapon, what in consequence puts this vehicle in danger.
Rocket launchers "Walking stuka" Edit
If the proper upgrade has been purchased, the Sdkfz 251 Halftrack will be equipped with six high-explosive rocket launchers. This changes role of this vehicle radically, from infantry support vehicle, to mobile artillery unit.
This weapon must be fired manually. the vehicle will not use this weapon without special order. After that, the unit will fire six rockets into the designated area. Maximum range of this weapon is 120 meters. Note however, that inaccuracy rises together with distance, from where the rockets were fired. Fog of war also affects this weapon and rockets fired into such area will also have reduced accuracy.
Each rocket inflicts large amounts of damage - from 100 to 120 points. Radius of the explosion is 8 meters. In distance of 2 meters, targets will receive full amount of damage. 5 meters from the explosion, damage will be reduced to about 80 points. On the outer radius of the explosion, targets will receive about 70 points of damage.
It is very important to know, that this weapon isn't effective against infantry, because damage is reduced to 25%. However, there is a high likelihood that infantry units in bombarded area will become suppressed. Enemy vehicles do not enjoy this advantage. Each of them receives full amount of damage, which means that this weapon is very effective against armored targets. The same rule applies to buildings.
The Sdkfz 251 Halftrack can have two abilities, depends on which upgrade has been choosen. The first ability possessed by the Sdkfz 251 Halftrack is the ability to reinforce nearby infantry units. This essentially makes the halftrack a mobile reinforcement point, capable of keeping infantry squads fully manned even inside enemy territory. The second one is an ability to use Walking stuka rocket launchers.
Reinforce Squad Edit
- Costs vary based on reinforced unit
- Activation: Through the target unit's menu
- Duration varies based on reinforced unit
Any infantry squad within 20 meters of the Sdkfz 251 Halftrack can replenish lost men for a specific cost and duration determined by the type of unit being reinforced.
Note that infantry garrisoned inside the vehicle need to exit it in order to be reinforced.
You may reinforce even inside enemy territory when the Sdkfz 251 Halftrack is nearby.
Fire rockets Edit
- Requires upgrade: Walking Stuka
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select ground
As mentioned earlier, the Sdkfz 251 Halftracks upgraded with walking stuka rocket launchers cannot use this weapon freely, but only after special order. This is why they gain one more ability after this upgrade. After activation of this ability, vehicle will move to within 150 meters from that point, and fire six rockets into designated area. Relatively high recharge time of this ability can be reduced by veterancy upgrades.
Flammenwerfer Upgrade Edit
- Requires Escalation to assault phase
- Costs 75
- Removes vehicle's previous armament
- Removes vehicle's transport ability
- Takes 45 seconds to install
This upgrade equipps Half-track with two flamethrowers, where one is located on the left side of the vehicle, and second is on the right. These flamethrowers are very effective against buildings, infantry and naturally - infantry in buildings. Unfortunately, they cannot damage any but the lightest vehicles. Although this upgrade removes vehicle's transport ability entirely, reinforcement of infantry is still possible.
Walking Stuka Upgrade Edit
- Requires the Escalation to battle phase,
- Costs 150
- Removes vehicle's previous armament
- Removes vehicle's transport ability
- Takes 30 seconds to install
For high amount of munitions, Sdkfz 251 will be equipped with 6 high explosive rocket launchers. In order to use this weapon, special order must be issued. These missiles are especially effective against buildings and armoured vehicles, but a little less against infantry units. Just as in the previous case, this upgrade removes vehicle's transport ability, but reinforcement of infantry is still possible.
The Sdkfz 251 halftrack is classified as a medium vehicle, and receive upgrades through vehicle veterancy upgrades, available at the Kampfkraft Center. Every vehicle, which is already on the battlefield, or will be built, receive proper upgrades. These bonuses are cumulative to each other.
|Level 1 Veterancy:
|Level 2 Veterancy:
|Level 3 Veterancy:
As mentioned earlier, the Sdkfz 251 is the earliest medium vehicle, which is available for the Wehrmacht. It is one of the most versatile vehicle in axis arsenal, and can perform many different roles on the battlefield. This enables this vehicle being useful through entire battle.
Basic Vehicle Edit
When Sdkfz 251 is available, the battle has reached its middle stage. Wehrmacht forces are trying to repel enemy assaults and establish solid defensive line. This new medium vehicle will be very useful in this task.
First, the Half-track can ferry 3 squads of infantry, or 12 soldiers. This is a useful ability, both in defense and in offense. In defense, the Sdkfz 251 can ferry soldiers along defensive line and transport them right into the battle. Can also reinforce squads, which have lost men. If things aren’t going right, Half-track can enable them safe retreat. Just load squads in and get out of there.
In offense, the Sdkfz 251 can transport infantry into enemy territory. For example, assault group may consist a Grenadier squad(preferably equipped with panzerschreck, in order to deal with enemy vehicles), MG42 team and sniper. Such army can deal with most enemy threats, which may be wait for them in enemy territory. Enemy might be surprised with this move, still it’s a risky strategy.
These tactics aren’t the only available for this vehicle. Sdkfz 251 can be also a center point of entire combat group. Several squads of infantry, escorted by this Half-track, can last significantly longer in battle. Furthermore, its machine guns can provide good source of firepower, which will suppress enemy infantry, what makes them much easier to kill by your other units.
Flammenwerfer Half-track Edit
After advancing to assault phase, first upgrade for the Sdkfz 251 is now available. After purchasing it, vehicle loses its transport ability(though infantry reinforcement is still possible) for vastly increased anti-infantry firepower. Half-track obtains 2 flamethrowers, which can incinerate infantry and buildings.
Thanks to resistance to small caliber weapons, this vehicle can drive straight through defensive enemy assets, such like MG emplacement, and burn them easily, what opens your infantry way to enemy territory. This maneuver can deal a serious blow to the enemy, if he isn’t correctly prepared. Especially british infantry is vulnerable for this attack, because they are more vulnerable for flamethrower damage. Trenches even increases flamethrower effectiveness, and relaying on defenses makes Half-track even more useful in such case.Sometimes, Flammenwerfer Half-track, if obtained early may be a key unit, which will ensure your army victory.
However, if infantry garrisoned in building or trench is equipped with anti-tank weapons, open charge into enemy fortified positions may be dangerous. It is advisable to use mortar teams, and their ability to lay smoke. This will increase Half-track safety during execution of this maneuver.
Although in fight against British, Flammenwerfer Half-track is a very useful unit, using it against United States is much more difficult and situational. Even their most basic infantry unit is equipped with anti-tank weapon. This is why this vehicle will require additional support, and lacks usefulness.
Elite infantry of United States available later in the game, uses anti-tank launchers, which can easily turn this vehicle into smoking wreck. However, if territory on which battle occurs is urbanized, obtaining a Flammenwerfer is never a bad option. In such case, researching upgrades for this vehicle, which increases its survivability, is highly recommended.
- The SdKfz upgrades are solid compliments to the Axis army (in patch 2.602 the tier 3 flamer damage got increased).
- The halftrack occupies just 4 population units,thus equipping a group of three halftracks with Wurfrahmen 40 rockets will just cost you 12 population units(not mentioning the resources),but the effects can be quite devastating to the enemy.Combined with their relatively small cooldown times,this is the best on-map artillery support for the axis because the other unit i.e. the nebelwerfers can easily be decrewed,difficult to move,occupies 5 population units.and counter battery fire wipes it off in a single shot.
- Walking stukas are quite effective against British emplacements also.While on a fire support mission,always escort your walking stukas with at least a well equipped puma .The halftracks are known for their good mobility,so don't forget to use them to avoid counterbattery.This is shoot and scoot at its very best.
It is very hard to argue usefulness of SdKfz 251 halftrack. Available relatively early in the game, with upgrades, which enable it staying useful through entire time of battle, this half-track is definitely one of the most viable vehicles available for the Wehrmacht.
However, this vehicle isn’t very hard to destroy. Although is resistant to small-caliber weapons to some extent, it can be damaged by it severely or destroyed completely, especially, if is very close to source of fire. Not to mention about specialized anti-tank weaponry, which can easily wipe it out. Basic version of this vehicle and Flammenwerfer Halftrack are effective against infantry and weapon teams, but are helpless in face of enemy vehicles.
It is even worse in case of half-track equipped with “Walking stuka” rocket launchers, because this vehicle in such form isn’t capable to defend itself in any situation. For above reasons, you should make every effort to keep them safe.