The Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track stable was the centerpiece of the German Mechanized Corps, throughout the World War II. First production began in 1939, with the series classified into four types from Ausf. A to D, according to the production period. The early models used a very complicated body construction, made up of obliquely placed armor plates. This was somewhat simplified in the C and D types, to make mass production easier. The final, D production version appeared at the front in 1943, and it became the most widely used model among the many variants. More than 10,000 units of the D-type alone, were produced and entered service by the end of the conflict. Late in the war, the Sd.Kfz. 251 vehicles were mounted with a wide variety of equipment and armament for varied roles. Although originally developed as an armored personnel carrier, its high mobility and versatility allowed it to be used in a great number of roles. One of the variants, was the 251/9, which was equipped with the short barreled 7.5cm KwK37 L/24 cannon. This is the same cannon that was used as a main gun for the early versions of the Pz.Kpfw.IV and Sturmgeschutz III assault gun. With this fire power, the 251/9 was used mostly to provide direct fire support for the armored infantry, during the advance and static defense stages of the conflict.
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