It was shortly after the invasion of Russia in 1941, that the German Wehrmacht began to seriously consider a necessity of increasing firepower in their motorized infantry formations. By applying some simple modifications to he Sd.Kfz. 251 infantry half-track, they partially fulfilled this requirement. One of these variants was designated the “Sd.Kfz. 251/1 mit Wurfrahmen” (the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 with launching frames). It was adapted for six, externally mounted frames housing short-range rockets of 28cm and 32cm size. The wooden or metal rocket containers were used as shipping crates during transport, and were attached to base plates on the sides of the vehicle for firing. Aiming direction was provided by pointing the vehicle at the target. Two rods were attached on the front of the engine hood, to help the driver align the vehicle on the target. Elevation was adjusted by changing the angle of the container mounting plate. The rockets were fired electrically from inside the vehicle. With an effective range of more than 2000 meters, the rockets provided the German infantrymen with effective fire support against close in area targets. This highly effective half-track was affectionately called the “Stuka zu Fuss”, or Stuka on foot, taken from the German Ju87 series dive bombing aircraft.
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