SdKfz 2 Kettenkraftrad

This small tractor was first made for airborne divisions. It is air transportable and meant as an all-terrain light artillery tug. It quickly found roles with other types of units in a variety of light tractor functions.

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Its designation identifies it as a “tracked motorcycle”.  The front wheel actually is used for steering, but the handlebars are also linked to brakes on the tracks to allow for very sharp cornering.  The front wheel can also be removed for better rough terrain performance. Top speed on a road was over 40 mph.  Over 8000 were made from 1939-1948.

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Late in the war, this little tractor was also commonly used as an airport tug.

 

 

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This particular example is the Tamiya kit.  It is shown here with a “Goliath”.  That is a small tracked mine.  This was used mainly by combat engineers.  It carries around 200 lbs of explosives, and is operated by remote control with a joystick on a control box that is cabled to the Goliath.  Over 6000 of these were built from 1942 to the end of the war.  With a top speed of only 6 mph and a control cable that was easily broken this was not a very reliable weapon system.

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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4 Responses to SdKfz 2 Kettenkraftrad

  1. Theresa says:

    Interesting piece of aircraft equipment for the ground crew.

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    Interesting. I always wondered how this odd beast came about. I didn’t realize it was intended for airborne troops. Still I like the American approach, having a general purpose vehicle light and small enough for air transport, better.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah but remember the “rule of cool”! Who cares if its sort of goofy…
      I’ve seen a couple of these with re-enacter groups, they always make a fun impression.

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