German light Armored Radio Vehicle (Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen)
The Sd.Kfz.260 & 261 were unarmed Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen, basically light Armored Radio Vehicle. They were used in the Signals Company of a Panzer Divisions Reconnaissance Battalion. These vehicles were based on the shape of the larger armor body of the Sd.Kfz. 222, with some modifications. Anti-grenade mess was added over the opening of the crew compartment. The only armament that was provided for the crew was a machine pistol.
Configured for communication with aircraft, the Sd.Kfz. 260 was employed in light armored radio troop “c” units (Kl.Pz.Fu.Tr.”c” (mot)). The radios used were an Fu 7 in addition to a 20 watt Sender “d”, a Ukw Empf.”d1″ and an Fu.Spr.Ger.”a”. The Sd.Kfz. 261 was configured for communication with other ground units and employed in a Kl.Pz.Fu.Tr.”d” (mot). The radios used were an Fu 12 in addition to a Fu.Spr.Ger.”a”. This version was outfitted with a frame antennae.
They were expected to start issuing them in 1937 but were continual delayed due to one reason or another. As a result it was not until 1941 that the first vehicles were delivered. Total production for the Sd.Kfz.261 was 352 vehicles, delivered between April of 1941 and April of 1943.
Their expected employment in an Aufklarung-Abteilung of a panzer division were 1 Sd.Kfz. 260 and 4 Sd.Kfz.261. They would be part of the Signals Company in the reconnaissance battalion. Other vehicles used in the company would be Kfz.15 and Sd.Kfz.263. The K.St.N. applied would be 1191 dated October 1st, 1938. It seems the K.St.N. were prepared in anticipation of an earlier delivery date that actually never occurred for these vehicles.
Below is a PDF download for a German Manual (parts list) for an Sd.Kfz.261. A similar parts list for an Sd.Kfz.223 can be found here.
Feedback or comments are welcome.
US National Archives & Records Administration
Panzer Tracts No.13-1