Today in WW II: 20 Apr 1945 Northern Italy: US 5th Army breaks out beyond the Apennines, into the broad Po River Valley, forcing retreat across the Po by forces of German Gen. Heinrich Von Vietinghoff.   

German Army WW II Kettenkrad Small Tracked Military Motorcycle


Kettenkrad (SdKfz 2)

The Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101, usually called the Kettenkrad for short, was designated the SdKfz 2 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 2) by the German Army. It was developed in 1939 and first fielded in 1941. The name Kettenkrad comes from the German words ketten (tracks) and krad (abbreviation of kraftrad, a motorcycle).

The Kettenkrad was originally manufactured by NSU Werke AG, Neckarsulm, Germany and later, under license, by Stoewer in Stettin, Germany. More than 8,000 vehicles were produced during World War II and afterward until circa 1948.

The Kettenkrad was conceived as a light tractor for airborne and mountain troops but eventually was widely used for small scale infantry transport and as aircraft tugs. It could tow a specially designed trailer (Sd.Anh.1) or light artillery across almost any terrain.

Kettenkrad was powered by an Opel 4-cyl 36hp engine, located behind the driver. Its front wheel was controlled by the driver like a motorcycle while the rear body was supported on tracks. Cargo or two passengers could be carried in the rear.

Kettenkrad Photo Gallery

Kettenkrad
Kettenkrad Photo: Courtesy of Andreas Mehlhorn.

Kettenkrad
Kettenkrad Photo: Courtesy of Andreas Mehlhorn.

Kettenkrad
Kettenkrad Photo: Courtesy of Dennis P. Nolan.

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