World Record attempt on 19 May 2012 with the most Kettenkrad on one spot.
The Kleines Kettenkraftrad designated Sd.Kfz. 2 was named short Kettenkrad. Were Ketten means Chain, Krad is short for Kraftrad (Kraftfahrrad) and means engine powered bike, or motorcycle. It was invented in 1939 by Heinrich Ernst Kniepkamp in June 1939. And was created as small tracked vehicle for moving small loads in uneven or hilly terrain.
The Kettenkraftrad was the smallest vehicle to use overlapping and interleaved wheels in its tracks. These complex constructions are called Schachtellaufwerk in German.
As seen in the first move there was a World Record attempt on 19 May 2012, they tried to come together with the most Sd. Kfz. 2 Kleines Kettenkraftrad and driving the circuit. With Seventeen KettenKrads they established the World Record even though one or two couldn’t drive due to engine failure.
Besides use as a tractor the Kettenkraftrad saw intensive action in the Russian campaign where they lay communication cables, carried soldier and pulled heavy loads. It was put into action by the Luftwaffe, the German Air force, as light tractor and fitted in the small space under the transport plane Junker 52 to get a grip on Iron Annie, as was the nickname of this plane.
These little fellows pulled the first propeller planes of the war up to the jet fighters in the last days. They saw action on the Eastern front, the Western Front and the African theatre. It was flown in by the Junkers 52 to Crete were it supported the Fallschirmjäger in the Battle for the island.
During the war the NSU plant fabricated the Kettenkrad, later on Stoewer stepped in and together they produces more than 8300 Kettenkrads during five years of war. After the war some 550 were produced up till 1949, making the total more than 8800.
Sd. Kfz. 2 refers to ‘SonderKraftfahrzeug 2’ or special purpose vehicle number 2. It could reach a speed of 70 km/h with its Opel engine of 1500cc and weighs about 1250 kilograms. The chains required a lot of maintenance, every 500 kilometres they had 80 points which had to be lubricated. It had a gas tank of 42 litres and could reach 250 kilometres with it. There were two sub variants, the Sd.Kfz 2/1 type HK 101 which had a small spool of Fernfeldkabel or communications cable and the Sd.Kfz 2/2 type HK 102 which had a bigger spool of communication cable. Both Field cable laying types operated with a small trailer named Sd.Ah.1. This small trailer could carry a load of 250 to 300 kilograms. The Sd. Ah. is short for SonderAnhänger or special purpose trailer and was a one axle trailer. There is also a trailer version named Infanteriekarren, a Infantry cart with a payload of 350 kilograms designated If. 8. I came with exchangeable tow bars, one for men towing power and one for vehicle power like the Kettenkrad.
Sd. Kfz. 2 Kettenkrad driving off followed by a Hetzer tank