The German light tractor NSU Kettenkrad Hk-101. 

Vadim Zadorozhny’s Museum of Equipment, Moscow

Years of production: 1940-1949

Country of origin: Germany

Issued: 9420 items

Weight: 1230 kg

Power: 36 hp

Speed: 70 km / h

The Sd.Kfz.2 (German: Sonderkraftfahrzeug 2) is a half-track motorcycle with a single front wheel, better known as the Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 (from German klein ‘small’, Ketten ‘chains/tracks’, and kraftrad ‘motorcycle’), shortened to Kettenkrad (pl. Kettenkräder). It was used by the military of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

The Kettenkrad started its life as a light tractor for airborne troops. The vehicle was designed to be delivered by Junkers Ju 52 aircraft, though not by parachute. The vehicle had the advantage of being the only gun tractor small enough to fit inside the hold of the Ju 52, and was the lightest mass-produced German military vehicle to use the complex Schachtellaufwerk overlapped and interleaved road wheels used on almost all German military half-tracked vehicles of World War II.

Steering the Kettenkrad was accomplished by turning the handlebars: Up to a certain point, only the front wheel would steer the vehicle. A motion of the handlebars beyond that point would engage the track brakes to help make turns sharper. It was also possible to run the vehicle without the front wheel installed and this was recommended in extreme off-road conditions where speed would be kept low.

The Sd.Kfz.2 was designed and built by the NSU Werke AG at Neckarsulm, Germany. Patented in June 1939, it was first used in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Later in the war Stoewer from Stettin also produced Kettenkrads under license, accounting for about 10% of the total production.

The Kettenkrad came with a special trailer Sonderanhänger 1 (Sd.Anh.1) that could be attached to it to improve its cargo capacity. The trailer carried 350 kg (770 lb).

Manufacturer: NSU Motorenwerke

Read more: Tractors and special equipment with Boris Willson ...