The Spähpanzer Ru 251 is a premium rank IV German light tank with a battle rating of 7.0 (AB) and 7.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.67 "Assault". A very mobile light tank developed for the Bundeswehr to replace their M41 Walker Bulldogs, the Ru 251 boasts great mobility and firepower for its users.
The Ru 251 has a relatively small profile for a tank, but for a light tank its profile is average. The Ru 251 utilizes a 90 mm BK 90, the same gun as on the Kanonenjagdpanzer. It is capable of firing HEAT-FS, a potent round, and has a reasonably quick reload. Best for medium range engagements, but can fulfil close range and long range applications as well. Similarly to the Leopards, it has a raised engine deck at the rear, which messes with the gun depression. While it has 9 degrees of gun depression for about 130 degrees of turret rotation to the left or right (gun pointing straight ahead), for the rear 100 degrees of angle, the gun depression is only a degree or two.
The bigger the map (provided it has cover), the more successful the Ru 251 will be. This is because it can use its speed to reach places early in battle that the enemy would not suspect an enemy tank already occupying.
The smaller the map (Even with cover), the less successful the Ru 251 will be. This is because it cannot make use of the single biggest advantage it has, speed. Essentially it will be forced into slugging matches, and the enemy will always have a pretty good idea of where the Ru 251 will be.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret hatches)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Driver's bulge)
|Hull|| 30 mm (60°) Frontal glacis
30 mm (38°), 12.7 mm (69°) Lower glacis
| 20 mm (35°) Top
20 mm Bottom
| 8 mm (45°) Top
8 mm (41°) Bottom
|Turret|| 20 mm (23-38°) Turret front
15 + 30 mm (12-37) Gun mantlet
30 mm (0-78°) Gun mantlet border
|20 mm (30-35°)||20 mm (30-32°)||10 mm|
|Cupola||30 mm||30 mm||30 mm||30 mm|
- Suspension wheels, torsion bars, and tracks are 15 mm thick
- Lower part of gun mantlet have additional 20 mm underneath
- Belly armour is 9.5 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|90 mm BK90||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|61||57 (+4)||51 (+10)||41 (+20)||31 (+30)||21 (+40)||11 (+50)||1 (+60)||No|
- Turret empty: 51 (+10) shells.
|7.62 mm MG3A1|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Ru 251 is a very quick light tank, but it is not always fast. While it is true that the tank has a very high road speed, it can only make use of it in certain situations, much like the M18 Hellcat. That being said, thanks to almost 26 horsepower per ton, it can manoeuvre much more quickly over smooth and rough terrain than most other tanks. An important thing to remember is that just because the Ru 251 has the capability of covering large distances quickly, doesn't mean it is advisable. This tank, like many german post-war vehicles, has virtually no armour, and a huge ammo rack located in the front of the hull.
This tank is highly effective in ambushes, and sniping from cover and the sides of maps. As mentioned prior, this vehicle is not being played to its fullest extent when the enemy knows where it is, or in slugging matches.
Because the Ru 251 enjoys a gun similar to the M47 Patton and Jagdpanzer 4-5 that utilizes HEATFS, HESH, and HE, which are extremely potent at 6.7. There are virtually no enemies that can withstand the power of the HEATFS, even if it only penetrates 320mm of armour compared to later HEATFS that can penetrate 380 mm of armour or even more.
Thanks to the transmission in the Ru 251, it can travel as fast forward as it can backwards. As many German tanks have poor reversing speed, this is a welcome change. Another wonderful feature of the transmission is the neutral steer. Unlike other tanks that are sluggish in their neutral-steering abilities, the Ru 251 will turn quickly when the input is made (Unlike the M41, which feels sluggish when neutral-turning, and at times feels hesitant).
Even though the Ru 251 is a light tank, it utilizes advanced HEATFS that allows it to penetrate even the most challenging of opponents, such as the Maus. Upon contact with ammo racks and fuel tanks, serious damage will be done, if it does not outright destroy the opponent.
Before all, avoid colourful or bright decals. Camouflage is an essential part of defence. The characteristics for good performance in battle are: be "invisible", fast and effective. The Ru 251 speed is its best ally. This speed has to be used for flanking manoeuvres and relocate. Not for trying to cross open field. That`s a poor tactic.
Relocate: The Ru 251 will have to do this movement again and again. Choose a good spot wisely, if trees needed to be cleared for visibility, use the machine gun in short bursts. Remember, tracers can easily reveal anyone's position. When in a shooting spot, use the gun depression and keep the hull down until a target is found. Once a target is acquired, aim at critical components by firing into the fuel tanks or the ammo storage. If the shot misses, but are sure the enemy hasn't discovered where it came from, try another shot. Keep in mind, even if the target is oblivious, other members of the enemy team may have seen the firing location, so be careful. If detected, hide immediately! Relocation after being spotted is always advisable, but if relocation is not possible, wait until the enemy has become preoccupied with other team members.
Flanking: Flanking is the most dangerous manoeuvre of all because at times the Ru 251 has to expose itself to get to the enemy's rear but it's very effective when orchestrated properly. Early on in the battle, often enemy units are preoccupied with trying to get to their positions that they might not notice someone flanking, depending on the map and route taken. If a flank is attempted later on, be sure that all enemy vehicles are focused away from, or cannot see the path that is used to flank. When flanking, attacking lone targets will yield the best results. If firing carelessly into a group of tanks, they will locate the flank position and likely highlight the Ru 251 for the entire team to see. On the other hand, if targeting a lone tank, they typically do not tell their teams where they were shot from, and this gives some degree of protection. If they happen to spawn again, be sure to watch likely avenues of approach from the closest spawn and listen for aircraft, as they likely are trying to get vengeance.
Due to your quick speed, you may find yourself outnumbered by enemies. If this is the case, try to remain concealed and use the spotting feature to mark the tanks for your allies. Not only does this help you better keep track of the tanks, but it also helps your team know where the enemies are to give you a better chance of coming out a nasty situation alive.
Avoid flat terrain: Flat terrain means that the Ru 251 will become an easy target for virtually any vehicle by exposure, especially when not moving or when moving in a straight line. Open plains are the bane of the Ru 251. Whenever possible, one should try to stay amongst hills or within buildings.
Engaging: Unlike most German tanks, the Ru 251 does not possess APHE to reliably knock out its opponents in one hit. Thus, prioritize ammo locations of tanks before and learn their internal crew layout. Its HEATFS round will likely penetrate all vehicles at its battle rating reliably, thus, learning internal crew layout is more important than analysing the armour. If you are unsure where to shoot the enemy, going for the breech is the safest bet. Not only will this prevent the enemy from firing back, it will also force them to relocate and repair.
Pros and cons
- High mobility, with great top speed, reverse speed, and manoeuvrability
- Utilizes a powerful 90 mm gun with a varied selection of rounds
- Reload time is competitive with full crew + expert training
- Huge ammo rack sitting at the front of the hull
- Little armour, especially the roof armour,
- Very vulnerable to .50 cal machine gun fire (especially the sides)
- Extremely vulnerable to overpressure (artillery strikes, large-calibre HE rounds, etc.)
- The HEATFS shell inflicts poor post-penetration damage
The Spähpanzer Ru 251 light tank was conceived solely as a reconnaissance vehicle. In the early 1960s, the Bundeswehr were still using the outdated American M41 Walker Bulldogs in their armoured scout battalions, however the time had come to replace them with something more modern. A program to develop a new light tank was launched in 1960. It was essential that the tank had excellent mobility and enough firepower to destroy the main Soviet tanks of the day. The first prototype was built in 1963, followed by at least one more by 1964. In 1964, the Ru 251 prototypes underwent intensive field tests, although by that time the Leopard main battle tank was already being readied for serial production and the Germans decided against ordering another tank so similar to the Leopard.
- From Devblog
|Germany light tanks|
|Pz.II||Pz.II C · Pz.II C (DAK) · Pz.II C TD · Pz.II F · Pz.Sfl.Ic|
|Sd.Kfz.234||Sd.Kfz.234/1 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 TD|
|Marder||Marder A1- · Marder 1A3 · Begleitpanzer 57 · DF105|
|Wheeled||Sd.Kfz.221 (s.Pz.B.41) · Class 3 (P) · Radkampfwagen 90|
|Other||Ru 251 · SPz 12-3 LGS|
|Argentina||TAM · TAM 2C · TAM 2IP · JaPz.K A2|
|Czechoslovakia||Pz.35(t) · Pz.38(t) A · Pz.38(t) F · Pz.38(t) n.A. · Sd.Kfz. 140/1|
|Germany premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||Pz.II C (DAK) · Pz.Sfl.Ic · Pz.Sp.Wg.P204(f) KwK · Sd.Kfz. 140/1 · Sd.Kfz.234/1 · Ru 251 · SPz 12-3 LGS · TAM 2IP|
|Medium tanks||Nb.Fz. · Pz.III N · Pz.Bef.Wg.IV J · ▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r) · Ersatz M10|
|mKPz M47 G · Turm III · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123)|
|Heavy tanks||▀Pz.Kpfw. Churchill · ▀KV-IB · ▀KW I C 756 (r) · ▀KW II 754 (r)|
|VK 45.01 (P) · ␠Tiger · Pz.Bef.Wg.VI P · Tiger II (H) Sla.16|
|Tank destroyers||Sd.Kfz.234/3 · Sd.Kfz.234/4 · Sd.Kfz.251/10 · Sd.Kfz.251/22 · 15 cm Pz.W.42|
|Brummbär · Panzer IV/70(A) · VFW · Bfw. Jagdpanther G1 · Elefant · 38 cm Sturmmörser|