Schwerer Panzerfunkwagen Sd. Kfz. 263 (8-rad)

 The Schwerer Panzerfunkwagen Sd.Kfz 263 (8-Rad) was a radio car based on the Sd. Kfz 231 (8-rad) armoured car, and which saw service throughout the Second World War.

Column of Panzerfungwagen Sd.Kfz. 263 (8-rad) Column of Panzerfunkwagen Sd.Kfz. 263 (8-rad)

The Sd.Kfz 231 (8-rad) was developed in the mid 1930s to replace the unsatisfactory Sd.Kfz 231 (6-rad). It had a purpose-built chassis, and all eight wheels had steering, power and independent suspension. It had front and rear steering stations, and a rear mounted Bussing engine. It carried a 20mm gun in a fully traversing turret.

The Sd.Kfz 263 (8-rad) was developed at the same time as the standard armoured car. The turret was removed and the superstructure sides were raised to create a larger crew compartment. It was armed with a single machine gun mounted in the front of the superstructure. It was built with a large frame antenna and an extending 9m tall mast antenna. This was sometimes replaced with an ‘umbrella’ aerial, which wasn’t as high. It carried a 100-Watt FuG-11 radio with a range of 200km. There was also space for a map table in the crew compartment.

Both the six and eight wheeled versions of the Sd.Kfz 263 were issued to the Nachrichten (signals) detachments of motorised and Panzer divisions and to Corps and Army HQs. 240 were built between April 1938 and April 1943. The last 115 vehicles on the Sd.Kfz 263 order were built as the 75mm armed Sd.Kfz 233. The Sd.Kfz.263 was normally used to maintain communications with the Sd.Kfz 232 (8-rad) radio reconnaissance cars, but some were used as divisional command cars. Perhaps the most famous example of this was Rommel, who used one of these vehicles as commander of 7.Panzer Division during the campaign in the west in 1940. The Sd.Kfz 263 remained in use throughout the Second World War, although later in the war it was increasingly replaced by cheaper half tracks carrying the same radio.

Schwerer Panzerfunkwagen Sd.Kfz 263 (8-rad) Schwerer Panzerfunkwagen Sd.Kfz 263 (8-rad)

Hull Length: 5850mm
Hull Width: 2200mm
Height: 2900mm
Crew: 4
Weight: 8800kg
Engine: 150hp Bussing-NAG L 8 V, V-8 petrol engine
Max Speed: 90km/ hr (road)
Max Range: 300km (road), 160km (terrain)
Armament: One 7.92mm MG 34
Armour: 5-18mm






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Panzer Reconnaissance, Thomas Anderson. Combines descriptions of the various vehicles used by the reconnaissance units (bikes, armoured cars, half tracks and fully tracked) with a history of the reconnaissance units themselves, their official orders of battle, and how they actually performed in action. Gives a much broader picture of the role of these vehicles than books that focus more on the vehicles, and makes it clear that in reality units used whatever vehicles were available, rather than the neat orders of battle (Read Full Review)
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 May 2023), Schwerer Panzerfunkwagen Sd. Kfz. 263 (8-rad) ,

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