Maschinengewehrkraftwagn (Kfz 13)

The Maschinengewehrkraftwagn (Kfz 13) was an armoured car produced for the increasingly motorised German army from 1932, but that had been relegated to service with non-motorised divisions by the outbreak of the Second World War.

Kfz.13 and Sd.Kfz 232 (6.rad) Armoured Cars of Gruppenkommando 2, 1936
Kfz.13 and Sd.Kfz 232 (6.rad) Armoured Cars of Gruppenkommando 2, 1936

The Maschinengewehrkraftwagn (Kfz 13) and Funkkraftwagen (Kfz 14) shared the same basic layout. They were built on the chassis of a Standard 4x4 passenger car produced by Adlerwerke, and powered by an Adler Standard 6 2.9lt engine.  An armoured body was mounted on top of this chassis, with the engine at the front and the crew of two or three in the open topped armoured fighting compartment at the rear. All of the armour was 8mm thick, with the top part of the armour sloped in rather more than the lower part. The armour could protect against fire from 7.92mm guns fired from more than 200m.

The Maschinengewehrkraftwagn (Kfz 13) (Armoured Reconnaissance Car) was built in larger numbers, with 147 produced by Daimler-Benz in 1932-34. It carried a crew of two, with the driver at the front-left and the commander at the back of the fighting compartment. The Commander manned the pedestal mounted 7.92mm MG machine gun, which was protected by an 8mm gun shield. The driver could operate with his head above the armour, or drop down and use a vision slit in the top of the frontal armour.

The Kfz 13 and Kfz 14 were issued to the motorised Aufklarungs detachments (reconnaissance detachments) of motorized units from 1932. In 1935 they began to be joined by the Sd Kfz 221 and Sd Kfz 223, and as more of the modern vehicles became available they were moved to the reconnaissance units of non-motorized divisions.

Both types saw extensive use in Poland in 1939. However they didn’t perform well, with their low top speed and poor cross country performance limiting their usefulness. A smaller number were still in service during the campaign in the Low Countries and France in 1940, but they had all been withdrawn from service by 1941. Some went on to be used by internal security forces operating in occupied countries.

Maschinengewehrkraftwagn (Kfz 13)

Production: 147 (1932-34)
Hull Length: 4.2m
Hull Width: 1.7m
Height: 1.46m
Crew: 2 (driver, commander/ gunner)
Weight: 2.1 tons
Engine: Adler Standard 6 2.9lt 60PS at 3,200rpm
Max Speed: 70 km/hr
Max Range: 300 km
Armament: One 7.92mm MG 13






Top/ Bottom






Hull (Upper)

8mm at 40 degrees

8mm at 15 degrees

8mm at 22 degrees


Hull (Lower)

8mm at 22 degrees

8mm at 5 degrees

8mm at 22 degrees


Machine Gun Shield

8mm at 35 degrees




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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 January 2023), Maschinengewehrkraftwagn (Kfz 13),

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