The Schwerer Panzerspahwagen (7.5cm) Sd.Kfz 233 was a close support vehicle based on the Schwerer Panzerspahwangen Sd.Krz 231 (8-rad) and which was used to provide more firepower for reconnaissance vehicles.
Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd.Kfz 231 (8-rad) had entered German service in 1937. It used a purpose-built chassis, and its eight wheels all had power, steering and independent suspension, and it had significantly better cross country performance than the six wheeled Sd.Kfz 231 (6-rad) it replaced.
The Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd.Kfz 333 was produced to give the reconnaissance units more firepower. The turret was removed from the vehicle, the top taken off the superstructure and the right-hand side cut down and a 7.5cm StuK37 L/24 howitzer mounted on the right of the new fighting compartment. This was the same gun that was carried in early versions of the Panzer IV and StuG III. There was space for 32 rounds of 75mm ammo.
It also carried a flexible mount for a 7.92mm MG42 with 1,500 rounds. The crew was reduced to three – driver, rear-facing driver/ radio operator and gunner/ commander.
The order to produce the Sd.Kfz 263 was altered so the last 115 vehicles would be completed as the Sd.Kfz 233. The first ten Sd.Kfz 233s were produced by converting Sd.Kfz 231 and Sd.Kfz 232 chassis in October 1942. 109 vehicles were produced from new between December 1942 and October 1943, for a total of 119. Later production vehicles had higher sides on the superstructure.
The Sd.Kfz 333 was used in platoons of six vehicles in the Panzerspahwagen squadrons of the Aufklarungs battalions in panzer divisions, replacing units of towed howitzers. They entered service late in 1942 and remained in service to the end of the war, fighting on all fronts (although in small numbers). The heavier gun gave the reconnaissance units the firepower to cope with the light tanks that were often found in Soviet reconnaissance forces and with any British or American reconnaissance vehicles.
Hull Length: 5850mm
Hull Width: 2200mm
Engine: 180hp Bussing-NAG L 8 V, GS V-8 petrol engine
Max Speed: 90km/ hr (road)
Max Range: 300km (road), 160km (terrain)
Armament: One 7.5cm StuK 37 L/24, one 7.92mm MG 42