Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 263 (six-wheeler)

The Schwerer Panzerspahwagen  Sd. Kfz 263 (6-rad) was an armoured command car based on the standard Sd.Kfz 231 (6-rad) armoured car, and which saw service in the invasions of Poland and France.

The Sd.Kfz 231 (6-rad) was a six wheeled heavy armoured car, which combined a standard armoured body with chassis from Magirus, Bussing-NAG and Daimler-Benz. It was armed with a 20mm cannon and 7.92mm machine gun in a rotating turret. It was produced alongside the Sd.Kfz 232 (6-rad), a radio car version that kept the rotating turret, but also carried a radio and a large bedframe aerial above the superstructure.

The Sd.Kfz 263 was a command vehicle based on the same basic design. In order to make space for a fifth crew member, map table and more powerful radio, the turret rotating gear and the 20mm cannon were both removed, leaving the turret fixed in place and armed with a single 7.92mm machine gun. It had the large bedframe aerial of the Sd.Kfz 232, but without the complex fittings needed to allow the turret to rotate. It also had a retractable telescopic mast with a maximum height of 9m.

Only 28 were built, between 1932 and 1937. The majority of Sd.Kfz 263s were built on the Magirus chassis, one of three types used on the Sd.Kfz 261 family.

Six and eight wheeled versions of the Sd.Kfz 263 were used in the signals sections of armoured reconnaissance battalions (Nachrichten) and with armoured signals battalions. They were also used as command posts for the staff.

The six wheel Sd.Kfz 263 served in the occupation of Austria and Czechoslovakia and the invasions of Poland and France before largely being withdrawn from front line units because of their poor cross country mobility. They were replaced by the Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd.Kfz 263 (eight-wheeler).


Hull Length: 5570mm
Hull Width: 1820mm
Height: 2870mm
Weight: 5800kg
Engine: 68hp Daimler Benz M09 6-cylinder petrol engine
Max Speed: 70km/ hr
Max Range: 300km (road), 150km (terrain)
Armament: One 7.92mm MG 13

German Half-Tracks and Wheeled Vehicles 1939-1945, Alexander Lüdeke. Looks at the armoured cars and half-tracks used by the German Army before and during the Second World War, focusing on the development and technical descriptions of each type and its major variants. Each type gets one or two pages, supported by photos of the vehicle. A useful short reference book on these essential vehicles, covering both the many types developed in Germany and the smaller number of captured vehicles pressed into service. [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 April 2023), Schwerer Panzerspahwagen Sd. Kfz 263 (six-wheeler) ,

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