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schwere Wehrmacht Schlepper sWS(heavy Wehrmacht hauler)

As part of a new generation halftracks, Heeres waffenambt/Wa Prüf 6 gives Büssing-Nag (Berlin-Oberschöneweide) a development order on May 7th 1942 for 7,484 units to be completed within the next two years. Production is scheduled to begin during the spring of 1943 with a monthly output of 150. 3 ton payload and 6 ton pull, a drypin track and a highly simplified design are the requirments. By hitlers personal orders the 5 ton Büssing-NAG of the pre-war series seizes production (November 1943) and the capacity freed for the new low-speed vehicle. Production starts in December 1943 with 5 pieces. The vehicles produced by Ringhoffer-Tatra in Kolin (Böhemen) reportedly have an aircooled 10 litre V8 Tatra diesel. Production ends in March of 1945. According to one source there are plans for a "8.8cm KwK auf sWS", a 88 mm anti-tankgun and an armoured personell carrier. No evidence of either one exists, but the idea is logical. A modeller took this idea to the test and came up with convincing vehicles.

Production is quoted as 1943 5, 1944 723 and 1945 96 vehicles. Strenght on march 3 1945 and "start of 1945" is reportedly 538. Losses are relativly low. 19 in October 1944, 14 in November 1944. 40 reported front related losses for 1944. (carefull, These numbers are always estimates at best).

Developments around the sWS

The other vehicle in the new programm, the lWS, leichte(light) Wehrmachts Schlepper, never enters serie production.
The slow start of the sWS production caused a stop gap solution: the Mercedes Benz L4500 S (S=schellprogram 4.5 ton L=4x2) truck is mated with the Panzer II running gear to produce the MB 4500R (Raupen=track).
The intended replacement of the Opel Blitz armoured Maulties with 10 tube Nebelwerfer by the Nebelwerfer version of the sWS is not possible by the low numbers of sWS produced. The Maultier stays in production till the war ends.

A good reproduction of the manual (and many others!) can be found on WH-Versand.de.

General Specifications

Manufacturer:Büssing Nag, Berlin OberSchöneweide and Ringhoffer-Tatra, Kolin(Bohemia, than Czechoslovakia)
Production start:December 1943
Production end:March 1945
Numbers:Dec. 1943 - Sept. 1944: 381
Total at march 1945: 825. Total reported 1000
Chassis nos.:150001-
Engine:Maybach HL 42TRKMS also Maybach HL61 claimed by Arlon
Gearbox, Auxilliary box
U-profile frame
Track:Dry pin, overlapping discs
Brakes:Argus, vacuum, with disks on sprocket
Hand brake:on steering brakes (sprockets)
Front Axle:Transversal, central piviting, leaf-spring suspension, rigid axle
Front trackwitdh:2100mm
Tyres:offroad 270x20 inches
Steering :Cletrac
Speed:Road: 27,4 km/h
Cross-Country: --km/h
Range:Road: 300km
Cross-Country: 150km
Fuel Capacity:240 litres
Lenght:6.67 m
Height:2.07m (2.83 with canvas cover)
Wheelsize:270 x 20
Ground clearance:46,5 cm
Ground contact length2.04 m
Turningcirkel:15 m
performance:Towing capacity 8 ton
loading capacity 4 ton
winch capacity 5 ton
Climbing angle max:24 degrees


A simple message on a drawing, but how many really got it, in the strained days of its existance:

Beim Motor, Wechsel-, Lenk, Untersetz und Seitengetrieben Täglich den Ölstand uberprufen. Bei Notwendigkeit nachfullen. Gelenke, Gabelköpfe und bewegliche Teile ohne besonderen Schmierung sind bei Bedarf mit einen Tropfen Öl zu schmieren.

Which means: Check the oil level of the engine, main gearbox, turning gearbox, reduction gearbox and side gearbox. Add oil if neccesary. Joints, balheads and moving parts with no particular greaseplan are to be lubricated with a drip of oil if needing it.

factory drawing

factory drawing

manual picture

manual picture

Victory museum survivor
being first cleaned

Wheatcraft chassis

US intel drawing

Gear plate

US intel chassis member drawing

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