As World War 2 (1939-1945) raged on for Germany, it was pressed upon the Wehrmacht (Army) service that its fleet of standardized halftrack prime mover vehicles were proving rather expensive and complicated to continue to produce en mass. Therefore, in 1942, it was decided to pursue a low-cost alternative and this charge fell to Bussing-NAG that year and, by the fall of 1943, a new system was readied for production. The product became the 'schwere Wehrmacht Schlepper' (or 'sWS') and was on the lines of two assembly plants - Bussing-NAG in Berlin and the Kolin Works at Ringhoffer-Tatra.
It was a heavy-class (6-ton range) halftrack system utilizing a traditional halftrack vehicle arrangement with a steerable, truck-like pair of wheels at front and a tank-like track-and-wheel arrangement under the rear of the chassis. The forward compartment contained the driver's position and a passenger seat (open-air). The rear of the vehicle could be arranged to accept various loads including troop benches and anti-aircraft gun systems. Power was from a single Maybach HL42 TRKMS six-cylinder, liquid-cooled gasoline-fueled engine of 100 horsepower (3,000rpm) and performance included a maximum road speed of 27 kmh with a range out to 300 kilometers (100km off-road). Dimensions included an overall length of 6.68 meters, a width of 2.5 meters and a height of 2.8 meters. No communications suite (radio) was fitted.
Beyond the base operational model for transporting troops was a dedicated MEDEVAC version with provision for stretchers and support staff. A frontline resupply variant held an armored front cab and protected engine compartment. One proposed form of this model was to feature an anti-aircraft gun (as the 3.7cm FlaK 43 auf sWS). There was also a rocket-projecting armored vehicle which seated a 10-tube launcher arrangement for 15cm battlefield rockets and an operating crew of five. Reloads were stowed within the hull of this variant (designated 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 (Zehuling) auf sWS).
The sWS was to become the new standardized prime mover halftrack for the German Army going forward. However, it too proved a complex and expensive piece of machinery to produce in the numbers required and therefore saw only 1,000 or so units completed before war's end. After that, a stock was taken on by the Czechoslovakian Army and used for a time longer.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Anti-Aircraft / Airspace Denial
Base model or variant can be used to search, track, and neutralize airborne elements at range.
General utility-minded design to accomplish a variety of battlefield tasks, typically in a non-direct-combat fashion.
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.
21.9 ft 6.68 m
8.2 ft 2.5 m
9.3 ft 2.83 m
29,762 lb 13,500 kg
14.9 tons LIGHT
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Bussing-NAG sWS production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
1 x Maybach HL42 TRKMS 6-cylinder, liquid-cooled gasoline-fueled engine developing 100 horsepower at 3,000rpm.
16.8 mph (27.0 kph)
186.4 mi (300.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Bussing-NAG sWS production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
None, save for any personal weapons carried by the crew. Anti-Aircraft Gun carriers fitted with various FlaK gun systems to serve as self-propelled units.
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
sWS ('schwere Wehrmacht Schlepper') - Base Series Designation.
3.7cm FlaK 43 auf sWS - Proposed self-propelled anti-aircraft gun vehicle.
15cm Panzerwerfer 42 (Zehuling) auf sWS - Self-propelled rocket-projecting vehicle; crew of five; 10 x rocket launcher arrangement over rear of vehicle; enclosed / armored crew cab; limited production numbers.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.