8-wheeled armoured car - Büssing-NAG Type GS






Already late in the 1920s, an 8-wheeled armoured car was developed by Büssing-NAG by order of the army ordnance office. But the development was stopped due to bad financial circumstances. Instead, armoured cars based on 6-wheeled lorry chassis were procured. These 6-wheeled armoured cars had several shortcomings. So Büssing-NAG was instructed to develop a new 8-wheeled armoured car. It should have high mobility on roads and an excellent off road mobility. The armour should be save against 7.92 mm SmK armour piercing bullets. This was reached by angled armour plates. The vehicle had all-wheel drive and steering. All wheels had independent suspension. Limited slip differentials were available on all four axles. It was powered by a 165 hp Büssing-NAG L8V/36 petrol engine. With a total weight of 8.5 tons (Sd. Kfz. 231), it could reach a top speed of 85 km/h on good roads. The all wheel steering allowed similar driving characteristics in both driving directions.
Most probably, development was already started in 1934 because one testing vehicle went through intensive trials in 1935. Further testing vehicles were finished in 1936. It seems that serial production of the new vehicle started early in 1937. The Büssing-NAG work in Leipzig was the only manufacturer for the chassis. The armoured superstructures were delivered by Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, work Hannover and Gebr. Boehler & Co. AG, Kapfenberg. Final assembly was made by Deutsche Werke, Kiel and Schichau, Elbing.
179 chassis of the first series were made from late 1936 to July 1939. They were used for the manufacturing of 37 Sd. Kfz. 231, 42 Sd. Kfz. 232 (numbers +/- 1) and 100 Sd. Kfz. 263. The 99 chassis of the second series left the works from May 1939 to August 1941. 46 Sd. Kfz. 231 and 53 Sd. Kfz. 232 were made based on these chassis. 38 chassis of the third series were made from February to September 1941. Further 131 chassis of the third series with the new 180 hp engine Büssing-NAG GS180 were delivered from September 1941 to April 1942. Based on the chassis of the third series, 21 Sd. Kfz. 231, 92 Sd. Kfz. 232 and 56 Sd. Kfz. 263 were made. According to the production statistics of WaJRue, the production of the Sd. Kfz. 231 was stopped in May 1941. There were different chassis for Panzerspähwagen - armoured cars - and Panzerfunkwagen - armoured radio cars- from the first to third series. Beginning with the fourth series, an Einheitsfahrgestell – standard chassis – for Panzerspähwagen and Panzerfunkwagen was made. 300 chassis of the fourth series were made from July 1942 to September 1943. At the same time, 200 chassis of the fifth series were made from July 1942 to October 1943. The 500 chassis of the fourth and fifth series were used for the production of 314 Sd. Kfz. 232, 135 Sd. Kfz. 233 and 51 Sd. Kfz. 263.
These vehicles were officially designated schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Vskfz. 623) and schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Vskfz. 624) during development and testing. In March 1937, these vehicles were officially introduced as schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 233) and schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 234). The designations Sd. Kfz. 231 and Sd. Kfz. 232 - which were known from the 6-wheeled armoured cars - were assigned in September 1940. To differentiate these vehicles from the 6-wheeled armoured cars, the addition (8-Rad) was added to the designation.
The basic model, the schwere Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 231) (8 Rad), was armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 and one MG 13, later MG 34. At first it had no radio equipment. Beginning in 1941, a Funksprechgerät a for short distance radio connections was installed into the turrets of the Sd. Kfz. 231 and 232. The 37 vehicles of the first series were made from early 1937 to late 1938. From May 1939 to December 1940, 46 vehicles of the second series were delivered. 21 vehicles of the third series were made from February to May 1941. Because the company Gebr. Boehler delivered the new armoured superstructures designed for the third series beginning in May 1941, these 21 vehicles had most probably armoured superstructures from the second series.
With the Fu 11 SE 100 radio equipment, the nearly identical schwere Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232) (8 Rad) had a radio set for longer range – 70 km in static position - which needed a high frame antenna. Beginning with the fourth series, the Fu 11 was replaced by the Fu 12 SE 80. In addition, the frame antenna was replaced by a Sternantenne D. The armament was slightly strengthened by using the 2 cm KwK 38. The 42 vehicles of the first series were made from early 1937 to May 1939. 53 vehicles of the second series followed from June 1939 to August 1941. From August 1941 to April 1942, 92 vehicles of the third series were finished which had mainly the new and stronger engine. From July 1942 to September 1943, 314 vehicles based on the chassis of the fourth and fifth series were made. By dismounting the additional radio equipment and antenna system, an Sd. Kfz. 232 of the fourth and fifth series could be easily converted into an Sd. Kfz. 231. Most probably, this was already done with Sd. Kfz. 232 of the third series made beginning in July 1941. If these vehicles were officially designated Sd. Kfz. 231 or if they were only used in the place of the Sd. Kfz. 231 is not known.
The Panzerfunkwagen (Sd. Kfz. 263) (8 Rad) was equipped with the Fu 11 SE 100 and a high frame antenna, too. It was used as armoured communication and relay station for long range transmissions. For this purpose it had a large firmly mounted superstructure and an additional radio mast which could be elevated to a high of 9 meters. 100 vehicles of the first series were made from early 1937 to July 1939. 8 vehicles based on chassis of the third series were made in May and June 1941. Further 48 vehicles of the third series were manufactured from January to April 1942. Based on chassis of the fourth and fifth series, 51 vehicles were made from July 1942 to January 1943. These vehicles still had the armoured superstructure of the third series.
Because of the experiences made during the first campaigns, a heavily armed vehicle for support was demanded. This was realised in form of the schwere Panzerspähwagen (7,5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 233). The 7.5cm K37 (L/24) was able to penetrate the armour of enemy tanks with hollow charge ammunition. The first the vehicles were finished in July 1942. Further 25 vehicles followed until the end of the year. Until October 1943, another 100 vehicles were made.
All in all, the 8-wheeled armoured cars of the type Büssing-NAG GS were outstanding vehicles. But of course, it also had several shortcomings. Therefore, several improvements entered serial production during the production period from 1937 to 1943. Older production numbers of 1,235 vehicles are doubtful. More accurate are numbers of about 950 produced vehicles. Production was stopped in 1943 in favour of the new 8-wheeled armoured car Büssing-NAG type ARK.







Year of construction:




Büssing-NAG GS (1st, 2nd and 3d Series) (Chassis No. 59902-60080, 60601-60699 & 79435-79472)


L8V/36 (165 HP)



Büssing-NAG GS (3d Series) (Chassis No. 79480-79610)


GS180 (180 HP)



Büssing-NAG GS Einheitsfahrgestell (4th and 5th Series) (Chassis No. 85615-85914 & 87118-87317)


GS180 (180 HP)














Designation of the motor vehicle:

Abbreviated designation:

Year of construction:




schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Vs. Kfz. 623) & (Fu) (Vs. Kfz. 624)

s. Pz.Sp. Wg. (Vs. Kfz. 623) & (Fu) (Vs. Kfz. 624)





schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 231) (8 Rad)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 231) (8 Rad)





schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232) (8 Rad)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232) (8 Rad)





schwerer Panzerspähwagen (7,5cm) (Sd. Kfz. 233)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (7,5 cm) (Sd. Kfz. 233)





Panzerfunkwagen (Sd. Kfz. 263) (8 Rad)

Pz. Fu. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 263) (8 Rad)





Panzermeßkraftwagen auf Fahrgestell Büssing-NAG Typ GS

Pz. M. Kw.








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