The Sd.Kfz. 231 6-rad version was the first of the German armoured cars. It was an interim one based an commercial vehicle. It was origined at the Kazan test centre established in Soviet Union. Production began in early 1930s, but it wasn't shown oficially before 1936, when they were issued to Aufklärungs ("reconnaissance") detachments of the newly developing motorized forces of the German Army. Around 123 were produced  between 1932 to 1935.

They were part of "Schwerer Panzerspähwagen" or "heavy armoured reconnaissance vehicle" series. The Sd.Kfz. 231 6-rad version was based on a modified 6x4 truck chassis of brands Daimler-Benz, Büssing or Magirus. It weigh 5 -6 tons and had frontal mounted engine with no front axle drive, and although the chassis was strengthened it still proved to be a problem. An interesting feature of the Sd.Kfz. 231 6-rad version was the provision of ground rollers. One disadvantage of the six-wheeled chassis had been that the relatively long wheelbase was liable to ground when going over rough country. Because they were really too heavy, they remained underpowered and always had very limited off-road ability.   

It was armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon, and a Maschinengewehr 13 machine gun. The crew consisted of a commander, gunner, driver, and a radio operator/rear driver. It had a second driver'sposition in the rear so that the vehicle could be driven either forwards or backwards with relative ease. 

They were intended for the traditional cavalry missions of reconnaissance and screening. They scouted ahead and to the flank of advancing mechanized units to assess enemy location, strength and intention. Their primary role was reconnaissance, but they would engage similar or light units and at times attempt to capture enemy patrols.

The Sd.Kfz. 231 6-rad version began to be replaced in 1937 when the German Army switched production to 8-wheeled armoured cars instead of 6-wheeled. Despite being replaced, they were used by Aufklärungs ("reconnaissance") units during the Invasion of Poland, the Battle of France, and the invasion of the USSR. They were withdrawn afterwards for use in internal security and training.


Askey, Nigel (2013). Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation Volume IIA. | Wikipedia | Bishop, Chris (2002). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. | ikiel24 (Youtube)

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