ETO Ordonance Technical Intelligence Report no. 217 April 10th 1945
Subject: German Semi-Tracked Tractor, SWS, with Armoured Cab
Observations by: Lt. R.L. Englert and T/5 H. Jacobsen. Ord. Tech. Intell. Team No. 3
A German 8-ton semi-tracked military tractor (Schwerer Wehrmachtschlepper) with an armoured cab replacing the open cab and provision for mounting an AA gun on the body has been encountered in Germany. The unarmoured tractor is described in ETO Ordonance Technical Intelligence Report no. 175. Additional information on the chassis has been obtained and paragraphs 5 6 and 7 of this report apply to both the armoured and unarmoured vehicles.
Photo no.1. SWS tractor with armoured cab. Escape hatch in top of cab and vision ports are shown opened.
a. The following information was obtained from the vehicle nameplate:
b. Overall dimemsions:
3. Armoured cab
a. The engine, radiator and driver's compartment are protected by a cab made of light armor plate (Photo 1). The engine compartment deck consists of two flat plates hinged at the outer sides. The left plate having ventilation louvers built into the rear half. The entire top of the engine compartment is bolted in place where as the rest of the cab is welded construction. The dashboard seperating the engine and driver's compartment is made of 16 mm (5/8 in.) armor plate, providing additional protection from frontal attack. Two shuttered vision ports, 9 in. wide by 2-1/2 in. high, are provided in the driver's front plate and are fitted with replacable glass blocks. An opening 12 in. high by 9-3/4 in. wide, in the left side plate and one 7 in. square in the right side plate permit side vision. Their cover plates are pivoted at the lower corner and may be opened from inside the cab.
b. Armor thickness and angles are as follows:
The body of the vehicle consists of a flat bed covered with steel plates and fitted with hinged sides. A compartment, the height of the sides, extends across the rear of the body. Fittings for mounting a gun carriage and leveling jacks of the type used with the 3.7 Flak 43 and 2 cm Flakvierling are provided (photo 2). A seat for the gun crew is located at the rear of the cab and is protected by an extension of the side armor and a folding canvas top (photo 3).
5. Driver's controls:
The arrangement of the driver's controls is shown in photo 3. The left lever of the box at the left of the steering wheel applies the track steering brakes, permitting steering by tracks independantly. The center lever controls the radiator shutter and the right lever is a hand throttle control.
No winch was fitted to the vehicle examended but German documents indicate that winches are fitted by special order.
The side frame members of the vehicle are of "z" section and are made of 5/32 in. thick steel. The dimensions are shown in the sketch below.
A sketch of a traction link is attached as appendix "A".
For the chief ordnance Officier:
Photo no.2. Body and crew seat. Note the tubular uprights for mounting an AA gun and the gears and pinions for the leveling jacks.
Photo no.3. Drivers controls.