Sonderwagen IIa

  • Yes!
  • No!

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The BGS, the West-German border-guard, which was founded in 1951, and was tasked with both guarding the eastern border of the newly reformed German state, and to maintain order within the country, in the case of a potential Soviet attack. The members of the BGS were considered to be closer to soldiers, rather than police-officers, given their training on not only full-powered rifles, like the K98K and Lee-Enfield, but also on machinepistols, machineguns, and grenades. Furthermore, one of the first armoured and armed vehicles of the BGS was a modified M8 Greyhound with an MG42 and a 20mm auto-cannon.

After the Bundeswehr, the German army, was founded, the BGS continued to operate in it’s role as not only border-guards, but also as a secondary, domestic security service for internal affairs. As a result of these army-like tasks, the need for comparatively heavily armoured and armed vehices did not expire after the Bundeswehr was founded in 1955. Since the M8 greyhounds were already long considered obsolete, a new vehicle had to be procured to fill the roles of a heavy reinforcement vehicle, in the case of an armed attack, and as a vehicle for fortifying road-blocks.

In the 1950’s, Switzerland was already producing such a vehicle, the MOWAG MR-8 personal transport. The German government was interested, and after an initial batch of 20 were delivered by Switzerland, it was decided that a modified version of the MR-8 should be produced locally in Germany by Henschel.

The development of the variant of the MR-8 began in 1960, and production started in 1964 under the designation SW I and SW II (Sonderwagen meaning special vehicle).

A total of around 600 were produced from 1964 to 1966.

The SW I was the standard personal transport, or APC, which could carry 5 BGS members, while the SW II was an armed version with a 360° rotatable, one-man turret.

Two variants of the SW II existed, the SW IIa and SW IIb. The SW IIa was armed with both a 20mm auto-cannon, and an MG3, while the SW IIb was only armed with the MG3. As of now, I could not find individual production-numbers on each variant; only that in total, around 600 SW I and SW II’s were made.

Finally, in the same year as production started, 1964, the BGS adopted the SW I and SW II as their new heavy support-vehicles.

According to BGS members, the vehicle-type was well liked, and went on to see extensive service with the BGS until the 1980’s or 1990’s, despite lacking some of the features of other MOWAG armoured-cars, such as NBC protection, night-vision and the ability to float.

Pictures:

Spoiler

54-Sonderwagen_SW_II_mit_20_mm_Bordkanon

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Geschutzter_Sonderwagen_II-c.jpg

Geschutzter_Sonderwagen_II.jpg

Geschutzter_Sonderwagen_II-b.jpg

Specifications:

Crew: 4

Length: 5,31m

Width: 2,25m

Height: 2,25m

Weight: 8,1 tons

Max speed: 85kmh

Engine: 161hp

Armament:

1x 20mm MK 20-1 (license produced Hispano-Suiza 820 L/85) (300 rounds), 1x MG3 LMG (500 rounds), 6x smoke-launchers

Thoughts:

I personally think this would be a great German armoured car for the BR of 3.0 or 3.3. The 20mm would have access to AP ammo (an article mentions the standard loadout were 200 rounds of HE + 100 rounds of AP) and the speed of the vehicle is enough to warrant a higher BR, even with the lacking armour. This could be a great vehicle, which could for example come before the Sd.Kfz 234/2.

If you spot any mistakes, or want to add something, feel free to post it under this thread. :salute:

Sources:

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Einsatzfahrzeug: BGxx-xx - SW II (a.D.) - BOS-Fahrzeuge - Einsatzfahrzeuge und Wachen weltweit

MOWAG MR-8 - Encyclopedie des Armes

Sonderwagen – Wikipedia

Mowag MR 8 - Wikipedia

Geschützter Sonderwagen II (SW II) 4 x 4 - Bundesgrenzschutz

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Make sure to include the blue light. It’s a police car, after all.

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