Several months after the start of the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Germans began to realize that some of their half tracks were too expensive or too complex to produce and a cheaper one was needed.
Büssing-NAG came up with the design for the sWS.
On May 7, 1942, Hitler ordered a simple low-speed semi-track vehicle be produced for use in Russia. Up until mid-1944 they had a truck like cab, and then was replaced with an armored cab.
It was intended for infantry units which would act as a general purpose and supply vehicle.
There was no cab for the crew so as to reduce costs.
There was almost no armor.
Used all-steel tracks which reduced costs.