The first Schwimmwagen was the Type 128 built by Porsche, it looked similar to the Kubelwagen but was set up for amphibious running and was also four-wheel drive, unlike most Kubelwagens, which were 2WD.
The first prototypes appeared in 1940 and 30 were built in 1941 for testing by the Wehrmacht. These later models sported a bathtub shaped hull for ease of movement during amphibious operation.
|Porsche received further orders to develop further the Schwimmwagen concept; the Wehrmacht also required a vehicle capable crossing a variety of terrain types.|
Dr. Porsche decided his original Type 128 design was too long and cumbersome and redesigned the Schwimmwagen as a short more compact model. The Type 166 Schwimmwagen was born.
|It was powered by the same 1131cc engine and operated a three-blade propeller when amphibious. The propeller, mounted on a hinged bracket, was lowered from it’s upright position after the Schwimmwagen had entered the water.|
It could travel up to 40 kph on land and 10 kph on water.
It proved a very popular vehicle among the German troops because of its outstanding cross-country performance, but was rarely used for its amphibious capabilities.
|A total of 14,265 Schwimmwagens were made between 1940-1944, production was stopped in 1944 because of its complexity so resources could be directed towards making less time consuming designs.|
The new Battlefront Schwimmwagen is the Type 166 and was used extensively by Reconnaissance troops and as command vehicles. Famous users of Schwimmwagen include Jochen Peiper and Kurt “Panzer” Meyer.
Designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Wayne Turner