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The Type 166 Schwimmenwagen was an amphibious 4x4 car that was used by Germany during World War II.

Description

It had an air-cooled VW Engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 80km/h.[1] The Type 166 had a crew that required only one man and in combat was often equipped with such weapons as the MG 42 and performed reconnaissance duties. Furthermore, it could have a maximum of three passengers but had no armor protection so in reality, the Type 166 could only perform duties that did not require it to be in extended combat.

The total weight of the Schimmenwagen was about 900 kilograms and the total length was about 3.8 meters. The Type 166 Schimmenwagen had a maximum range of 520 kilometers.[2] The hull was designed to be able to traverse fairly deep rivers and the propeller for traveling across these rivers was flipped up automatically in the rear of the vehicle.

Variants

Although not technically a variant, some Type 128 Schimmenwagens were released to the frontlines. The Type 128 was a prototype of the series and suffered severely of the fact that it was unable to withstand great environmental pressures and certain environments.

History

The Type 166 Schimmenwagen was first developed in 1940 and was originally designed to be used by German Fallshirmjäger troops. However, due to the seemingly impassable terrain of the Eastern Front with its many rivers and terrible weather, the Schimmenwagen was moved as quickly as possible to the troops fighting in the Soviet Union. The Schimmenwagen was not made available necessarily for all commanders on the Eastern Front, its use was largely found with Waffen-SS troops. Still, regular Wehrmacht commanders sometimes got the chance to use the Schimmenwagen if supply allowed. In total, about 14,000 Schimmenwagens were produced during the war.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/trucks/schwimmwagen.asp
  2. http://www.achtungpanzer.com/volkswagen-porsche-type-166-schwimmwagen.htm


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