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Type 82 Kübelwagen

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The Type 82 Kübelwagen was a car used by Germany during World War II.

Description

The only crew it had was the driver and it could carry 3 other passengers. The Kübelwagen also had an air-cooled, gasoline Type 1 Engine capable of propelling the Kübelwagen at speeds of up to 80.4 km/h.[1]The total length was 3.74 meters and the weight was about 725 kg. The Kübelwagen had a 4 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission and a 2.4 meter wheelbase. It was also capable of setting up a canvas top and carrying an extra tire on the front. It's fuel tank could hold about 30 liters of fuel and the engine was placed in the back of the vehicle.

Defensive armament on the Kübelwagen consisted of at best, one MG 34 or MG 42 along with either a panzerfaust or Kar98k rifles. Furthermore, the Kübelwagen had a torsion bar suspension system was quite reliable in the field.[2] Though initial problems with the design did cause some frustration with crews, these problems were quickly sorted out and the car even without armor protection was used by soldiers and officers alike in the front lines or in quiet sectors. 

Variants

The first variant to the original Type 82 model was the Type 86 which featured a widened chassis so that it would be able to conform to recently issued specification. Following came the tropenfest model which had enlarged wheels and tires for operating in the desert sands of north Africa. 

History

The Kübelwagen was first developed in 1933 to be the standard troop car of the Wehrmacht. By 1940, the car was already in full production and thousands were being made.  It was well received and it continued to be used until the end of the war. In 1943, numerous examples were acquired by American forces and it was concluded that the Kübelwagen was a more economical and reliable design than the jeeps being produced at the time. Though, later reports later contradicted themselves in an attempt to diminish the record of the Kübelwagen. Nonetheless, it saw service in all theaters of war that the Wehrmacht fought in. In total, around 50,000 were created. 

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/trucks/volkswagen-kubelsitzwagen-car.asp
  2. http://archive.org/stream/TechnicalManualTmE9-803GermanVolkswagen/TME9_803_1944#page/n7/mode/2up


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