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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Schwimmfahiger Gelandeng Typ 166, Schwimmwagen

Photos

Schwimmfahiger Gelandeng Typ 166, Schwimmwagen, in June 1944:
Germany's Schwimmfahiger Gelandeng Typ 166, Schwimmwagen, in June 1944
Bundesarchiv Bild 1011-721-0372-13A

Design

The Schwimmwagen was designed in 1940 to be used by airborne troops.1 The design incorporated as many parts of the Kübelwagen as possible.1

Water Propulsion

Before entering the water the propeller was swung down and locked into position.1 Steering was managed by the front wheels.1

Production

By 1944 production was slowed because of shortages of raw materials and Allied bombing.1

  • Schwimmfahiger Gelandeng Typ 166, Schwimmwagen: 14,6251
    • Manufacturer: Volkswagen at Wolfsburg1

Usage

The Schwimmwagens were used mostly by reconnaissance units and commanders.1

Eastern Front

The Schwimmwagen was mostly found on the Eastern Front.1

North Africa

The Deutsches Afrika Korps used some Schwimmwagens and requested more but most were sent to the Eastern Front.1

Specifications

  Schwimmfahiger Gelandeng Typ 166, Schwimmwagen
Crew 11
Passengers 31
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight - Unloaded 1,992 lb1
903.5 kg1
Length 12' 6.6"1
3.825 m1
Height 5' 3.6"1
1.615 m1
Width 4' 10.3"1
1.48 m1
Ground clearance  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Engine (Make / Model) VW1
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity 1.3 liter1
Net HP 251
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 50 mph1
80 kph1
Speed - Water 7 mph1
11 kph1
Range - Road 250 - 290 miles1
400 - 450 km1
Range - Water  
Turning radius  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Wheelbase  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site