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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Volkswagen Kübelsitzwagen car

Design

In 1933 Hitler ordered Dr. Porsche and Werlin to develop a Volkswagen (people's car).1 By 1934 Porsche had a design developed.1

The Volkswagen was designated the standard passenger car for the Wehrmacht.1,2 It was inexpensive and easy to produce.1,2

Engine

The Volkswagen Typ 1 engine initially had teething problems but they were soon worked out.1

The fuel tank was in front, below the instrument panel.1

Starting in March 1943 the engine used was larger.1

Body

There was a folding canvas top and side screens.1 The panels, that made up the body, were made from 18 gauge stamped sheet metal.1

Chassis

The chassis had a central steel tube supporting the engine and transmission.1 The front axle was a steel tube that had the torsion bars.1

Brakes

The brakes had double levers for the brake shoes.1

Prototype

The Volkswagen Typ 62 prototype was ready in 1936.1

Production

  • Volkswagen Typ 82: 55,0001,2
    • Manufacturer: Volkswagen at Wolfsburg1
    • Production: 1940 - ?2, March 1940 - mid 19441

Variants

  • Volkswagen Typ 62: Initial prototype.1
  • Volkswagen Typ 82:: Main production version.1
  • Volkswagen Typ 86:: The chassis was widened 2.36" - 3.15" / 6 cm - 8 cm based on a requirement issued on August 2, 1940.1
  • Volkswagen Typ 92:: The body was enclosed.1,2
  • Tropenfest:: Tropical version for use in North Africa.1,2 Had larger sand tires.1,2 Nickname: Deutsche's Kamel (German camel).1

Usage

The Volkswagen Kübelsitzwagen was popular with the troops as it was reliable and easy to maintain.2

Specifications

  Volkswagen Kübelsitzwagen
Crew 11,2
Passengers  
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 1,397 lb2, 1,400 lb1
635 kg1,2
Length 12' 3"1,2
3.73 m1,2
Height 4' 5"1,2
1.35 m1,2
Width 5' 3"1,2
1.6 m1,2
Ground clearance  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Engine (Make / Model) 1: Volkswagen Typ 1 HIAR1,2
OR (after March 1943) 1: Volkswagen1,2
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air1
Cylinders 141,2
OR (after March 1943) 41,2
Capacity 998 cc1,2
OR (after March 1943) 1,131 cc1,2
Net HP 241,2
OR (after March 1943) 251,2
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Limited slip differential1
4 forward, 1 reverse1
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline1,2
OR (after March 1943) Gasoline1,2
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 62.5 mph2
100 kph2
Speed - Water  
Range - Road 375 miles2
600 km2
Range - Water  
Turning radius  
Fording depth 1' 4"2
0.6 m2
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar.1
Wheels each side  
Wheelbase 7' 10"1
2.39 m1
Tires 5.25x161

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  2. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site