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Great Britain's Terrapin truck


The Terrapin truck was designed to be amphibious by Thorncroft.1


Each of the engines provided power, separately, to the four wheels on each side when on land.1,2 When in the water each engine drove a separate propeller.1 This caused problems when one engine would fail the other would continue to propel the Terrapin only on one side.1,2

The engines were near the center of the vehicle which split the cargo area in two.1,2 This prevented guns or vehicles from being placed into the cargo area.2


When fully loaded the Terrapin rode very low in the water and could easily be swamped in rough water.1


The driver didn't have as good a view forward and aft as he was located in the center and relied on other crew members to guide him.1

Cargo Area

The front cargo area had a tarp that could be placed over it to keep out water spray.1 This had a side affect of restricting the driver's view forward.1


As there were a lot of American DUKWs available Terrapin development was stopped.2

  • Terrapin: ~5001
    • Manufacturer: Morris Commercial1


  • Terrapin Mk I:
  • Terrapin Mk II: Design only, never produced.1 The cargo area was one piece.1 Driver position moved forward and was protected from the weather.1 The hull was altered to improve performance in the water.1


Used near Antwerp

The 79th Armored Division was the primary user of the Terrapin starting in the fall of 1944 in the waterways leading up to Antwerp.1,2


Crew 1 - 21, 22
Physical Characteristics  
Weight - loaded 26,411 lb2, 26,488 lb1
12,015 kg1,2
Weight - empty 15,232 lb1
6,909 kg1
Length 23'1,2
7.01 m1,2
Height 9' 7"1,2
2.92 m1,2
Width 8' 9"1,2
2.67 m1,2
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament None1
Armor Thickness (mm) None1, 82
Engine (Make / Model) 2: Ford1,2
Cylinders V-81,2
Net HP 85 hp each1,2
Transmission (Type)  
Electrical system  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline1,2
Fuel consumption - Road  
Fuel consumption - Cross country  
Power to Weight Ratio  
Speed - Road 15 mph1,2
24.14 kph1,2
Speed - Cross Country  
Water speed 5 mph1,2
8 kph1,2
Range - Road 150 miles2
240 km2
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Fording depth Amphibous2
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 41


  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