WWII German Type 166 Schwimmwagen & Crew, 12th SS Division, Winter 1944-45

Price: $165.00


W. Britain

Shortly after the fall of France in 1940, the German Army identified the need for a small durable amphibious vehicle for reconnaissance and headquarters units. Several prototypes were developed and tested and by the end of April 1942, the specifications for the type 166 Schwimmwagen were decided on for mass production. This model had a wheel-base of only 200 cm (6.6 ft) and was four wheel drive.

When in the water, a small folding propeller was lowered down to drive. When in place, a simple coupling provided drive straight from an extension of the engine’s crankshaft. This meant that screw propulsion was only available going forward. For reversing in the water, there was the choice of using the standard equipment paddle or running the land drive in reverse, allowing the wheel-rotation to slowly take the vehicle back. The front wheels doubled as rudders, so steering was done with the steering wheel both on land and on water.

14,276 vehicles were built from 1942 to 1944. Given these numbers, the Type 166 Schwimmwagen was the most mass-produced amphibious car in history.