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The Classic German Military Kubelwagen

By Catalina Nielsen

If you have been interested in the classic German military Kubelwagen there are many clubs and organizations all over the World where collector's can meet. The Kubelwagen originally was engineered and designed by Ferdinand Porsche during the Second World War in Germany for the German Wehrmacht. Volkswagen produced and built the cars to help the German army as well as the elite SS.

In German, Kubelwagen is a phrase meaning bucket vehicle since the appearance is very similar to a bath tub with wheels on it. Both the Wehrmacht as well as the SS used the automobile quite regularly for troop transportation as well as a field car. The car is very similar in design to the original Volkswagen Beetle. The Volkswagen was called the KDF Wagen which is German for "Joy through Strength" that was first started by the National Socialist German Worker's Party.

The very first prototype was called the Type Sixty Two and then after production started it was renamed the Type Eighty Two since the engine size was increased. Originally, the car was made in the new Volkswagen Wolfsburg assembly plant in Lower Saxony in the western part of the country. In many ways the vehicle is similar to a Jeep which was used by the American military except that the German version was superior in many ways.

The car was engineered and designed to withstand all of the extreme conditions it may face in war including ice and snow as well as mud and sand. The vehicle was very reliable and proved to be useful as well as reliable in all the conditions it faced. There were models that even allowed the driver to use the car as a boat and drive in water. The submersible technology that was used at the time was very advanced.

Even the United States army captured some models in North Africa in 1943 and commented on how the vehicle was superior to the Jeep in comfort, reliability and the fact that it was easier to maintain. The entire military of the Greater German Reich used the automobile as well as other countries allied to Germany such as Italy. Usually the vehicle was painted in a khaki or camouflage color.

Volkswagen later designed several other variants that even had closed and retractable roofs as well as longer versions that could allow more soldiers to ride in them. One unusual version was the panzer half track variety which even had tracks placed on it that could go over all terrains. After World War Two finally ended in 1945 Volkswagen began to produce commercial versions that were named the Thing which were later sold all around the World.

The Schlepperfahrzeug version and the Schwimmwagen version were some of the most unusual and rarest forms ever produced by any country during the entire war. Today there are many collectors who seek out the original versions and buy them when they become available at auctions and sales. Many museums also have added the vehicle to their collections and the car is a proud part of the history of German engineering.

If you have been searching lately for details about the German Kubelwagen then you will be able to learn many interesting facts about them. For more information you may want to go on the internet and find additional information and articles about the cars as well as their history. You also will be able to see some in person at the various museums located through out the United States and Europe.

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