Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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Landwasserschlepper (LWS)

Amphibious Vehicle

Landwasserschlepper (LWS)

Service Data:

In Service: 1942 to 1945

Production Data:

Manufacturer: Rheinmetall-Borsig
Chassis No:
Number built: 21

Technical Data:

Type: Amphibious Vehicles

Crew: 2 men and 20 passengers
Length: 7.68 m
Width: 2.34 m
Height: 2.65 m
Weight: 17,000 kg
Fuel Capacity: litres
Engine: 1 × Maybach HL 120 TRM 12 cylinder liquid cooled Vee petrol engine producing up to 300 hp at 3,000 rpm
Speed: road 35 km/h cross country km/h
Range: road 150 km cross country km

Operators: Heer

Other: Amphibious Vehicles


The Landwasserschlepper (LWS) was an unarmed amphibious tractor designed and manufactured in Germany during the Second World War.

Ordered by the Heereswaffenamt in 1935 for use by Wehrmacht military engineers, the Landwasserschlepper (LWS) was planned as a light weight river craft with some limited capacity to manoeuvre on land.

Designed to assist in river crossings and bridging operations, it was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig of Düsseldorf. The hull was similar to that of a motor launch, looking like a tracked boat with propellers and twin rudders. On land, it rode on steel tracks with four bogies per side.

From the fall of 1940 three Landwasserschlepper prototypes had been finished and were allotted to the Panzer-Abteilung 100 as part of Operation Sea Lion. It was intended to use them for pulling ashore unpowered assault barges during the invasion and for towing vehicles across the sandy beaches. They'd also have been used to carry provisions directly onto land during the six hours of falling tide whilst the assault barges were grounded. This would have involved Landwasserschlepper (LWS) using a Kässbohrer amphibious trailer, which was capable of transporting 10 20 tons of provisions.

The Landwasserschlepper (LWS) was showed to General Franz Halder on 2 August 1940 by the Reinhardt Trials Staff on the island of Sylt and, although Franz Halder was critical of its high silhouette on land, he acknowledged the overall usefulness of the project. It was suggested to build enough Landwasserschlepper (LWS) that each assault barge showed be given one or two of them, however major problems arose in mass-producing the Landwasserschlepper (LWS) which ultimately prevented implementation of that plan.

Because of the drawnout development of the The Landwasserschlepper (LWS) didn't enter regular service until 1942 and, although it proved useful in both Soviet Union and North Africa, it was produced in only small numbers. During 1944 an altogether new design was introduced, the Landwasserschlepper II (LWS II). This was based on a Panzer IV chassis and sported a small raised armoured driver's cabin and a flat rear deck with 4 fold down intake and exhaust stacks.


Landwasserschlepper (LWS) picture 2

Landwasserschlepper (LWS) picture 3

Landwasserschlepper (LWS) picture 4

Landwasserschlepper (LWS) picture 5

Landwasserschlepper (LWS) picture 6

Landwasserschlepper (LWS) picture 7

Kässbohrer amphibious trailer

Landwasserschlepper (LWS) Heer Comments


German Military Vehicles.
ISBN-10: 087349783X

Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Germany World War II.
ISBN-10: 0214203077

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World Two.
ISBN-10: 1854095188

For a complete list of sources
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