1942 to 1945
2 men and 20 passengers
1 × Maybach
HL 120 TRM
12 cylinder liquid cooled Vee petrol engine
producing up to 300 hp at 3,000 rpm
road 35 km/h cross country km/h
road 150 km cross country km
The Landwasserschlepper (LWS) was an unarmed amphibious tractor
designed and manufactured in Germany during the Second World
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
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
on 2 August 1940 by the Reinhardt Trials Staff
on the island of Sylt and, although Franz
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
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) Heer Comments
German Military Vehicles.
Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Germany World War II.
Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World Two.
For a complete list of sources