Ferdinand Porsche produced an amphibious version of the Kubelwagen (Type 82) known as Type 128. The vehicle was too large and unstable so he reduced it in size to create the Type 166 Schwimmwagen. The Type 166 originally replaced reconnaissance unit motorcycle-
sidecars but also became a scout and staff car. Amphibious and all-wheel drive made the Type 166 a vehicle for mud, snow, sand or water. The rear-mounted three-blade propeller was lowered and self-engaged to linkage from the engine. The Type 166 was the most produced amphibious vehicle in history.
Werfer-Brigade (launcher brigade) 8 was formed in March 1944 and on June 8th 1944 was ordered to Normandy as part of the German 7th Army to help stop the Allied invasion. After heavy losses in Normandy and in the Falaise Pocket the Werfer-Brigade was re-supplied
and on October 28th, 1944 it was renamed the Volkswerfer-Brigade (People's Launcher Brigade) 8. In December 1944 the Volkswerfer-Brigade 8 took part in the Battle of the Bulge. The 7th Army surrendered to U.S. 3rd Army on 8 May 1945.
Specifications for the VW Type 166 Schwimmwagen
Production Period – 1941 to 1944
Number Produced – 15,584
Engine – 4 cylinder air-cooled 1,131cc 25 hp
Cross Country Gear (4-wheel drive) – 10 km/h
1st Gear -17 km/h
2nd Gear – 32 km/h
3rd Gear – 50 km/h
4th Gear – 80 km/h On-Road
Reverse – 9 km/h
Maximum Speed In Still Water – 10 km/h with propeller @ 2,300 rpm
Electrical System – 6 volt
Length – 3,825 mm
Width – 1,480 mm
Height – 1,615 mm
Dry – 910 kg
Maximum – 1,345 kg
Schwimmwagen Type 166 - Volks-Werver-Brigade 8, 1944.