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Amphibious Landing Vehicles of the Second World War

Many people have probably heard of the Amphicar, which is an amphibious automobile that was produced for sale to the public. The Amphicar has many benefits to it. But the whole purpose of the vehicle was that it could drive, float, and maneuver in the water. Many of these same types of vehicles were produced during World War II.

Amphibious vehicles were a great asset in World War II for many reasons. First, they were capable of traveling through water, which was a great benefit if there were no bridges or overpasses to travel across. Secondly, they were vehicles that were designed for wartime by manufacturers who aided the United States and Germany.

A couple of the amphibious vehicles that were produced and that were very popular during World War II are the Ford GPA, and the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen.

The Ford GPA was a later model that was earlier produced that was called the Ford GPW Jeep. The Ford GPA was similar to the GPW Jeep, except that it was valuable when it came to crossing rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Because bridges were of necessity to the armed forces and many of them were actually being bombed at the time, the Ford GPA was essentially very necessary for the United States' military.

However, it was quickly found out that it wasn't too popular or too practical simply because it was 400 pounds heavier than the first vehicle like it, the Ford GPW Jeep. Additionally, many of them that were produced actually sank simply because of the weight and any large waves that happened to come by.

One of the best designed amphibious automobile, however, was the Volkswagen Type 166. Not only is it known as the single most produced amphibious car but it also was very successful for use by the Germans during World War II. This vehicle was a four-wheel drive and could actually be driven in water.

The main benefit for the Germans was that soldiers were easily transported from a ship offshore to onshore quickly. However, some of the functionality of the Volkswagen 166 was poorly designed. For example, the reverse feature in the water didn't work so well, but soldiers and operators of the VW Type 166 were always welcome to use standard paddles or oars for that purpose. Compared to the Ford GPA, however, the Volkswagen Type 166 seemed a whole lot better.

The DUKW was also another amphibious vehicle that was produced by General Motors. Even though it was rejected at first, it was eventually used in many significant theaters of the war in World War II, most notably on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day. It was used to transport soldiers and supplies across the ocean to the beaches and as an assault vehicle.

Today, in cities all over America, you can get a ride in one of these historic vehicles. I rode one in Boston, and took a tour of the town through the streets, and then floated down the Charles River. It was an enjoyable way to get around the city, and how often do you get to drive your vehicle into the river?

Amphibious vehicles and cars are very popular for what their intended purpose is and many practical uses have been made by the militaries of different countries throughout the world. The Ford GPA, DUKW, and the Volkswagen Type 166 are all excellent amphibious vehicles used for this purpose.

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