The German Jeep – 20 Amazing Wartime Images of The Kubelwagen

Joris Nieuwint

The Volkswagen Kübelwagen that was used during the Second World War by both the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS was a light military vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche. It was heavily based on the Volkswagen Beetle, which was to be “the people’s car.”

Kübelwagen is an abbreviation of the German “Kübelsitzwagen,” meaning “bucket-seat car.” All German light military vehicles that were without doors were fitted with bucket seats to prevent passengers from falling out.

Because the first VW test vehicles had no doors it was fitted with bucket seats, thus it was firste named VW Kübelsitzwagen which was later shortened to Kübelwagen.

The Kübelwagen was for the Germans what the Jeep and GAZ-67 were for the Allies.

Nordfrankreich, Soldaten mit VW-Kübelwagen
Northern-France, June 21st 1944. Four German soldiers with their Kübelwagen.- By Bundesarchiv
Jugoslawien, Kübelwagen, zerstörte Brücke
Yugoslavia, September 1943. Kübelwagens drive past a destroyed railway bridge.- By Bundesarchiv
Russland, VW- Kübelwagen
Russia, 21 June 1943. Soldiers of the Waffen-SS Totenkopf (deaths head) division in a Kübelwagen – By Bundesarchiv
Tobruk, Soldaten in VW-K¸belwagen
North Africa, Tobruk, August 1942. Soldiers in a Kübelwagen near a No Entry sign. – By Bundesarchiv
Walter Model im Kübelwagen
Germany, 16 October 1944. Generalfeldmarschall Model visits the headquarters of the 246 volksgrenadier division near Aachen. – By Bundesarchiv
Russia, 21 June 1943. A German soldier reads a book in a Kubelwagen – By Bundesarchiv
Nordfrankreich, Soldaten mit VW-Kübelwagen
Northern-France, 21 June 1944. Soldiers in a Kubelwagen look at a burning convoy. The soldier in the back seems to be on the lookout for allied airplanes. – By Bundesarchiv
North-Africa, 1942. German soldiers drive their Kubelwagen through the desert. – By Bundesarchiv
Nordafrika, Hans-Joachim Marseille neben VW-K¸belwagen
North Africa,1942. Leutnant Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert (left) and Feldwebel Maximilian Volke (right) stand next to the kübelwagen of Hans-Joachim Marseille, which he had named “Otto”. – By Bundesarchiv

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